New Leeds e-bikes will cost ‘less than a cup of coffee’ to hire when Beryl Bikes scheme goes live
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Around 300 electric bikes will be made available to hire at docking stations across the city from September, with a further 350 or so to follow in the months after. Leeds City Council has awarded the contract to Beryl Bikes, which already operates similar schemes elsewhere across the country.
Although exact prices have not been confirmed, both Beryl Bikes and the council said they wanted hiring an e-bike to be affordable and accessible. There will be special cheaper offers made available to certain groups too, including jobseekers.
Speaking to the press, Beryl Bikes chief executive and co-founder Phil Ellis said: “We’re very excited about launching this scheme in Leeds. We know e-bikes are a really powerful tool to get people cycling, especially those who haven’t cycled in years or have never cycled. We’re looking forward to getting it going and seeing more people make more journeys. The exact details of the pricing structure are yet to be agreed, but it will be affordable – less than a cup of coffee for a journey – and we’ll be doing membership schemes as well.”
Mr Ellis said he understood the reluctance of some people to take up cycling on safety grounds, said the fact that the bikes are electric and equipped with modern safety features meant they are “a very good bike for a nervous new cyclist to ride.”
David Miller, from the Leeds Cycling Campaign, welcomed the launch of the system, saying it was “not before time”. He said: “We’ve needed an e-bike scheme in this city for a long time. To get people more actively moving around rather than sitting in their cars, especially now the city centre is becoming more cut off for cars, is a good thing.”
The mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said she also hoped the system would appeal to new cyclists. She said: “I love cycling but our topography in West Yorkshire is sometimes challenging, so to have that extra support that an e-bike gives is fantastic. It’s so much fun as well and I think it’s going to be a big moment for Leeds. I hope it will be a success and that we can then roll it out across the rest of West Yorkshire.”