Leeds to launch an e-bike hire scheme this autumn
Leeds, a city in the northern English county of Yorkshire, has signed off a new electric bicycle scheme. More than 650 e-bikes will be available for hire via Beryl Bikes, with the system launching in Leeds later this year.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) approved the plans, which include docking stations to be installed in the city centre and inner suburbs. Leeds expects the bikes to become available for hire this September.
The scheme will run as ‘Leeds City Bikes’ but will be operated by Beryl Bikes, which runs similar systems in Norwich, Bournemouth and Greater Manchester. Beryl Bikes won a tender that the Leeds City Council published last year.
Helen Hayden, the council’s executive member for infrastructure, told a WYCA meeting: “We’ve got a lot of confidence in the operator, and I’m really pleased we’re having docking stations.
“It won’t be like when you go to London and bikes are strewn here, there and everywhere.”
Unlike free-floating schemes such as Lime, for example, users in Leeds must register via the app and return the bike to a docking station.
The combined authority will contribute £2mn to fund 515 e-bikes, with Beryl Bikes providing a further 140, bringing the total budget to £2.86 mn.
The council has said the costs of renting one of the bikes will be “comparable to public transport fares”. In addition, referring to Beryl’s website, the operator usually runs three price options comprising one-off trips, a fee for a whole day or pre-paid minutes with prices starting at 5p per minute.
In Leeds, the first docking stations will be installed in Meanwood and Shaftesbury Junction, as well as the city centre and along key routes to the south and north-west of the city, before expanding to other areas, Beryl informs.
Initially, about 300 e-bikes will be available from docking stations at key locations, and the operator also wants to incorporate tricycles and e-cargo bikes.
Leeds will reveal further details of the scheme at a later date.