A two-wheeled “bus” which has been set up for commuters to cycle to work together is hoping to expand.
The ‘bike bus’ currently runs from Keighley to Bradford once a week every Wednesday morning and organisers want to include more days and routes as it becomes more popular.
As any cyclist is aware, the dangers of battling it out with commuter traffic can be an unnnerving experience, especially when you are on your own, surrounded by commuters in cars, buses, vans and lorries, all eager to get to work as quickly as they can.
The innovative scheme to give cyclists the safety of riding in numbers was the brainchild of Bradford Council worker Manjit Kumari and fellow cyclist David Carpenter, who wanted to encourage other commuters to leave their cars at home.
They set up the scheme six weeks ago and it has already attracted 11 members.
Cyclists can join the route at set times at Keighley, Crossflats, Bingley, Saltaire, Shipley and Manningham. The group journey together making it safer and giving inexperienced riders more confidence commuting to work. They also run a buddy system to help people who might need extra help along the way.
The ten-mile route begins at Keighley Railway station at 7.20am and has 12 pick up points before arriving in Bradford’s Centenary Square at 8.10am.
Mr Kumari said: “The Aire Valley Bike Bus was set up by myself and David to encourage people to take up cycling and make the journey to work a more interesting and sociable experience.
“As well as great exercise, this is a fantastic way to develop confidence in cycling along busy commuter routes.”
Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, executive member for environment, said: “This is a great initiative to encourage people to bike to work and make the most of the many cycle routes across the district.
“Initiatives like this are driven by the passion of people like Manjit and David and I wish them every success in their venture. The Council is keen to support initiatives which help reduce the district’s carbon footprint, and encourage people to be more active.”
The cyclists wear high visibility equipment, which has been donated.
For more information about the bike bus, and how to join it, log onto www.airevalleybikebus.org.uk. The scheme is open to any member of the public.
The scheme has even drawn the backing of the district’s cycling champion Viv Carnea.
She said: “It’s a great way of commuting to work by bike. There is safety in numbers by cycling together and this is the first one of its kind in the district.
“I even use it myself as I live in Baildon.”
e-mail: jo.winrow @telegraphandargus.co.uk