Beryl is launching an innovative scheme on the Isle of Wight to provide access to electric bikes (e-bikes) for residents who regularly travel between Newport and Cowes.
The operator, who already runs the e-scooter hire pilot on the Island, is making e-bikes available in the towns of Newport and Cowes over the next six months – with a focus on underrepresented groups. Participants will be able to use the bikes at no cost for one month and will be incentivised through mileage payments of 60p per mile, up to £50 for the month, reports the Island Echo.
Delivered in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and the Department for Transport, the scheme has a number of key objectives:
- Providing those who may not currently have access to an e-bike with an opportunity to try one.
- Reducing single occupancy private car journeys between Newport and Cowes. The two towns are connected by the Red Squirrel Trail, a former railway line which was closed as a result of Beeching cuts in the 1960s. The trail is just over 5km in length, and offers an attractive traffic free cycling experience.
- Raising awareness of the role that e-bikes can play in replacing short car journeys, reducing congestion and air pollution for everyone.
Overall, it will run for six months, and Beryl will be asking participants for feedback throughout, in order to gauge the impact that the e-bikes have. Growing in popularity, e-bikes have a range of benefits – including enabling people to make further and more journeys by bike than they would on a standard bicycle
The e-bikes available as part of this scheme are the same as those that Beryl offers for hire within its existing schemes in Norwich, Hereford and Watford.
Beryl CEO Philip Ellis has said: ’We’re delighted to be running this scheme on the Isle of Wight. As the UK’s only B Corp certified micromobility operator, playing our part in improving accessibility to active travel is a core aspect of our values.
‘’Scooters on the Island have already been used by over 12,500 individual users and the benefits that e-bikes can provide should be enjoyed by as many people as possible. With price often being a barrier to ownership, schemes such as this will play a key role in widening and expanding access.
‘’We can’t wait to see people riding in Newport and Cowes, and look forward to hearing people’s experiences of using our e-bikes.’’
Councillor Phil Jordan, Cabinet Member for Highways PFI, Transport and Infrastructure, adds: “I am especially delighted that the Island is running an e-bike scheme and confident the trial period will be a great success. I’m sure many people will want to take advantage of these fantastic modes of sustainable travel and I look forward to further expansion of the e-bike scheme around the Island in the not too distant future”