Beryl Vs The Bus

6th March 2023

We wanted to give you a full review of the sustainable transport we chose for our travels to complete the Travellers Charm. These ratings are out of 5, based on our experiences on the day in Norwich and are in comparison to one another. We appreciate that where you live, you may not have access to these facilities. The intentions of the video and this review is to demonstrate the alternative options out there and hopefully inspire people to consider more sustainable travel habits.

Firstly, we have the Beryl Scooter: (Harry)

Reliability – 5

The vast amount of Beryl docks now within Norwich, makes this mode of transport super reliable. Beryl now has 95 docking bays across Norwich, claiming that more than 60 per cent of the service area’s population live less than a five-minute walk from one. This instant access service makes waiting for a bus a thing of the past!

Practicality – 3

Bicycles/scooters are great for our health for lots of different reasons, but with seasons like ours, we understand why it’s not always the first choice. However, on a nice sunny, dry day, active travel is top of our list, and we wouldn’t want to use anything else!

Sustainability – 4.5

Although there are no direct emissions, they are still emitted further down the production line. Nonetheless, this transport beats most in terms of sustainability. From Beryl being in Norwich for 2 years, 76 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved – the equivalent of around 5,073,071 boiled kettles.

Conditions – 4

Regarding the general wear and tear of the Beryl’s, when parked within the bays, they’re usually in good condition, and batteries are often charged with a maintenance team on hand to fix any problems.

Price – 3

The price really depends on what you ride and how long you’re using them for. With ranges of conventional bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters; going up in price in that order. But from my experience, the price was reasonable because I had already purchased minute bundles. With this e-scooters, are reduced from 14p a minute, to 5p a minute, which is great value for short trips.

TOTAL: 3.9/5

Overall, I really like the implementation of e-bikes and e-scooters and glad that they’ve had success in Norwich. I would like more towns and cities to join in, and hope that this inspires more people to give it a go…when it’s not raining.

Price isn’t a huge deterring factor, as their purpose isn’t to be used all day, it’s more for linking longer journeys, so you shouldn’t typically spend a lot of time or money on them. Practicality is more of a concerning factor for me, and I would assume most others, which is ultimately the great British weather, not the Beryl itself.

Secondly, First Bus: (Eden)

Reliability – 3.5

When the bus is on time, it is very efficient. However, there are occasions when road works, overly crowded buses or breakdowns impede the bus service’s reliability and frequency.

My bus trip ran smoothly on route to Thorpe St Andrew, with multiple bus options that could have taken me to my destination. However, on my way back to the office, I waited for a total of 20 minutes for the next bus service to arrive, luckily, I wasn’t in a hurry! I had checked on the First Bus app for the bus in real-time to see where it was, however, the bus didn’t turn up, hence I had to wait for the next one.

Practicality – 4

Compared to cycling and walking, taking public transport can be more comfortable in poor weather conditions, and provides a break for anyone who wishes to relax during their journey to work. The bus was clean and had good facilities such as charging points and WIFI, it also keeps you warm and dry on a cold rainy day.

Sustainability – 3.5

Bus emissions will be based on the number of passengers. Based on this model, on average, each passenger on the bus will emit 89g of CO2 per km, whereas a diesel car produces 123g of CO2 per km travelled. On the active travel hierarchy, public transport contributes to carbon emissions, but it is still much more sustainable than single occupancy car use. A double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the road!

The amount of emission could also be further reduced by an estimated of 600 tonnes a year by the introduction of electric buses in the First Bus local fleet.

Conditions – 4

In comparison to walking and cycling, public transport is not as limited under weather conditions. In my case, the condition was great as it wasn’t a very crowded bus, and I could navigate in and out of the bus easily. However, it is understandable that perhaps at peak travel times, the seating or conditions of the bus could be less enjoyable.

Price – 3.5

For the price of £5.30, I got an adult day ticket to travel within the Norwich zone. For people travelling 5 days a week it might be slightly expensive, however, if you only travel for a day and have multiple trips as I did, then a £5.30 ticket for a few trips is absolutely worth it. If you use the bus often it will also work out much cheaper if you buy weekly or monthly tickets available on the First Bus website.

Considering the vehicle excise duty, fuel, MOT and all other fees of having a car, £5.30 a trip is much cheaper than owning a car.

Total: 3.7/5

Overall, I enjoyed my experience on the bus. I find it especially helpful when I want to have a carefree journey. It is also great to know that by taking the bus, I am helping to create job opportunities, whilst reducing road congestion and air pollution.

So, to conclude…

Each have their own pros and cons, but our ratings have fallen in Beryl’s favour. As far as sustainable transport goes, on a dry day, we wouldn’t choose anything other than a Beryl scooter or bike, based on sustainability and because it’s fun!

But the purpose of this comparison isn’t to choose one and disregard the other, we think they’re both great. They can balance each other out and are great facilities to have with such easy access. Utilising the frequent bus services when it’s cold and you’re feeling tired; and the Beryl when the sun is shining, or even use both to connect journeys.

We hope you found this comparison useful, and if you want to give scooting a go but do not feel confident enough, you can book lessons online at:

Alternatively, if you’re more in favour of the bus, you can download the First bus app here:

See the video highlights here: