It’s ‘on your bike’ with a difference.

And it could be just the ticket for rail travellers who are being encouraged to step off the train and on to a cycle ride.

Now, two stations in the Bradford district are part of a special Valentine’s Day offer which adds a touch of romance to the idea.

Today, train operator Northern Rail officially starts its pioneering Bike & Go scheme across the network.

The bike hire scheme lets rail users continue their journey from the station by cycle.

Stocks of bikes for hire have now been installed at Bradford Interchange and Shipley stations to give rail travellers the chance to cycle straight out to places of interest such as Saltaire, Haworth or out towards the Dales.

Users pay an annual subscription of £10 and then £3.80 for every 24 hours of hire.

But to celebrate Valentine’s Day, one person can hire a bike and their companion can go for free.

Northern Rail managing director Alex Hynes said: “This is a great way to continue an onward journey. It’s exciting to see the launch of the UK’s first national bike hire scheme at some of our stations.”

With Valentine’s weekend in mind, Sarah Beeny of MySingle Friend, said: “Exploring on bikes is the perfect way to spend this romantic time and the element of adventure could really make the date fly. And if you don’t have a date, never fear – explore with a friend instead.”

Bradford and Shipley are among 23 Bike & Go sites now up and running. Others include Harrogate, Todmorden, Halifax and Leeds with another to open soon at Hebden Bridge.