Cycling taking off as more of us saddle up

Thousand of cyclists enjoyed a preview of this years Lights on the Prom  ' and more people than ever are saddling up, say new figures.
Thousand of cyclists enjoyed a preview of this years Lights on the Prom ' and more people than ever are saddling up, say new figures.
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Pedal power is taking hold in Blackpool, new figures show more residents then ever are now saddling up and taking up cycling.

A survey by Sport England found the number of people from the resort who are regularly cycling has increased from 12 per cent to 17 per cent.

It means Blackpool has the highest proportion of regular cyclists in the North West.

Initiatives such as creating cycle routes, setting up new clubs and developing a hire-a-bike facility are credited with encouraging people to get on their bikes.

The town’s annual Ride the Lights curtain raiser to the Illuminations has also proved massively popular.

Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for streets and transport, said: “These statistics reflect the tremendous work that is being done to create a cycling culture in Blackpool.

“When Blackpool was named a Cycle Town by Cycling England in 2008 we pledged to try to create a cycling culture within the town.

“That made great sense because of the flat nature of Blackpool’s roads, because cycling is a sustainable form of transport and because of the positive impact cycling can have on health and fitness.

“We’ve continued to work towards encouraging people to cycle ever since and that work is clearly having a very positive impact.

“These results are extremely positive and I hope we can continue to be the best in the North West.”

The Department for Transport figures taken from the Active People Survey by Sport England, show the amount of regular cyclists (five or more times a week), the amount of people who cycle once a week and the amount of people who cycle once a month in Blackpool all increased significantly last year.

A tendering process is currently under way to find a new commercial operator for the Hire-a-Bike scheme, which it is hoped will be back up and running this summer.

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