Beryl Bikes: 'Exciting' new Leeds e-bike hiring system confirmed for travel in and out of city centre
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It’s hoped the system, which is expected to launch in September, will provide a green alternative to the car and encourage more people to take up cycling.
Cyclists will be able to travel in and out of the city centre by picking up an e-bike from a docking station, which will be dotted around a number of Leeds’ inner suburbs, as well as in the heart of the city.
Users will have to register via a mobile phone app and will have to return the bike to a docking station, rather than just abandoning it.
Speaking at a West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) meeting where the plan was given approval, Leeds councillor Helen Hayden said she was “delighted” it was going ahead.
Councillor Hayden, who is the council’s executive member for infrastructure, said: “The operator is very experienced and very excited to come to Leeds. We’ve got a lot of confidence in the operator and I’m really pleased we’re having docking stations.
“It won’t be like when you go to London and bikes are strewn here, there and everywhere. They have to go back in a docking station.
“I’m really excited about this, especially for the students coming back (in September), it will be great.
“Growing up in Leeds in my twenties and thirties I never thought I’d ever see so many people going into Leeds city centre on a bike.”
Councillor Hayden said docking stations would be in place in a “circle” around Leeds’ inner suburbs, with Meanwood and Shaftesbury Junction among the first in line to benefit.
Outer areas of the city will be excluded initially, although it’s hoped that if the scheme is a success it can be rolled out further.
WYCA officer Vicky Dumbrell said: “Orders have now been placed for a proportion of the bikes.
“Leeds has a lot of cycling infrastructure already in place on its roads and there’s confidence this will be a success.”
Around two thirds of the £2.8m bill to set up the system will be footed by the taxpayer, with the rest being paid by Beryl Bikes.
Ms Dumbrell also said that a quarter of the operator’s profits from the scheme will be reinvested into it, to “ensure it’s a success”.