CHARGES for anyone who leaves a Beryl bike outside a designated bay across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are set to increase by 150 per cent.

The operator of the conurbation’s dockless bicycle hire scheme said the increase from £2 to £5 was being done to “ensure continued responsible use”.

Beryl said the increased charge, which will be introduced from Friday, November 20, is in line with other schemes across the country.

Cllr Mike Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for transport and sustainability, said he supported the decision.

Since the Beryl bikes were rolled out in Bournemouth and Poole in the summer of 2019, and extended to Christchurch this year, the Daily Echo has reported on incidents where bikes had been dumped in rivers, trees, vandalised and parked inconsiderately.

A spokesperson for the company said said: “To ensure continued responsible use of the scheme in BCP, Beryl will be updating its out-of-bay parking fee from Friday, November 20, to £5 in line with its other schemes across the UK.

“Over the last month, Beryl has implemented an additional 40 bays across the service area – this means that 75 per cent of BCP residents are now within a five-minute walking distance of a ‘Beryl Bay’, further encouraging users to make bay-to-bay journeys.

“Beryl also recently updated its riding services to include a pause ride feature, allowing riders to stop out-of-bay for up to 15 minutes without ending the ride.”

If a Beryl bike user leaves the vehicle in one of the 334 painted bays across the conurbation they do not incur a charge.

Beryl said 83 per cent of trips on their 1,200 bikes in BCP end in a bay.

Cllr Greene, who was heavily involved in the former Bournemouth council’s search for a bike hire operator which led to Beryl’s launch with BCP Council, said: “It has been a difficult time for suppliers of transport services across all the roads, so what they want to do, particularly over the winter, is to try to keep their costs under control while continuing to serve the residents of BCP.

“Although it is slightly more restrictive, it is something I am in support of.

“There are now so many Beryl bays, which is fantastic, because of the demand that you are never very far from one. I am happy with the idea that we can control it better and Beryl can control it better as long as bikes are left in those bays.”

On the progress of the bike hire scheme, he added: “I am really, really encouraged by how the residents of BCP have taken to Beryl bikes and made it the success that it is.

“Before we became BCP, we were looking at setting this up. We were looking for the ideal partner and making sure it was a responsible one, who we could work of for the good of BCP.

“What I have seen is that we made the right choice on that.”