First fully electric public bike hire service in UK

The £2.8m Leeds City Bikes scheme, launching this autumn, will enable more people to cycle short journeys.  

Th scheme is part of the Connecting Leeds transport strategy, which aims to make Leeds a city where you don’t need a car. It will be funded by the Combined Authority’s Transforming Cities Fund as part of a wider campaign to make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport.

Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl, and Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, launch the Leeds City Bike scheme

Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl, and Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, launch the Leeds City Bike scheme. Photo courtesy of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

An estimated 300 e-bikes will be available initially, for hire from docking stations at key locations in Leeds city centre and along key routes to the south and north-west of the city. 

Leeds City Council and the Combined Authority will work with accessibility groups, communities and other key stakeholders to ensure as many people as possible can access the service. Tricycles and e-cargo bikes will also be available. 

The scheme will be designed, developed and delivered by Beryl, which runs bike-sharing schemes around the UK, in partnership with Leeds City Council. It’s been made possible thanks to funding secured through the West Yorkshire Mayoral devolution deal. 

The hope is to expand the scheme and roll-out similar bike-hire programmes across West Yorkshire. 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, says: ‘Bringing an e-bike hire scheme to our region was one of my Mayoral pledges and I’m excited we’re using bikes named after Leeds’ cycling legend Beryl Burton. 

 ‘We want to grow our economy, connect people with opportunities and tackle the climate emergency. A reliable, inclusive transport network, which puts walking and cycling at the heart of our everyday journeys, is key to this.’ 

Philip Ellis, CEO of Beryl, adds: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to encourage as many people as possible to switch to more sustainable transport. 

‘We have a proven track record of working in partnership with cities and in consultation with communities and key stakeholders to deliver successful services 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, parking and maintenance.’ 

Cllr Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, adds: ‘We want Leeds to be a city where you don’t need to own a car and a key part of that is expanding and supporting our cycling network. Cycling is a great way to travel for short journeys, as well as long, and this proposal will make it easier for people to make that change. 

‘We know that compared to conventional push bikes, e-bikes are an easier access point for new users including older people, women, people with limited physical strength, people who have limited cycling confidence or experience and people who are looking to take up cycling. I hope that Leeds City Bikes will encourage more people to try cycling without the investment of buying their own bike.’ 

In related news, 100 e-bikes are now available to hire across Nottingham.


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