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Leisure destinations to provide initiatives to encourage cycle use
A consortium of the Forestry Commission England, Hoseasons Holidays and CTC Charitable Trust is launching Cycle Xtra, an innovative new scheme to encourage more holidaymakers to take up cycling.
It aims to utilise leisure destinations where cycling can be positively introduced to those who would otherwise not consider cycling in their daily lives. Cycle Xtra should help to bridge the gap between those who simply enjoy leisure cycling and the committed everyday cyclists back at home.
Various cycling activities will be on offer at five Hoseasons holiday parks in England. Each location has been selected based on its proximity to a Forestry Commission site with access to dedicated cycling routes and facilities. The holiday destinations are Finlake Holiday Lodges near Exeter, Oakdene Forest Park near Ringwood, Sherwood Castle Holiday Forest near Mansfield, Griffon Forest near York and Kielder near Newcastle. There will be a dedicated Cycle Xtra officer at each site to offer holidaymakers a varied and entertaining programme of different cycling activities.
Initial funding for the development of Cycle Xtra has come from Cycling England, a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Transport with the aim of getting ‘more people cycling, more safely, more often.’
The Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said:
“The Government made a clear commitment to support sustainable travel initiatives, including cycling and walking – great ways of getting a bit of exercise in our daily lives. Cycle Xtra is a very good example of how innovative community based projects can make a positive contribution by changing mindsets and so changing people’s long term travel habits. By getting people cycling in a safe and fun environment like this they’ll hopefully keep it up when they get home.”
Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England said:
“Positive leisure experiences can lead to new hobbies or habits, and cycling is no exception to this rule. Cycle Xtra will encourage holiday makers to give cycling a try while they’re away - providing them with the opportunity to take part in free Bikeability cycle training, maintenance courses and other activities that will give them the confidence to keep on cycling when they return home.”
Kevin Mayne, CTC’s Chief Executive, said:
“CTC has formed good relationships with the Forestry Commission and Hoseasons over the last couple of years and this project is the result of the three parties’ commitment to promote cycling to the huge leisure market. CTC has a lot of experience in introducing cycling to families and other user groups and this project will help them finding all the information and advice they need to keep on cycling when they’re back from their holidays”.
Paddy Harrop, Recreation and Public Affairs Manager of the Forestry Commission England, added:
"The Forestry Commission is excited to be involved in this innovative project to get people cycling in some of the most beautiful parts on England, our quiet woodland trails are great places to improve your cycling skills away from busy roads and traffic”.
Hoseasons’ Senior Product Account Executive Guy Roberts commented:
“An increasing number of our customers specifically ask for cycling activities on site when they book their holiday with us. We usually have to refer them to off-site bike hire businesses which can be inconvenient. Having a fleet of bikes permanently on site for visitors to use as well as organised cycling activities is a great additional feature our customers can benefit from during the summer season”.
Cycle Xtra runs from May until the end of October in 2010 and 2011.
For more information, photos or an interview contact the Cycle Xtra Co-ordinator, Holger Schiller via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01483 238 319.
NOTES TO EDITORS
CTC – the UK’s national cyclists' organisation, with 70,000 members and affiliates in 250 clubs across the UK is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK, established in 1878. CTC provide a comprehensive range of services, advice, events, and protection for our members and work to promote cycling by raising public and political awareness of its health, social and environmental benefits. For more information see www.ctc.org.uk.
Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england
Hoseasons Holidays is the UK's leading self-catering holiday specialist, selling well over a million holidays a year on behalf of the owners of an award-winning product range. This range includes holiday parks and lodges, cottages, boating holidays and town and city apartments in the UK, as well as holiday lodges, parks and boating and villa holidays in Europe.
Cycling England is an independent, specialist body funded by the Department for Transport and backed by key Government departments. It is a single point of contact, bringing together technical advice and expertise and facilitating communication across Government, NGOs and the cycling community to enable a co-ordinated, joined up and cost effective approach and share best practice to deliver projects that get people cycling, more safely, more often.
Further details about Cycling England’s work programme can be found at www.dft.gov.uk/cyclingengland
Chris Johnson, Press Officer, Forestry Commission England
T: 01438 817448 M: 07867 580492