Watford bike bay with bikes

Beryl Watford scheme celebrates second anniversary

The UK’s leading micromobility provider Beryl, along with Watford Borough Council and bike share sponsor Camelot, are today celebrating the second anniversary of the town’s scheme.

Launched on Monday 2 March 2020, the scheme has amassed 194,644 journeys over its first two years, equating to a total distance of 634,952 km, the equivalent of nearly 16 journeys around the Earth. 

Feedback from users shows that almost a quarter (22.98%) of bike and e-bike journeys in Watford have replaced road transport journeys - including driving a car/van, being a passenger in a car/van, using a taxi or riding a motorbike or moped.

This equates to almost six tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions saved; the equivalent of around 392,679 boiled kettles or more than 146 flights from London to Edinburgh.*

A key component in Watford Borough Council’s pledge to become a carbon neutral town with more sustainable travel options, the scheme currently comprises 200 pedal bikes and 100 pedal-assisted e-bikes. 

The bikes can be picked up from or dropped off at 72 clearly marked ‘Beryl Bays’, which were located and installed in partnership with Watford Borough Council and key stakeholders. This means that, currently, 83,300 people are a 5 minutes-walk from a bay, representing 86% of the service area's population.

There are three different styles of bay, all of which are visible in-app as well as on Google Maps, Apple Maps and on-street. As well as traditional stands, there are also planters and parklets - small landscaped areas with seating and planting. These were designed to contribute to the greening of the town and create more enjoyable outdoor space for the whole community, not only Beryl Bike users. 

Beryl CEO, Phil Ellis, said: “We aim to remove the barriers that stop people using sustainable transport and inspire them to give it a go, so I’m delighted to see the positive impact that our Watford scheme has had in its first two years. 

“The scheme was planned carefully with local authorities and stakeholders to make sure it was suited to the needs of the community it serves and I think that has been reflected in the take-up.

“By offering both bikes and e-bikes, which have their own benefits and appeals, we are delivering a range of services that can better contribute towards the aims of an integrated transport network.

“This is important if we want to get people out of the car and reduce congestion while improving public health and the quality of our air.”

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said, “It’s great to see so many people making the most of the Beryl bike scheme, helping us move towards a carbon-neutral Watford by 2030, while keeping users healthy and active. 

“I’m proud to have fulfilled one of my key manifesto pledges, and we’re looking at how we can encourage more sustainable transport options for the future – helping to make our air cleaner and our roads less congested.”

You can hire a Beryl Bike or an e-Bike through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users. 

The Beryl e-Bike can be differentiated from the Beryl Bikes through an electrified symbol that will be visible on the bike and bay icons in-app. The remaining range of the Beryl e-Bike is also displayed in-app ahead of hiring the bike so riders are able to confirm the battery will last throughout their journey. 

Beryl’s e-Bikes have a centre mount pedal assist, ensuring a lower centre of gravity in the bike which provides a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Electric power is provided through pedal assist, meaning the rider can adjust the speed of the bike through the power in their pedalling. 

The electric assist of the Beryl e-Bike is capped at a max speed of 15.5mph (24.9kmph) in accordance with UK law. The local Beryl operations team manage all the onstreet maintenance and use a battery swapping process to ensure the e-bikes are charged and ready for use.

*Carbon saving calculations are approximate and are based on industry research