Keep the City Moving #BetterByBike

8th June 2020

Beryl partners with Pushing Ahead to launch the #BetterByBike initiative to give 200,000 free riding minutes & encourage cycling in Norwich

(8th June, 2020) Beryl, the British micro mobility operator of Norwich’s bike share scheme, has partnered with Norfolk County Council and their Pushing Ahead programme to encourage more journeys by bicycle and help rejuvenate the city’s local economy. Throughout the coming summer months, hundreds of thousands of riding minutes will be accessible for free to help those across the city looking to travel in a safe and more sustainable way.

Beryl’s #BetterByBike campaign aims to build on the growing support for cycling in the UK and the positive behaviour changes many have made towards active travel. Within a year of Beryl’s bikeshare launch across the UK, over 200,000 rides have been completed and riders are rapidly closing in on reaching one million kilometres cycled collectively.

In partnership with  Norfolk County Council’s ‘Pushing Ahead’ programme, an active travel scheme to get the community moving, the first 1,000 users to redeem the local #BetterByBike promotion will receive 200 minutes of free riding minutes to use across the city. The offer of free minutes is live from today, allowing people to visit Norwich’s reopening high streets in a socially distant, environmentally friendly and convenient way. To access the promotion, residents need to download the free Beryl App on relevant smart phone stores, and follow the in-app messages.

Global research shows cyclists visit shops more frequently than people in private cars and can spend up to 40% more than motorists. According to a health economic assessment tool, Norwich’s local economy could see a boost of £31,000 and a carbon saving of 2.2 Tonnes if all of Beryl’s free minutes are redeemed and used.

Councillor 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 to see the Beryl Bikes on the streets of Norwich. 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.”

Beryl CEO Philip Ellis said, “We are thrilled at the high level of support and enthusiasm shown by Norfolk County Council to help lower the barrier to cycling for many. 68% of car journeys in the UK are under 5 miles. A quarter are under one mile. Cycling isn’t the option for all trips – but by making the switch for short journeys, people can free up valuable space on public transport, reduce congestion on our roads and make streets safer. Importantly this is just the first step of many to encourage a shift towards active travel in Norwich and beyond”

A Beryl Bike can be hired through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked ‘Beryl Bays’ which are visible both in app and on street. In partnership with local authorities, Beryl Bays have been strategically placed across Norwich, nearly half of the city’s residents live no more than a 5 minute walk from a Beryl bay. Bays continue to be implemented to enable more access and ease of use across the city.

For those new to urban cycling, Pushing Ahead, have online resources on cycle safety and confidence. Please visit https://www.pushingaheadnorfolk.co.uk/cycle-confidence/ for details.

Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, stay two metres away from others whilst cycling and not to ride in groups. Beryl’s guidance on safe use of the service can be found here.

For more information on the initiative, please visit beryl.cc.