The city’s cycle hire scheme is relaunching at the end of the month, with electric bikes included in the fleet for the first time.
The scheme, which is now named Beryl BTN Bikes, will initially include 75 e-bikes operating from 19 hubs along the seafront and routes to Brighton and Hove stations. This will increase to 125 during this first phase.
Further phases will see the rollout of the rest of the fleet of 468 e-bikes and 312 pedal only bikes to create a total fleet of 780 bikes, nearly 200 more than the previous scheme.
Brighton and Hove City Council will also consult on 15 new hubs to extend the scheme’s coverage across the city.
The Beryl app is already available to download. Prices will be announced soon, with electric bikes costing more than standard pedal ones.
Councillor Jamie Lloyd, member of the of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “What a fantastic way to start the spring.
“The Beryl BTN bikes look fantastic and I can’t wait to see people using them.
“This new look scheme will take cycle hire in the city to a new level with e-bikes and new bays.
“Cycling is a great way to get around Brighton & Hove, but not everyone has the space to store their own bike. The e-bikes will also make it easier to navigate some of the city’s steeper roads.
“Getting on a bike is a proven way to improve your physical and mental health and Beryl BTN Bikes make hiring one quick, easy and affordable.”
Phil Ellis, CEO and cofounder of Beryl, which has been awarded the contract to start the schem, said: “We’re truly excited to be working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and are really excited to be launching our service in one of the country’s most progressive and vibrant cities.
“We have a proven track record of working in partnership with major cities and in consultation with communities and key stakeholders to deliver successful schemes that play a crucial role in integrated urban transport systems.
“Our vehicles are not only good for the environment, they’re also fun, easy to use and cost-effective, removing the need for vehicle ownership expenses such as fuel, tax, MOT, storage and maintenance.
“We hope that, from the launch of the first phase later this month, the scheme will encourage as many people as possible to switch to more sustainable transport.”
The scheme first launched in August 2017, when Hourbike was awarded the contract to run it.
When the contract was retendered last year at a value of between £13 and 14 million, the council tweaked the proposed terms to require that some of the fleet should be made of electric bikes.
Meanwhile, both the bikes and the communications technology used by the Hourbike scheme – which relied on patchy 3G mobile coverage – were becoming too old and so its bikes were pulled from the road in December before the new contract was finalised.