Cycle hire scheme relaunches with electric bikes

Posted On 16 Mar 2023 at 10:48 am

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.

  1. Bear Road resident Reply

    That’s going to make the pavements even more unsafe for pedestrians – I doubt that the users of these electric bikes will be sticking to the road…

  2. Seafront resident Reply

    No mention of the £13.5m contract cost for the new scheme.
    Or how much the old scheme cost.
    Full public disclosure please.

    • Jonathan Simons Reply

      Errr read the article: “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.”

  3. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    Well, if they’re going to be riding them on the shingle, as in the photo, puncture kits should be included.

  4. Peter Challis Reply

    Will be extremely interested to see how much the charges will be for electric and non-electric bikes and how this compares to bus fares and using my own car.

  5. Mark Reply

    Can’t wait to pay for an ebike, to find out it has no power left! As it looks like they are only putting charge points inside the golden triangle.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      Beryl will have eCargo bikes transporting fully charged batteries around the city to swap with emptier ones. Some hubs in central areas will be upgraded to charge bikes, but not all of them.

  6. Nathan Adler Reply

    A total missed opportunity not to include e scooters even though they were part of the consultation. Want people to get out of their cars give them all the options possible.

    • Peter Challis Reply

      B&HCC had options to trial rental eScooters in the city but decided against as they were worried they would reduce Brighton BikeShare revenues which the council were financially supporting.

  7. Nuwang Reply

    Can’t wait. E-bikes have huge potential in Brighton and this scheme will give many who have always wish to try them a chance to do so without paying the upfront costs.

  8. Sue Brown Reply

    So the council chose the most corrupt bike rental company. They are well known for overcharging people and not having any decent customer service for complaints.

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