British micromobility provider Beryl has said it will be the world’s first provider of a city-wide multimodal fleet of pedal bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters.
The firm, which recently added e-Bikes to its Norwich bike share scheme, been approved by the Department for Transport and Norfolk County Council to operate an e-Scooter trial in Norwich, initially with 100 scooters.
The e-Scooters will be accessible through the same platform as the firm's pedal and e-Bikes.
Beryl said it has championed the ‘hybrid’ (dockless) model that incentivises riders to park in geo-fenced bays, providing the city with a high level of control over vehicles, ‘incentivising responsible parking and ensuring a service that does not impede on the city’s social infrastructure’.
It said 94% of Beryl Bike trips in the city-wide scheme in Norwich end in a ‘Beryl Bay’, and the remaining 6% of bikes that are free floating are easily redistributed to bays by its on street team via cargo bike.
Philip Ellis, CEO and co founder of Beryl said: ‘We’re confident this first truly multi-modal trial will provide a great example of the future for micro mobility services everywhere.
‘We believe this mix of vehicles and infrastructure will deliver the best service possible for our local authority partner as well as the community, supporting the need for a green recovery.’
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: 'E-Scooters could offer cleaner, more efficient and more affordable travel within our towns and cities and the trials in Norfolk will allow us to assess their impact on public space alongside pedal bikes and e-bikes.'
Beryl said the multi-vehicle scheme will give it a unique opportunity to learn how choice of vehicle types can assist members of the public across a wider range of journey types and physical abilities.
It added that this data will help inform the local authority pas to how they can best implement wider sustainable transport plans by incorporating the right vehicle mix. ‘This data-led strategy will allow Beryl to offer a full service micromobility partnership with authorities, advising them on how to implement and run systems that sit alongside long term public transport and environmental strategies.’
The firm said it will update existing parking infrastructure to allow its bikes, e-Bikes and e-Scooters to be hired and parked in an orderly and secure manner.
In a number of cities its bays include planters and seating; whilst there is the ability to add in additional modules like information boards and charging stations. ‘They also carry forward the design language of the existing streetscape, by matching wood varieties and metal colourways.’
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: ‘It’s important to note that while this is a government-backed trial, it is still illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on the highway.’