AMBITIOUS proposals for a bike share scheme across Worcester have stepped up a gear with the city council awarding a contract to Beryl, the UK’s largest shared sustainable transport provider.
As part of the bike share scheme, 225 bicycles – 175 of them electric bikes – will be available to hire, from numerous locations across the city.
The proposed network for Worcester will provide more than 50 parking stations, meaning 85 per cent of residents will have a five-minute walk from their home to access a bike. Customers will be able to choose from a number of hire options, including paying by the minute.
Beryl already runs successful bike share schemes in many cities, including London, Brighton, Leeds, Birmingham and Hereford. They also provide the technology for London’s Santander Cycles and the West Midlands Cycle Hire scheme.
Since the launch of the first Beryl bike share in 2019, their schemes have generated almost 5.5 million rides. Nearly 12,000 people report they started cycling with a Beryl scheme, having never cycled before, and 222,000 stated that they had returned to cycling after a break.
The project is part of a £4.5million investment in Active Travel under the Worcester Town Investment Plan, which is grant-funded by the Government’s Towns Fund.
Coun Stephen Hodgson, vice chair of Worcester City Council’s Health and Wellbeing committee, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Beryl, a company which has a wealth of experience in these sorts of schemes across the country.
“The bike share scheme will provide residents and visitors with a convenient and easy option for journeys around the city.
“Increasing the accessibility of cycling in Worcester supports the city council’s goals to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality across the city, and to help people be healthy and active.”
Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Worcester City Council and I’m confident our experience and innovation can help our bikes and e-bikes become a crucial cog in the city’s integrated urban transport network.
“As well as being fun, easy to use, flexible and convenient, our vehicles provide a sustainable option that can also help get people active.
“They’re particularly useful for first and last mile journeys and a great way to connect with other urban transport systems or commute to and from work.”