Beryl unveils UK’s first fully electric public bike hire service

Posted: 14 June 2023 | | 1 comment

The UK’s first fully electric public bike hire service, Leeds City Bikes, is set to launch with an initial fleets of 300 e-bikes, offering residents and visitors a sustainable transportation option and reducing reliance on private cars.

Leeds Bike hire service

Credit: Beryl

Leeds City Council and Beryl have revealed plans for the launch of Leeds City Bikes, the UK’s first fully electric public bike hire service. Set to roll-out in Autumn 2023, the £2.86 million scheme received final approval from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee. It aims to offer residents, students, workers and visitors an eco-friendly option for short journeys.

Leeds City Bikes will initially provide around 300 e-bikes at docking stations in the city centre, as well as along key routes to the South and North West of Leeds. The service is a collaboration between Beryl and Leeds City Council, made possible through funding from the West Yorkshire Mayoral devolution deal. The partnership aims to encourage sustainable transport and provide a convenient and cost-effective mode of travel.

Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to encourage as many people as possible to switch to more sustainable transport. We have a proven track record of working in partnership with cities and in consultation with communities and key stakeholders to deliver successful services that play a crucial role in integrated urban transport systems.”

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Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Bringing an e-bike hire scheme to our region was ​one of my Mayoral​​ pledges and I’m excited we’re using bikes named after Leeds’ cycling legend Beryl Burton. We want to grow our economy, connect people with opportunities and tackle the climate emergency. A reliable, inclusive transport network, which puts walking and cycling at the heart of our everyday journeys, is key to this.”

Leeds City Bikes aims to leverage the city’s growing cycling infrastructure, offering users access to the network. The service will include e-bikes, tricycles and e-cargo bikes, catering to various needs. Leeds City Council and the combined authority will collaborate with accessibility groups, communities and stakeholders to ensure inclusivity.

The launch of Leeds City Bikes aligns with the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy, which aims to make the city less reliant on car ownership. The initiative is part of the combined authority’s Transforming Cities Fund programme, which focuses on improving walking, cycling and public transport options.

One response to “Beryl unveils UK’s first fully electric public bike hire service”

  1. Ian Byrne says:

    I hope that there will be some research undertaken and made available about how usage compares to purely pedal, or mixed pedal/eBike schemes. In particular demographics (do they attract a younger or older ridership, are ladies more likely to use them, and – subject to commercial constraints – profitability: eBikes are presumably more expensive but is that offset by higher hire charges? The relative costs of hiring an eBike and taking a bus may come into play.

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