THE chairman of the Uttoxeter cycling club has welcomed the news that interest in cycling has jumped by more than 40 per cent in East Staffordshire.
East Staffordshire Borough Council put the massive increase down to a link up the Sky Ride to scheme to improve the amount of bike ride routes on offer and also work to improve facilities in the area.
The authority had made improving the amount of people getting in the saddle a priority following a surge in interest in the sport following the Olympics and recent Tour de France victories by Britons.
Olda Novak, chairman of the Uttoxeter Cycling Club said: “I feel very pleased that cycling is becoming more popular in town.
“Our cycling club has grown immensely in the past year and we now have up to 40 to 50 riders going out regularly on a Sunday.
“2013 has been a good year for Uttoxeter Cycling Club and I am positive that 2014 will be even better.
“In 2014 we would like to do more of such successful events and further promote cycling in our area.
“We believe that local council and government will be proud and supportive of such a great community development here as well.”
Bernard Peters, deputy leader for service commissioning said: “These results are incredible.
“We knew it would be popular but little did we know when we became partners with the Sky Ride programme that it was going to be as successful as it has.
“Through the healthy borough initiative thec is committed to offering programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of its residents.
“We are happy to say that we will be continuing this fantastic partnership throughout 2014.”
The Sky Ride Local Rides scheme saw 15 new routes established and saw participation increase by 41 per cent.
Councillor Peters added: “The continued high profile of cycling across Britain – thanks to the successes of the Great Britain Cycling Team and our network of accessible cycling opportunities for sport, fun and fitness – are inspiring thousands of people and we remain ambitious to grow cycling even further over the next three years.”
To coincide with the success of this partnership the council unveiled its new Adapted Cycling Centre.
British Cycling’s chief executive Ian Drake said: “We’re thrilled with the results and the support we have.”
More information is available online at www.goskyride.com or www.eaststaffsbc.gov.uk