British micromobility operator Beryl is rolling out e-scooters across Bournemouth and Poole.
The trial, part of a 12-month Department for Transport pilot in partnership with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, has been fast-tracked as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow residents another form of socially distanced travel for essential journeys.
The scheme is launching today, 25th January, with 50 Beryl e-scooters available to hire through the free-to-download Beryl app. E-scooters will be distributed across bays that include Bournemouth and Poole hospitals as well as Bournemouth and Poole train stations. More e-scooters will be added as lockdown measures ease and will be implemented following analysis of journey data and trends.
Beryl CEO Philip Ellis said: “We are delighted to have fast-tracked the introduction of the Beryl e-scooter scheme to Bournemouth and Poole to help deliver another mode of socially-distanced travel. This latest offering of smart travel strengthens Beryl’s ability to offer safe and sustainable journey options to residents and visitors to the area.
“Since the DfT e-Scooter trials launched in late 2020, we have seen that they are popular and convenient as well as a great tool to help people take greener journeys that would have otherwise been taken by car.
“Our hybrid operating model that has allowed our bike share in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole to be hugely successful, will play a key part in establishing an e-Scooter scheme that is flexible, orderly and beneficial to the entire community.”
Beryl’s e-scooters will operate concurrently with its bike share scheme, allowing riders to hire and drop off e-scooters and bikes from Beryl bays that have been implemented in consultation with BCP Council and other local stakeholders. At launch, the Beryl e-scooter service is permitted for use across Bournemouth and Poole within the service area shown here.
During the trial period, e-scooter riders will be required to provide a valid UK driving license to participate. They will then be asked to provide feedback on their experiences using the vehicles to support data learnings on operating the service.
Beryl e-scooters can be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted but not on pavements. Every Beryl e-scooter has vehicle approval from the Department for Transport, ensuring it meets the highest safety standards. Beryl said it has and will continue to consult with key organisations as the trial progresses.
To begin a trip with a Beryl e-Scooter, users need to follow the in-app directions that will unlock the vehicle for use. At the end of their ride, users must lock the scooter via the app and will hear a chime from the scooter to register that it is locked. Beryl e-scooters available to hire are visible both on street and in the app, with Beryl bays and Bournemouth and Poole’s operating zone also shown in-app.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean said: “The trials of rental e-scooters starting in Bournemouth and Poole could offer a socially distanced way of getting from A to B for key workers and those making essential journeys. Learning from trials already taking place, Bournemouth and Poole’s will see strict safety measures introduced – including license verification and responsible parking incentives, while also helping us better understand any impacts on public spaces.”
Police sergeant Rhys Griffith of Dorset Police added: “Dorset Police are working with BCP and Beryl for the launch of their e-scooter hire scheme. All details have been released about how and where Beryl scooters can be used. We would like to remind the public that all rules still apply for non scheme e-scooters. It is illegal to ride them on any public land, they are classified as ‘powered transporters’.”
The Beryl e-scooter will be available to hire through two payment choices of Pay-As-You-Ride (£1.50 unlock fee + 10p per minute) or Minute Bundles (£1.50 unlock fee and bundles priced at 5p per minute, 100 minutes for £5, 200 minutes for £10, 300 minutes for £15).
Users that park a hired e-scooter outside of a Beryl bay will be charged a £5 convenience fee, while users that lock a Beryl e-scooter outside of the Bournemouth and Poole operating zone will be charged £10. This fee covers operational costs associated with returning vehicles to a bay for another use to ride.