Beryl and Norfolk County Council offering free bike rides to ease pressure on public transport

Norfolk County Council and Beryl have launched a free riding initiative to ease pressure on public transport across Norwich.

Starting from today, residents will be encouraged to cycle during commuting hours with 30 minutes of free riding being offered on Beryl pedal bikes and 15 minutes on its e-bikes. The initiative will run from today, 14th September, to 16th October, between 7:30am-9:30am from Monday to Friday.

Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “Active travel already forms a key component of our overall transport strategy and supports our goals to improve both the environment and people’s health but as more people have a genuine need to travel at peak times, when buses are operating at reduced capacity, this puts enormous strain on the key services people rely on to get around.

“The need to encourage travel by sustainable means has never been greater and we hope that offering this incentive will free up vital seats for those who are unable to walk or cycle.”

Beryl CEO Philip Ellis added: “Norwich is like many cities across the UK that saw an exponential rise in cycling during lockdown, and now that number is starting to dip. We want to do everything we can to make cycling more accessible to everyone across the city and also ensure those who have to take public transport can do so in a safe manner.

“Two-thirds of all journeys are less than five miles, a trip that can easily be taken by a bike and within 30 minutes. The benefits of cycling for that long is enough to improve stress levels, physical health and reduce risks of illness.”

The initiative forms part of a package of Government measures in response to COVID-19, paid for through the Department for Transport’s Travel Demand Management fund.

At the end of the trial period, partners will review the impact of the initiative before deciding whether to extend the offer.

Read the September issue of BikeBiz below:

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