Beryl is set to become the “world’s first” provider of a city-wide multimodal smart fleet including pedal bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters, having been approved by the DfT and Norfolk County Council to operate an e-scooter trial in Norwich.
The company, which recently added e-bikes to its Norwich bike share scheme, was brought to the city earlier this year through the Transport for Norwich partnership. It is now the city’s e-scooter provider of an initial 100 scooters, which will be accessible through the same platform as its pedal and e-bikes.
The scheme will enable Beryl to learn how choice of vehicle types can assist members of the public across a wider range of journey types and physical abilities. This data will help inform the Local Authority Partner as to how they can best implement wider sustainable transport plans.
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 Beryl e-scooter has already passed vehicle approval from the DfT. Every scooter is fitted with a safety bell and consultations will continue to take place with key organisations such as Norfolk police and local disability groups. Beryl e-scooters can be used on roads and cycle lanes, although not on pavements or shared spaces.
During the 12-month trial period, e-scooter riders will be required to provide a valid UK driving license to participate and will be asked to provide feedback on their experiences using the vehicles. The purpose of the trial is to collect valuable data to ensure a wider roll-out of e-scooter services are as safe for and beneficial to the wider public as possible.
“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,” said transport minister Rachel Maclean.
“The rollout of these trials will continue to build on what we’ve learnt from those in the Tees Valley area. I’ve been in close contact with local MP Chloe Smith to ensure strict safety measures will be in place – including license verification and responsible parking incentives to ensure greater control over the vehicles’ locations.”
Councillor Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, added: “Norwich is the ideal place to conduct an e-scooter trial and I am delighted that we have been successful in bringing them to the city. We already have a good working relationship with Beryl and the e-scooters will make a fantastic addition to our current offer, bringing sustainable transport options to an even wider range of people and support our shared aims to reduce pollution across the city.
“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. Safety will be of paramount importance. We’ve already put a number of measures in place and will be working closely with the police and key local stakeholders to ensure their use is appropriate and does not impact negatively on the wider community.”
Read the August issue of BikeBiz below: