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Leeds get go-ahead to launch e-bike scheme this Autumn

As part of the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy, Leeds City Council – along with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority – have announced that this Autumn they will be launching the first fully electric public bike hire service in the UK, enabling more people to cycle short journeys.

The £2.86m scheme will see e-bikes for hire at docking stations in the centre, and on key routes to the south and north-west of the city, before expanding to other areas.

The e-bike scheme will be designed, developed, and delivered by British e-bike hire operator Beryl, in partnership with Leeds City Council, and has been made possible thanks to funding secured through the West Yorkshire Mayoral devolution deal.

Initially an estimated 300 e-bikes, tricycles and e-cargo bikes will be available.

Leeds City Council and the Combined Authority will be working closely with accessibility groups, communities, and other key stakeholders to ensure as many people as possible can access the service.

The Transport strategy has six ‘big moves’, namely

1. Decarbonising transport

2. Creating healthier streets, places and communities

3. Transform the city centre

4. Enhance public transport

5. New technologies

6. Deliver a mass transit network

Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, said: ‘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.” 

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: ‘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 and 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, said:  ‘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.’

The service is being funded by the Combined Authority through its Transforming Cities Fund programme, which is aimed at making it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport. 

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