A SCHEME designed to get more people in the region on their bikes was a runaway success.

More than 940 people across the Keighley district and West Yorkshire took part in last month’s Winter Wheelers, topping a national leader board.

Together they clocked-up over 93,000 miles.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority joined forces with Love to Ride for the initiative.

Numbers taking part and the mileage covered were up on 2018, making it the most successful campaign to date.

By registering on the Love to Ride website, participants could log miles, set goals and earn badges for cycling to work for a week, riding 100 miles or encouraging a friend or colleague to take part.

Councillor Kim Groves, chairman of the combined authority’s transport committee, paid tribute to all those who took part.

“Once again West Yorkshire topped the UK leader board – which is testament to our region’s appetite for cycling,” she added.

“We know that encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individuals money, but it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.

“Whether you cycle every day or haven’t been on a bike in years, if you’re cycling for transport or for fun, whatever time and wherever you’re going, our online cycle challenges help provide that extra bit of motivation.”

Through its CityConnect programme, the combined authority runs online challenges year-round with Love to Ride. To date, the challenges have seen more than 5,700 people together cycle over 6.9 million miles.

Love to Ride can be connected to a number of popular cycling apps, such as Strava, which then automatically record ride data and enter participants into daily prize draws.

For more details, visit lovetoride.net/cityconnect.

CityConnect is also involved in canal towpath upgrades to improve cycling and walking infrastructure.

Schemes are funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with the Canal & River Trust.

Work has included the resurfacing of a section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal towpath between Riddlesden and Silsden.