Residents will be able to continue using e-bikes and e-scooters to travel sustainably following confirmation Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has extended its partnership with Beryl for a further five years.
The new contract will see the green transport operator providing 800 pedal bikes, 750 e-bikes and 500 e-scooters for instant hire across more than 400 parking bays across the local area until 2028.
For the first time, there are also plans to introduce a handful of innovative e-cargo bikes for local businesses, with these eco-friendly vehicles able to carry out sustainable deliveries aimed at replacing trips a van would normally do.
The Beryl initiative has been running across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole since June 2019, and continues to grow in popularity as more people choose scooters and bicycles to make short journeys.
Since the scheme was introduced across the conurbation four-and-a-half years ago, it has generated more than 1,827,000 rides across nearly 6.4million kilometres – the equivalent of nearly 160 journeys around the Earth.
These journeys have had a significant impact on reducing traffic congestion across Dorset, replacing 650,000 private vehicle journeys.
They’ve also contributed towards getting people active and improving air quality, preventing more than 235 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Councillor Andy Hadley, Portfolio Holder for Climate Response, Environment and Energy at BCP Council, said:
“Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were the first large bike-share scheme deployment areas for Beryl, and working alongside us, they’ve nurtured it here really well over the last five years.
“We’re delighted they have been successful in their re-tender, which means we can retain the service across our towns and streets until 2028.
“As well as providing a reliable service, they have gone much further, helping train residents in how to use eScooters to give them the confidence to ride, regularly assessing the user experience and continuing to focus on how micro mobility can help those with disabilities.
“We look forward to further innovation from them as a key partner in supporting sustainable travel in our area moving forward.”
Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “Obviously we are delighted to extend our partnership with BCP Council and see it as an indication of the great work we have done together to provide the region with the convenient, cost-effective, and simple-to-use scheme.
“The numbers show just how popular it has been and how many private car journeys it has taken off the road, contributing towards reducing road congestion, improving air quality and meeting carbon reduction targets.
“It’s also broken down the barriers to sustainable transport for a lot of people who otherwise may not have had access to, or have been willing to try getting around by bike, e-bike or e-scooter.
“Over the next five years, we will utilise the knowledge and experience we have gained to deliver some significant improvements, which will help make the scheme even more user-friendly and hopefully encourage an even greater take up of sustainable transport habits.”
The achievements of the partnership between Beryl and BCP Council saw it claim The Municipal Journal (MJ) Award for the UK’s Best Transport Decarbonisation Project back in June this year – an accolade considered the highest level of recognition in the UK local authority community.
Beryl have also provided over 180,000 free rides to job seekers, students, low-income hospitality workers, refugees, cycle training organisations and other community group members across the conurbation as part of their Community Champions initiative.
They have also provided opportunities, skills, and training to those with additional learning needs and continue to work with the council on its Supported Internships project, which helps young people aged 19 to 25 who have completed formal school and college but need a final hand in gaining paid employment.