More than 1,600 trips made on new Leeds e-bikes during first week
More than 1,600 trips have been made on the new e-bikes for hire in Leeds since they arrived in the city centre just over a week ago.
Initial uptake of the scheme has been positive, with more than 1,200 users covering 375 km in the first week. The figures have been released following an official celebration to mark the launch of Leeds City Bikes on Saturday (23 September).
Residents and community groups were joined at the launch event by Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, Cllr Helen Hayden, Leeds’ Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, and Phil Ellis, CEO of bike operator Beryl.
People were invited to join a series of free led rides on Leeds’ growing cycling network, with more than 10 km of segregated lanes in the city centre alone.
Leeds City Bikes is a fully electric public bike hire service delivered by Beryl in partnership with Leeds City Council and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
Phil Ellis CEO of Beryl, said: “Events like this are vital to the successful integration of any new shared sustainable transport scheme as they give people the chance to come along, ask questions, try out the service and learn about how it can benefit them, both individually and as part of a city region.
“It was great to see so many people come down and show their support and enthusiasm for what we are trying to achieve here; which is to break down the barriers to active travel, improve public health and decarbonise transport by reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions.
“The e-bikes are not only convenient, simple to use and fun, they can also save you a lot of money compared to private vehicle use, removing the costs associated with fuel, parking, tax, maintenance, storage, parking, MOT and insurance.”
Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: “It was a fantastic day on Cookridge Street with lots of different kinds of people interested in learning more about the public e-bike hire service which has been a long ambition of this council, and it’s great to
“We want our city to be one that provides a full and comprehensive transport network and an e-bike scheme is a crucial part of that - offering quick and sustainable journeys across the city centre. 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.”
This first phase of the rollout this autumn will see up to 300 bikes at 40 docking locations across the city centre and along key routes to the south and north-west. Further bikes will be delivered in 2024, with numbers doubling to 600 by spring.
The £2.86 million scheme has been made possible thanks to funding secured through the West Yorkshire Mayoral devolution deal.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “It’s been wonderful to see people using the e-bikes this week and I’m looking forward to seeing even more over the coming weeks and months.
“Changing our travel habits is about having access to different options – and e-bike hire is now one of those.
“A reliable and inclusive transport network, which puts cycling and walking at the heart of our everyday lives, is key to our plans for a stronger and better-connected region.”
Dr Robin Lovelace, Associate Professor of Transport Data Science at Leeds University, said: “Investment in active travel is a win-win-win for health, air quality and the local economy. The new bike hire scheme will let people in the University of Leeds and city communities try out cycling on a secure, well-maintained electric-assisted bike. Combined with investment in active travel and public transport measures, this will enable more trips to be made without the costs of cars.
“The scheme aligns with the University of Leeds Climate Plan and will enable more students to get around on their own steam at a pivotal moment in their lives. E-bikes are a quietly revolutionary technology that can increase transport equality. This scheme will accelerate their uptake across the city.”
Find out more information about Leeds City Bikes on the council website.
“Events like this are vital to the successful integration of any new shared sustainable transport scheme as they give people the chance to come along, ask questions, try out the service and learn about how it can benefit them, both individually and as part of a city region."