MORE than 50 bikes stands have been installed around the Cotswold Water Park area to encourage more residents to take up cycling. 

In collaboration with Life Cycle, Cotswold District Council has set up 52 new stands around the popular tourist honeypot - and its surrounding towns and villages such as Lechlade, Fairford and South Cerney - to make it easier for residents and visitors to explore the area by bike.

CDC hopes the new additions will help encourage people to cycle to places such as GP surgeries, shops, village halls, football clubs, and playing fields. 

The new bike stands are part of Life Cycle's Take a Stand scheme which aims to provide cyclists with safe places to store their bikes.

The council wants to make the Cotswolds a more bike-friendly area and hopes more residents and visitors will now choose to cycle rather than take a car for everyday errands.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Cllr Juliet LaytonCllr Juliet Layton (Image: CDC)

Juliet Layton, CDC cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said: “This is a really great project to be involved in, and I'm pleased that the council have been able to put this money into something that will make a difference to a lot of people.

“Knowing that there is somewhere you can leave your bike when travelling will hopefully make it easier for people to use their bicycles. 

"Cycling is great for health, helps us reduce our impact on the environment and often means we can avoid having to find a parking space.”

Bernadette Thomson, Life Cycle's Take a Stand coordinator, said: “We have a really positive and proactive working relationship with Cotswold District Council, who are clearly committed to increasing the security for cyclists and, therefore, encouraging more cycling in the region, which fits with their sustainable transport plans.”

One of the chosen locations for the new bikes stands is outside the football club in Fairford. 

Jody Bevan, Fairford Town FC director, said: "Everybody at Fairford Town FC was delighted to get on board with the scheme. 

"We regularly get cyclists coming to the football club, so the opportunity to provide them with a facility to secure their bikes was a huge attraction to us."