Dumped Beryl bikes 'extremely rare' as new figures show success of scheme
- Credit: Ben Hardy
New figures show just how popular the take-up of e-scooters and bikes has been within the city.
Since the Beryl bike hire scheme was launched in Norwich in 2020, more than 245,000 journeys have been completed covering 845,000 kilometres by bike, e-bike and e-scooter.
Despite a Beryl bike being recently dumped on the side of Marriott's Way near Wensum Park, such incidents are "extremely rare", the company says.
Statistics from Beryl show 94pc of journeys have ended in a designated bay since the scheme's inception.
Chris Andrews, the county council's stakeholder and engagement manager, said: "Our dedicated operational team in Norwich regularly reposition our bikes and e-scooters to ensure maximum availability for all users, and retrieve any bikes left outside of a designated bay.
"Ridership is high, and every journey on one of our vehicles helps to make Norwich cleaner, greener and less congested.’’
Ben Price, a Green Party city and county councillor, said the Beryl scheme has been far more successful than the previous Ofo bike-sharing scheme which was used in Norwich.
He believes the lack of designated bays for the Ofo scheme meant it was all too easy for people to abandon bikes or dump them in the river.
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The Ofo bike-sharing scheme saw users unlock the bikes with an app before riding them and parking them anywhere for the next person to use.
Mr Price hailed the impact of the Beryl scheme in helping to reduce "massive amounts of carbon" and to improve air quality.
But Mr Price said he would like to see further commitment to green transport in the county council's Local Transport Plan 4.
He said: "What [the county council] is spending on pedestrian and cycle routes is miniscule. I am not a supporter of shared pedestrian and cycle routes. I do not want to create hate for cyclists.
"They are too concerned with large road infrastructure projects."
The county council said its vision is to facilitate a range of low carbon options to meet transport needs and retain business investment in the county.
Beryl Bays were launched in March 2020, which saw 89 Beryl Bays with 465 pedal bikes and 115 e-bikes introduced to Norwich for the first time.