Norfolk County Council is to launch a new micromobility service with pedal bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters in Norwich through provider Beryl.
British-based Beryl recently added e-bikes to its Norwich bike share scheme and has recently won the e-scooter contract for the same city after beating “major international and VC backed operators”.
The 12-month Norwich e-scooter trial will start with an initial 100 units that can all be accessed through the same platform as their pedal and e-bikes.
Beryl has championed the ‘hybrid’ model that incentivises riders to park in geo-fenced bays, providing the city with a high level of control over vehicles, incentivising responsible parking and ensuring a service that does not impede on the city’s social infrastructure.
Currently, 94% of Beryl Bike trips in Norwich end in a ‘Beryl Bay’ and the remaining 6% of bikes that are free floating are redistributed to bays by Beryl’s on street team via cargo bike.
The multi-vehicle scheme will give Beryl an opportunity to learn how choice of vehicle types can assist members of the public across a wider range of journey types and physical abilities
This data will help inform its local authority partner as to how they can best implement wider sustainable transport plans by incorporating the right vehicle mix.
Beryl said this data-led strategy will allow it to offer a full service micromobility partnership with authorities, advising them on how to implement and run systems that sit alongside long term public transport and environmental strategies.
Philip Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Beryl, said: “We’re confident this first truly multi-modal trial will provide a great example of the future for micro mobility services everywhere.
“We believe this mix of vehicles and infrastructure will deliver the best service possible for our local authority partner as well as the community, supporting the need for a green recovery.”
Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure said Norwich is the ideal place to conduct an e-Scooter trial.
Wilby said the council already had a good working relationship with Beryl and the e-scooters offer a sustainable transport option to an even wider range of people.
He added: “It’s important to note that while this is a government-backed trial, it is still illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on the highway.
“Safety will be of paramount importance.
“We’ve already put a number of measures in place and will be working closely with the police and key local stakeholders to ensure their use is appropriate and does not impact negatively on the wider community.”