THE levels of cycling in Malvern Hills District have been praised by the council.

New figures released by the Department for Transport show that 14.5 per cent of people in Malvern ride their bikes at least once per month.

A further 8.3 per cent ride at least once a week.

There are a range of cycling initiatives run throughout the district to promote cycling including regular Bikeability courses to make people more road-safe.

Stephen Gabriel, director of housing and communities at Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, said: “We are delighted by these figures as they reflect our welcoming attitude to cycling.

“The Malvern Hills district is a large rural area and we actively encourage every day cycling.

“We do this through popular programmes such as Bikeability, Learn to Ride, Couch to 50k and Balanceability.

“We are also engaging with Worcestershire County Council and other key partners to seek improvements in highways, street environment and other infrastructure to support increased levels of active travel by walkers and cyclists.

“Wychavon boasts the innovative Boardman Performance Centre which is home to the UK’s first cycle-specific wind tunnel.

“We hold the popular charity Plum Bikeaway which is a family-fun eight mile cycle tour of the Worcestershire countryside.

“As well as this, we have hosted the OVO Energy Tour of Britain - the biggest and most prestigious professional bike race multiple times and are looking forward to hosting the key time trial stage in Pershore on 12 September.”