A KEY component of BCP Council’s Transforming Cities Fund bid will be rolled out today, with the arrival of Beryl Bikes in Christchurch.

The British-owned bike share scheme will offer safe, reliable and enjoyable sustainable travel for residents of the conurbation.

As part of the launch, 50 bikes have been introduced to the service area, with 225 more to added every week for the next couple of months.

Beryl CEO Phillip Ellis said: “The success of our bike share scheme in Bournemouth and Poole has far exceeded people’s expectations.

“We’ve been delighted to have provided such an affordable, flexible and enjoyable micromobility system that now moves into the town of Christchurch creating an integrated sustainable transport network throughout the area.”

“BCP Council’s most recent travel survey showed that Christchurch had the highest percentage of people cycling weekly, so we know the appetite within the area is there and look forward to providing residents with a convenient bike share scheme.”

With the number of bikes across the conurbation increased to 1,200, Beryl is now makes us one of the biggest bikes cycle share system outside of London and, in term of service area, the largest in the county and one of the largest in Europe.

The extension of the Bournemouth and Poole scheme to Christchurch comes at a time when 40,000 people have ridden Beryl Bikes and over 200,000 journeys have been completed since the scheme’s launch last June.

Surveys conducted by BCP Council show 20 per cent of journeys taken by Beryl Bike would have otherwise been made by car, a promising behavioural shift from residents and visitors to the area to take greener trips.

BCP Council Leader Vikki Slade said: “I am really glad that people now have access to Beryl bikes wherever they live in our conurbation.

“It is an important part of our sustainable travel scheme. It ticks a lot of boxes for us, in our ambitions to become carbon neutral and to overcome our ranking as the fourth most congested area in the UK.

“They are great for people who do not have access to bike and can encourage them to move towards using Beryls or getting their own bikes to use for short journeys.

“Short journey times have gone up by 20 per cent over the last four years, that is not good and, through the Beryl bike system, something that we want to change.”

Those in Christchurch will be able to hire a bike through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users.

The bikes can be picked up and dropped off in marked ‘Beryl Bays’ that have been selected and approved in conjunction with local authorities to ensure the scheme is in line with the needs of the community.

Bays will be visible both in app and on the street.

For more information on Beryl’s innovative bike share scheme, visit beryl.cc/bikeshare.