Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has agreed for Beryl to become the region’s micro-mobility operator with 1,500 share bikes and e-bikes to be made available in the first phase of the scheme.
Beryl has been running bike, e-bike and e-scooter schemes in Norwich, Watford, Hereford, Bournemouth, and the Isle of Wight, as well as providing technology for Santander Cycles in London and the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) bikes in the West Midlands.
Greater Manchester previously had Mobike running a bike-share scheme. However, this came to an end in September 2018 with the operator explaining that the number of bikes damaged or stolen had made its operation unsustainable.
Responding to the news at the time, the region’s cycling and walking commissioner, Chris Boardman, suggested that the dockless nature of the scheme was perhaps an issue. In contrast, the Beryl bikes and e-bikes will be available from over 200 docking stations across Manchester, Trafford and Salford.
A spokesperson said that the first phase would see bikes available within a five-minute walk of 198,000 households. They added that the docking stations would be conveniently placed, “not only for those that use them, but for all other road and pavement users as well.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We’re fully integrating our public transport system – The Bee Network – and building the UK’s largest cycling and walking network, so I am very pleased to announce that Beryl has been named as our delivery partner for cycle hire, with the first bikes going on the ground later this year.
“Our cycle hire will be one of the largest docked systems outside London and I cannot wait to use the new bikes myself as a way to get from A to B.
“We’re making huge strides towards our plans to build back greener and be carbon neutral by 2038.”
Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl said: ‘’We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected to deliver Greater Manchester’s new cycle hire scheme, bringing our experience and innovation to one of the great city-regions in Europe.
‘’As we begin to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, enabling people to travel safely, affordably, and conveniently by bike will be key to rejuvenating our high streets and improving our environment - particularly reducing air pollution.
‘’Andy Burnham, Chris Boardman and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have fantastic ambition when it comes to active travel, and we’re excited to be playing our role and bringing our experience in delivering world-class cycle hire. There is huge appetite for this scheme, and we can’t wait to see people on our bikes and e-bikes later this year.’’