Thousands take to street for cycling event

Sky Ride on Blackpool promenade.
Sky Ride on Blackpool promenade.

PEDAL power ruled the road as thousands of people proved riding Blackpool’s streets is better than driving.

More than 7,000 cyclists transformed the resort’s main roads as eager riders of all ages donned their luminous yellow vests for Blackpool’s first-ever Sky Ride.

From youngsters on trikes to serious cyclists, it was a chance for everyone to get a different view of Blackpool’s sights as traffic was banned from the roads.

And organisers were delighted with yesterday’s turn-out.

Gavin Baxter, Blackpool Council’s cycle town programme manager, said: “We’ve been looking for ways of getting families on their bikes and this is a really great way of doing it.

“One of the most common things we hear which stops people getting on their bikes is a lack of confidence on the roads so it’s good once a year to get people on the roads and make it a really social event.

“We’re really pleased with the turn-out.”

It was not just members of the public who hopped on their bikes for the day, with key roads including South Park Drive, Church Street and part of the Promenade closed to all traffic except cyclists.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism, took part and said: “We’ve seen families out enjoying themselves and it’s an example of how families can enjoy some of the sights in Blackpool that they might not see under normal circumstances.

“Because the roads are so busy cyclists don’t always see some of the delights.”

Hundreds of people flocked to the resort specifically for the ride, including Domonic Clayton, from Oswaldtwistle, who brought his 10-year-old son Joel along after seeing the event advertised.

He said: “I think it’s a really good idea. It’s good for the kids to get them out on the road.”

Clare Rogan and her husband Mark had a shorter journey from Blackpool’s North Shore and Mrs Rogan added: “We’ve ridden the lights before and it’s nice being in a huge group of people, there’s an amazing community spirit.”

For some, however, the event caused traffic misery with locals taking to the internet to complain about the road closures.