Keeping the wheels moving for key workers

The last few weeks have been unlike anything any of us have experienced before. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses and we adjust to staying at home as much as possible, we know that many people are heading out every day to essential jobs. From healthcare staff and care workers looking after us, to supermarket workers making sure we have access to everyday necessities, there are lots of people who need to move around. We want to ensure these individuals can still be mobile and maintain safe distances from others while travelling to and from their places of work. Here's what we're doing to help keep the wheels moving for key workers.

Bikes are public transport

Right from the beginning of stricter social distancing measures, the UK government has made it clear that cycling is permitted and has taken steps to encourage moving around by bike. Bike shops are on the very short list of businesses permitted to remain open to make sure anyone relying on a bike for transport can do so safely. We've heard from several friends and partners in the cycling world that they've seen an uptick in business as long-neglected bikes are retrieved from garden sheds, ready to be useful again. We've also heard from lots of our customers that they're taking their bike whenever they can to avoid buses and public transport, or where reduced bus services mean they're stranded when finishing a shift late at night.

We've always known it but the current situation makes it abundantly clear: bikes are not just for sport - they're an important option for transport in our cities and towns.

So we're working hard together with our local authority partners to make sure Beryl Bikes are available for everyone who needs them, while supporting our own team to continue working safely.

If you're an NHS employee (and in some cases, another key worker) in one of cities, below you'll find details of promotions and offers to support you to travel by Beryl Bike. We hope it makes your life a little easier at this stressful time - and from everyone at Beryl: THANK YOU!

Key workers can pick up a bike at Bournemouth station

Bournemouth and Poole

Thanks to generous support from BCP Council, we're able to make access to Beryl Bikes free of charge for all NHS staff and key workers in Bournemouth and Poole. We currently plan to make access available until the end of June but will review as the situation progresses. Free rides must:

  • be under 60 minutes
  • end in a Beryl Bay. Rides ending outside a Beryl Bay will incur the usual charges (£2 out of bay, £5 out of zone).

Claiming your free access is easy, but is different depending on whether you work for the NHS or are a key worker in another sector.

NHS Staff in Bournemouth and Poole

Download the app and sign up for an account using your official NHS email address. We'll identify you automatically from your email address, so you just need to unlock a bike and start riding! Remember to end your ride in a Beryl Bay and lock your bike.

For full details, see our help article.

Key workers in Bournemouth and Poole

Thanks to funding from BCP Council, we had a block of minute vouchers available to distribute to key workers on a first come, first served basis. Due the popularity of the scheme, we have now distributed all the vouchers for free minutes.

If you've already received a single-use code to redeem free minutes, you can see our help article for the conditions of the free minutes as well as frequently asked questions. You can also speak to our support team via in-app chat if you need help.

Beryl Bikes are available for free for key workers in Hereford

Hereford

Thanks to generous support from Herefordshire Council, we're able to make access to Beryl Bikes free of charge for all NHS staff and key workers in Hereford. Free rides must:

  • be under 60 minutes
  • end in a Beryl Bay. Rides ending outside a Beryl Bay will incur the usual charges (£2 out of bay, £5 out of zone).

Claiming your free access is easy, but is different depending on whether you work for the NHS or are a key worker in another sector.

NHS Staff in Hereford

Download the app and sign up for an account using your official NHS email address. We'll identify you automatically from your email address, so you just need to unlock a bike and start riding! Remember to end your ride in a Beryl Bay and lock your bike.

For full details, see our help article.

Herefordshire council, school and police key workers

Automatic access is available for the following key workers by signing up with an official email address: council staff key workers; school staff; and police. To start, download the Beryl app and sign up using your work email address. 

  • For council staff: email address ending in herefordshire.gov.uk 
  • For school staff: email address ending in sch.uk
  • For police staff: email address ending in police.uk

We'll identify you automatically from your email address, so you just need to unlock a bike and start riding! Remember to end your ride in a Beryl Bay and lock your bike.

For full details see our help article.

Other key workers in Hereford

We can't identify all key workers by email address. To claim free riding minutes, download the app and sign up for an account. If you can, sign up with an official work email. Once you've signed up, use the in-app chat and send us a message to let us know that you're a key worker. Include your name, job title and where you work so we can quickly verify that you're a key worker. We'll then credit your account with riding minutes.

For full details see our help article.

Key worker bikes in London

London

Due to the operational complexity of our London scheme, and with the Beryl team's safety top of mind, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend public access to Beryl Bikes in London.

However, we know that now more than ever, Londoners are looking to get around on two wheels and avoid public transport at all costs. So we've loaned out bikes free of charge to any key worker who requested one. These loan bikes are now in use across London by teachers, doctors, supermarket workers and many others.

All our loan bikes are now assigned, and if you see a Beryl Bike on the street, it currently belongs to a key worker! So please don't try to hire it. We don't have any more loan bikes available, however if you're a key worker and need a bike, please send an email to support@beryl.cc with details about where you work and what you do, and we'll do our best to connect you to friends and partners who may be able to help.

We look forward to having our bikes back out on the street for public access as soon as we can.

Cassiobury Park in more sociable times

Watford

We've made the decision to make access to Beryl Bikes free of charge for all NHS staff in Watford. Free rides must:

  • be under 60 minutes
  • end in a Beryl Bay. Rides ending outside a Beryl Bay will incur the usual charges (£2 out of bay, £5 out of zone).

NHS Staff in Watford

Download the app and sign up for an account using your official NHS email address. We'll identify you automatically from your email address, so you just need to unlock a bike and start riding! Remember to end your ride in a Beryl Bay and lock your bike.

For full details, see our help article.

Key workers in Watford

Unfortunately, we can't offer free access to key workers outside the NHS in Watford. We're working hard to see how we can support this.

Watford Helps

Watford’s charities are working wonders on the front line of the coronavirus crisis. Beryl's partners at Watford Borough Council are coordinating the effort to help the whole town come together like never before. The Watford Helps COVID-19 appeal will make sure vital money gets to where it’s needed most.

Caring for the sick & vulnerable. Helping the homeless. Bringing hope to victims of domestic abuse. Protecting our elderly from loneliness and isolation. Making sure people can get basic food and other supplies. Your donation will go directly to support charities working on the front lines in these areas.

Text WATFORD to 70331 to give £3 or to 70970 to give £5, or donate to the appeal here.

Beryl Bike in Norwich

Norwich

We've made the decision to make access to Beryl Bikes free of charge for all NHS staff in Norwich. Free rides must:

  • be under 60 minutes
  • end in a Beryl Bay. Rides ending outside a Beryl Bay will incur the usual charges (£2 out of bay, £5 out of zone).

NHS Staff in Norwich

Download the app and sign up for an account using your official NHS email address. We'll identify you automatically from your email address, so you just need to unlock a bike and start riding! Remember to end your ride in a Beryl Bay and lock your bike.

For full details, see our help article.

Key workers in Norwich

Unfortunately, we can't offer free access to key workers outside the NHS in Norwich. We're working hard to see how we can support this.