Enjoying Watford by bike is set to become easier and more accessible for the wider public with the introduction of the Beryl e-Bike.
Enjoying Watford by bike is set to become easier and more accessible for the wider public with the introduction of the Beryl e-Bike. Watford will be the first town in the UK to introduce 25 pedal assisted bikes which are available to hire from today with the number growing alongside the scheme throughout the year ahead. The bikes are being launched as an alternative mode of transport for journeys and commutes that are often being done by private or public motor vehicles. As Watford returns to its usual pace, people are looking for greener and safer modes of transport that can service a wide range of journeys. As data is captured on the type of journeys taken, and how the Beryl e-Bikes move around Watford, 75 more will be rolled out across the town over the coming months.
The 200+ classic Beryl Bikes will continue to serve the majority of trips with the Beryl e-Bikes carrying people on mid to long length journeys where pedal assisted power makes the trip more viable and enjoyable. To date over 40,000 trips have been taken by Beryl Bike in Watford, with Watfordian’s collectively cycling over 206,500 kms.
The launch of the Beryl e-Bike coincides with Beryl’s national #BetterByBike campaign which aims to build on the growing support for cycling in the UK and the positive behaviour changes many have made towards active travel. Beryl will also be launching a Watford specific campaign in the weeks ahead.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: ”We’ve had a terrific response to Watford’s Beryl bike share scheme with over 40,000 journeys taken by residents since the scheme’s introduction in March. Now we are piloting the new e-bikes, which we are great to use for longer journeys and people who need a little help. I'm delighted that we have delivered on one of my key election promises to the town and that this new scheme has been such a success.”
Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl Bikes said: “By introducing Beryl e-Bikes into our fleet, we have an opportunity to support a different type of rider by unlocking more rides that may not have been served with a standard pedal bike. Ultimately the Beryl e-Bikes make cycling more accessible where people may have previously been blocked by physical ability, length of journey or distance. The Beryl e-Bike plays a key role in our mission to lower the barriers to cycling, and replace more car journeys with active and sustainable travel options.“
At launch, the Beryl-eBike will be available to hire through two payment choices:
Pay-As-You-Ride (£1 unlock fee + 10p per minute) or Minute Bundles (£1 unlock fee and bundles priced at 5p per minute, starting at 100 minutes for £5). Beryl e-Bikes can be hired through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users. The bikes can be picked up and dropped off in the same marked ‘Beryl Bays’ which are visible both in app and on street. Bays continue to be implemented to enable wider access and ease of use across the city.
The Beryl e-Bike can be differentiated from the Beryl Bikes through an electrified symbol that will be visible on the bike and bay icons in-app. The remaining range of the beryl e-Bike will also be displayed in-app ahead of hiring the bike so riders are able to confirm the battery will last throughout their journey.
Beryl’s e-Bikes have a centre mount pedal assist, ensuring a lower centre of gravity in the bike which provides a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Electric power is provided through pedal assist, meaning the rider can adjust the speed of the bike through the power in their pedalling. The electric assist of the Beryl e-Bike is capped at a max speed of 15.5mph (24.9kmph) in accordance with UK law. The local Beryl operations team will manage all the onstreet maintenance and use a battery swapping process to ensure the e-bikes are charged and ready for use.
Those using Beryl Bikes are encouraged to wash their hands immediately before and after use, stay two metres away from others whilst cycling and not to ride in groups. Beryl’s guidance on safe use of the service can be found here.
For more information on the initiative, please visit beryl.cc.