Georgia Yexley, Head of Growth at Beryl, recognised the importance of maintaining access to bikes for key workers right from the start of lockdown, and worked tirelessly to make it easy and convenient for workers to use Beryl Bikes. She advocated internally to ensure a fleet of bikes was available for long-term loan to key workers in London, and led discussions with partners in all Beryl cities to execute a series of free ride initiatives.These were focused on keeping key workers and NHS staff moving for free in a safe and convenient way during COVID-19 lockdown. Over 8,400 rides were taken by NHS workers during the immediate months of the pandemic and 400,000 free ride minutes were provided to key workers.
As lockdown measures eased, Georgia worked with councils in Beryl’s operating areas to drastically lower the barrier to cycling for the general public through the #BetterByBike campaign. This work resulted in free or heavily discounted ride initiatives in Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Hereford, Norwich, Watford and London. This national campaign allowed people to return to work, enjoy a bike ride for mental and physical benefits and ultimately create behaviour change towards more sustainable modes of transport.