The shared sustainable transport provider, Beryl, will be expanding its presence across three neighbouring councils in Hertfordshire…
This is thanks to partnership work helping to encourage widespread adoption of active travel in the county.
The latest developments in Beryl’s regional expansion comes as a result of Watford Borough Council’s decision to extend its contract with the company until 2026, Three Rivers District Council introducing Beryl Bikes’ services into Croxley, and Hertsmere Borough Council extending the service into Bushey.
This collaboration between the three neighbouring councils means that Beryl will now be available in more places, creating a seamless and interconnected network in parts of the county. Users will be able to ride the bikes across these areas without any hassle, creating a smooth and straightforward experience for users moving between Croxley, Bushey, and Watford.
Upcoming plans for Beryl include five new docking stations and 15 e-bikes in Bushey for Hertsmere, funded through section 106 development contributions. Three Rivers will also finance the same amount for a two-year e-bike pilot in Croxley via their capital budget. These e-bikes will integrate into the existing fleet, offering flexibility between regular and electric bikes.
For the two councils currently collaborating with Beryl, they have witnessed remarkable transformations in sustainable transportation within their communities.
In Watford, since March 2020, there have been over 410,000 sustainable journeys, replacing more than 81,000 private vehicle trips and preventing over 44 tonnes of carbon emissions. In Hertsmere, since October 2022, 15,000 journeys in Elstree and Borehamwood covering 32,000 km involved 1,581 users and saved 1.03 tonnes of carbon
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “Since we launched our Beryl Bike scheme in 2020 it has been a big success. I am delighted that we are now expanding it into new areas, which will benefit all of us.
“Working with neighbouring councils, more people will be able to use these bikes. Users of the bikes improve their own health and at the same time help to cut congestion and air pollution in our area. I can’t wait to see the bikes being used by even more people in the years ahead.”
Councillor Jeremy Newmark, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “One of our key priorities has been to create a more sustainable Hertsmere, so I am delighted we have worked with neighbouring authorities to open the cycle hire scheme to the benefit of all our communities.
“We want to support our residents to be able to get out of their car and to use more sustainable transport, which will not only benefit our environment, but our health and local economies too. The extended scheme now enables our communities to make quick and easy trips – perfect for work, school, leisure or running errands.”
Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Deputy Council Leader of Three Rivers District Council, said: “This is great news and something that the council and I have pushed for over three years. Now with joint agreement with Watford and funding from Three Rivers this is a reality. The council has always been and remains committed to sustainable travel to reduce the number of private vehicles used for short journeys and to cut air pollution.
“This is a two-year pilot with five base stations in Croxley Green, and so the council will monitor how successful this scheme is until 2026. I hope that this can be rolled out across the district, so all our residents outside Croxley Green can have easy access to a Beryl Bike and get all the benefits of cycling.”
Beryl CEO and Co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “We want to encourage even more people to take up sustainable transport and expanding our services to serve new areas enables us to do this. By getting more people out of the car and onto two wheels, we can contribute towards getting more people active and improving public health as well as cutting congestion on the region’s roads and improving air quality.”