New e-bike scheme set to hit streets of Leeds after almost £3m invested in docking stations across city

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A new e-bike scheme is set to hit the streets of Leeds from tomorrow (September 15).

The fully electric bike hire service comes after an investment of £2.86m, with docking stations spread out across the city centre and key routes to the south and north-west of Leeds - and there are already plans for the Leeds City Bikes initiative to expand to other areas.

It has been designed by British e-bike operator Beryl in partnership with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The service was made possible after funding was secured through the West Yorkshire Mayoral devolution deal.

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A special event will be held on September 23 to mark the launch of the service, with the opportunity for people to try out the bikes and enjoy activities with prizes up for grabs. The rides will run from Cookridge Street from 10am to 4pm and can be booked on EventBrite.

The new public e-bike hire service, Leeds City Bikes, is set to hit the streets from tomorrow (September 15).The new public e-bike hire service, Leeds City Bikes, is set to hit the streets from tomorrow (September 15).
The new public e-bike hire service, Leeds City Bikes, is set to hit the streets from tomorrow (September 15).

Coun Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “It’s fantastic to see this scheme launching. A public bike hire scheme has been a long ambition of Leeds and it’s a crucial part of offering quick and sustainable journeys across the city centre.

"We want Leeds to be a city where you don’t need to own a car and a key part of that is expanding and supporting our cycling network. This bike hire scheme is a great way use that network for short journeys, as well as long hopefully in the future.

“We know that compared to conventional push bikes, e-bikes are an easier access point for new users including older people, women, people with limited physical strength, people who have limited cycling confidence or experience and people who are looking to take up cycling. I hope that Leeds City Bikes will encourage more people to try cycling without the investment of buying their own bike.”

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This work is part of the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy to make Leeds a city where a car is not necessary.

The service is being funded by the Combined Authority through its Transforming Cities Fund programme, which is aimed at making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.

Subject to further funding, it is hoped the Leeds e-bike hire service will be the first of many to be rolled out across West Yorkshire in the future.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “It’s great to see these e-bikes on the streets of Leeds. We want to create a stronger and better-connected region so everyone has the same opportunity to get on in life.

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“A reliable and inclusive transport network, which puts walking and cycling at the heart of our everyday journeys, is key to this.”

Phil Ellis, CEO of Beryl, said: “We’re delighted to be working with another of the UK’s major transport authorities to make sustainable transport even more accessible to people across Leeds while helping to further decarbonise the city’s integrated transport system.

"We are the UK’s only home-grown shared transport provider, designing and assembling our own products and industry-leading technology, while maintaining control over safety, durability and quality.

“Our bikes are not only fun, reliable, and simple to use, they’re also cost-effective compared to private vehicle ownership, removing the costs associated with fuel, parking, storage, tax, maintenance, MOT and insurance. By swapping four wheels for two, you can not only contribute towards improving air quality and reducing traffic congestion, you can also boost your own physical and mental health, so why not give it a go.”

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Selina Stead, Executive Dean for Faculty of Environment, said: “The University of Leeds is keen to support and promote sustainable travel options like e-bikes. This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit our community of staff and students. We look forward to encouraging people to use this new e-bike hire service.”