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Visitors urged to get on their bikes

9th March 2015

Categories: News

Visit Somerset is backing the organisers of the Great Weston Ride in an effort to increase and pedal awareness of Somerset's amazing cycling opportunities.
Cycling according to the London School of Economics contributes £2.9 Billion to the UK economy and helps reduce absenteeism with Visit Somerset’s strategy for 2015 to 2016 including targeting and developing key sports within the county including cycling.
The Great Weston Ride is a 56 mile challenge bike ride from Bristol to Weston-super-Mare which follows a route through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels. This year it takes place on July 19.
Darren McKimm the Great Weston Ride organiser, said; “We're delighted that Visit Somerset are now wanting to support the Great Weston Ride and become a major Event Partner.  As many people already know, the GWR offers a spectacular route and is a showcase for what the region has to offer for cyclists, so this partnership is a natural fit with Visit Somerset putting cycling high on its agenda and actively looking to promote cycling opportunities across the region.
“The Great Weston Ride already attracts huge numbers of people and we're looking to grow that further, and this partnership means that we can now help all our riders and their supporters - including the very many visitors from outside the area - with whatever local information they might need to make their day or stay even more enjoyable. So we're very much looking forward to working with the Visit Somerset team and to enhancing and adding value to the Great Weston Ride as the partnership develops.”
John Turner Visit Somerset's CEO, said; "I am delighted with this current development and working with Darren and the Great Weston Ride will not only help us to grow the numbers directly supporting the event, but will help us understand and grow the wider cycling industry in the county and recognise it for the opportunity it brings. There are huge economic benefits to Visit Somerset getting behind this and any other cycling projects.  We look forward to reviewing and seeing many more cyclists coming into the area through all of our combined working."

For more information visit
According to the London School of Economics cycling in the UK is responsible for:
•   £2.9b total contribution to UK economy
•   28 per cent increase in volume of cycle sales in 2010, generating £1.62b
•   £853m further contribution to the UK economy through the purchase of cycling accessories and bicycle maintenance, resulting in total retail sector sales of £2.47bn
•   Over £500m generated in wages and £100m in taxes from 23,000 employed directly in bicycle sales, distribution and the maintenance of cycling infrastructure
•   Health benefits save the economy £128m per year in absenteeism
Even more significant, though:
•   Frequent and regular cyclists could further save the economy £2b over a ten-year period in terms of reduced absenteeism
•   A 20 per cent increase in current cycling levels by 2015 could save the economy £207m in terms of reduced traffic congestion and £71m in terms of lower pollution levels
•   Latent demand for cycling could amount to around £516m of untapped economic potential for the UK

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