THE co-founder of Bournemouth’s first bike share scheme said it was essential for the service to be affordable for everyone.

An initial set of 50 Beryl bikes will be available in the town from Monday.

The firm, which secured a contract for the project from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, offer three payment options for their dockless scheme.

Riders can use pay-as-you-ride with a £1 unlock fee and 5p per minute charge while on the bike, minute bundles with no unlock fee and bundles starting at 100 minutes for £5, or day passes with 24 hours unlimited riding for £12.

This differs from arrangements in some other towns and cities, where users are given a flat fee for a set time period and additional charges for use beyond this duration.

Phil Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Beryl, said: “It has to be affordable and accessible to absolutely everybody.

“We think this is one of the best value bike share schemes there is. You can use this bike share system for a short ride to just go down to the shops for five minutes and you will only pay 25p.

“If you want if for the whole day because you are visiting or with friends, you can use the day pass for the 24 hours.

“It has a lot of flexibility and gives another option for people. We want to offer something for the people who are forced or choose to do short trips in a car on their own.”

He added: “It has been a good number of years in development.

“We have been working hard to get the bikes ready and marked up around 100 bays across Bournemouth and Poole so we can let people cycle from bay to bay using our app to make whole process a real joy.

“Hopefully, the density of bays will mean people are not able to miss the bikes.”

Residents and visitors can hire a bike through the Beryl app, which is available on smart phones. The three-speed gear bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked bays that have been selected across the town or left in any location with an additional charge incurred.

To complete a ride, users simply secure the bike using the attached lock through the rear wheel.

Beryl plans to increase the number of bikes in the scheme to 1,000 as summer progresses, with them spreading further across the conurbation.

Nick Phillips, BCP Council accessibility team leader, who worked on the project for two years, said: “It is fantastic to have a world class bike share scheme, with brand new technology, delivered here in Bournemouth, completely free of charge to the council.

“It is cheap, convenient, environmentally friendly and will help your fitness.”