Beryl Bikes urged to offer three-wheeled cycles to improve disabled access
PUBLISHED: 09:09 03 October 2020
A councillor with muscular dystrophy has called for three-wheeled bikes to be added to a city hire scheme to make it more accessible to disabled people.
Cycle rental scheme Beryl Bikes was launched in Norwich in March, just before the coronavirus lockdown began.
And the travel initiative proved so popular that councillors and the bike firm have been offering free rental minutes to city cycle enthusiasts, following calls for councils to do more to support cycling and to make it easier for people to choose alternatives to public transport amid increasing need to socially distance.
Now county councillor Danny Douglas, who suffers from muscular dystrophy - a genetic condition which weakens muscles - has called for Beryl Bikes to offer three-wheeled cargo bicycles to make it more accessible and help tackle fly-tipping in the city.
Mr Douglas, county councillor for Mancroft ward, said: “One of the major issues in Norwich is fly-tipping so really that’s why I brought it up.
“We need to have some kind of sustainable way of moving around large amounts of stuff.”
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He added: “Three-wheeled bikes enable people who have difficulty riding a bike to ride a bike - myself included. It could be an opportunity for someone to have more accessibility.”
Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport said: “Beryl is currently focused on expanding its existing fleet and installing more bays to increase coverage across the city.
“We’re committed to making the scheme accessible to all and are already holding discussions around the possible introduction of cargo bikes in the future but do not have any further details to share at this time.”
Phillip Ellis, chief executive at Beryl Bikes said: “We’re committed to continuous innovation to best serve the needs of our riders, and enable more people to make the switch from private cars to sustainable transport.
“With that cargo bikes are certainly a consideration for our multi-modal service.
“We are jointly investigating the right model for introducing further vehicle types and if demand and the right operations model makes this feasible, we would hope to deliver this over the course of our existing contract with Norfolk County Council.”
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