E-bikes scheme to be extended to wider area around Norwich

Pedal assist electric e-Bikes have been added to Norwich rental scheme to encourage longer journeys.

Pedal assist electric e-Bikes have been added to Norwich rental scheme to encourage longer journeys. - Credit: Beryl

A £250,000 grant will see the city's bike rental scheme extended to cover more places in the Greater Norwich area.

The cash has been awarded to Norfolk County Council through a government fund, the authority confirmed on Tuesday.

Council leaders said earlier this year they were hoping the bid would also fund a plan to expand existing schemes allowing people to trial e-bikes from shops.

The county council's walking and cycling champion Andrew Jamieson said: "Encouraging more people to walk or cycle supports our goals as a council to reduce carbon emissions and improve the health of our residents.

"This much needed funding will enable us to do just that, by removing barriers for people to give e-bikes a try and support us in promoting greener travel options across the whole county."

The cash will fund a number of projects, including an expansion of the existing Beryl on-street hire scheme to more parts of Norwich.

Another plan for the money includes using it to make e-bikes available to trial on a free loan basis from shops across the county.

As part of that project, the council said it will specifically target those who are ineligible for existing programmes like the Cycle to Work scheme – such as those who are retired, on low incomes or in higher education or training.

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Cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport Martin Wilby said: "I am delighted we have been successful in getting this funding. The Beryl bikes are already proving popular in Norwich and having a positive impact on both people’s travel habits and the environment.

"These changes are key drivers of our Transforming Cities programme which funded the scheme’s introduction and this funding will enable us to build on that success by providing more people with a viable alternative to travelling by car."

Beryl chief executive Phil Ellis added: "Their inclusion in our scheme makes e-bikes both affordable and increasingly accessible. We're therefore delighted to be able to add more e-bikes in Norwich as part of this funding, giving many more people the opportunity to benefit from them."