Search

Beryl Bikes urged to offer three-wheeled cycles to improve disabled access

PUBLISHED: 09:09 03 October 2020

One of the new electric Beryl bikes at a docking station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the new electric Beryl bikes at a docking station. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

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.

Danny Douglas, Labour county councillor for Mancroft. Pic: Labour Party.Danny Douglas, Labour county councillor for Mancroft. Pic: Labour Party.

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.

READ MORE: New bicycle rental scheme aiming to ‘bring fun’ launches in city centre

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.

Norfolk County Council cabinet members left to right Mike Stonard, Andrew Jamieson and Martin Wilby with Beryl bikes CEO Phil Ellis  on launch day of the public cycle operator in Norwich. Photo : Steve AdamsNorfolk County Council cabinet members left to right Mike Stonard, Andrew Jamieson and Martin Wilby with Beryl bikes CEO Phil Ellis on launch day of the public cycle operator in Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

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.”

You may also want to watch:

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.

READ MORE: Free use of Norwich’s Beryl Bikes extended to further 1,000 riders

“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.”

READ MORE: Website issues blocking disabled people from ‘vital services’, charity warns


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press