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

Beryl Bikes in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Beryl Bikes in Norwich. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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A scheme which means people can borrow one of Norwich’s Beryl Bikes rental bicycles for free has been extended - after 1,000 people signed up within just nine days.

Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of the Beryl Bikes. Picture: Lauren De Boise.Norfolk County Councillor Martin Wilby on one of the Beryl Bikes. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Last week, bosses at Beryl Bikes and Norfolk County Council launched an initiative which meant the first 1,000 users to redeem the a promotion would get 200 free riding minutes to use across the city.

The scheme has been so successful that an extra 200,000 free riding minutes has been added, so a further 1,000 people will be able to use the bicycles for free.

To get complimentary rides, people need to download the free Beryl Bikes App and follow the in-app message to use the code.

Each person will be able to redeem the code once, ensuring 2,000 riders will benefit.

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The Beryl Bikes scheme was launched in March, just before coronavirus lockdown restrictions were introduced and the free minutes initiative is being run with the county council’s ‘Pushing Ahead’ programme.

Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure and chair of the Transforming Cities Joint Committee, said, “We’ve seen a rapid increase in cycling in recent years, particularly since the lockdown began and we are delighted with the level of interest in the new Beryl Bikes.

“With government restrictions now easing and more bike bay locations on the way, we hope more people will be able to get out and give them a try, benefiting both the environment and the economy.”

This week saw the re-opening of non-essential shops and Beryl bosses hope people will use their bikes, which can be picked up and dropped off in marked Beryl Bays, to get into the city centre.

Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, to stay two metres away from others while cycling and not to ride in groups.

There have been calls for councils to do more to support cycling in Norwich and to take advantage of a £2bn investment to make it easier for people to choose alternatives to public transport amid the need to socially distance.

Campaigners, including Green councillors, want to see pop-up bike lanes, with protected space for cycling, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors.


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