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A new bike and electric bike sharing scheme is being launched across Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight today.

Solent Transport, its local authority partners and Beryl Bikes, have created the brand-new bike share scheme, giving thousands of people the chance to enjoy two-wheeled travel. The scheme, called ‘Beryl Bikes by Breeze’, offers e-bikes and pedal bikes for hire across Portsmouth, Southampton and on the Isle of Wight.

‘Beryl Bikes by Breeze’ is part of the Solent Future Transport Zone, funded by the Department for Transport. It aims to help reduce congestion and CO2 emissions, improve air quality, and inspire healthy and affordable active travel choices across the Solent region. Starting with an initial pool of 200 pedal bikes and 235 e-bikes it will increase to a fleet of more than 1000 bikes across the region by spring of next year. This bikeshare fleet, joins Solent Transport’s e-scooter hire project, providing people across the region with more choice and opportunity to make sustainable journeys and improving travel options for all.

Riders will be able to hire a bike through the new micromobility app, Breeze, developed by Solent Transport. Breeze also lets you hire both Beryl and Voi e-scooters and plan journeys on buses and trains across south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. In future there are plans for more features including the ability to buy bus, rail and ferry tickets through the Breeze app. The bikes also work with the Beryl Bikes app.

As the scheme expands, most people living in the operating area will be within a five-minute walk of a hire bike. Providing bikes at more than 100 sites across the region, Beryl Bikes by Breeze will give better access to transport and inspire even more people to take up sustainable travel, helping to improve air quality and public health.

Both pedal bikes and e-bikes are available for everyone aged 16 and above, offering fun, easy and sustainable travel for residents and visitors alike. In future, cargo bikes and adapted bikes will be added to the scheme, ensuring a wide range of user requirements are catered for.

Solent Transport, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth City and Southampton City Councils are united in their vision for delivering a regional bike share scheme that offers a more cost effective and coordinated approach to transforming public transport as part of the Solent Future Transport Zone.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, Chair of the Solent Transport Joint Committee and Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation , said As we face a global climate emergency, it’s more important than ever that our residents have access to more sustainable ways to travel. We are delighted to be able to launch the scheme across three key areas in the Solent. We want to make cycling as easy and accessible for as many of our residents as possible. Beryl Bikes by Breeze will not only help protect the natural environment but encourage people to get active and even save money at a time when fuel is so expensive”.

Both Breeze and Beryl apps are available to download from the App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android users. Once registered, you can use the apps to simply pick up and drop off bikes at secure parking places close to where you live and work.

Beryl Bikes by Breeze users can Pay-As-You-Ride (£1 unlock fee + 5p per minute for bikes, £1.50 unlock fee + 10p per minute for e-bikes). Once their ride is complete, users simply close the lock on the bike to end their ride and make the bike available for the next person to use. GPS trackers on the bikes will alert Beryl to any misuse, vandalism and vehicles ending up in locations outside the zone of operation.

The bikes are fully insured through Beryl’s public liability insurance. This is included in the prices charged for bike hire. Riders must observe the Highway Code and are strongly encouraged to wear a safety helmet and hi-vis clothing when using the bikes.

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