THE development of improved cycling facilities in Torbay has stepped up a gear with the formation of a new group.
All forms of cycling, including sports, leisure and tourism were on the agenda when representatives from Torbay Council, health, cycling interest groups and cycling retailers met at Parkfield in Paignton to kick-start the development of a new cycling partnership for Torbay.
Mayor Gordon Oliver said: "We must take advantage of the recent enthusiasm for cycling generated by Britain's success in the Tour De France, the Olympics and the Tour of Britain.
"Regular cycling can help improve the health of residents of all ages in Torbay. There are also economic benefits to establishing the Bay as a cycling centre of excellence."
Existing facilities, such as Parkfield, were discussed as well as ideas for the future.
All agreed there was a need to develop a new cycling group in Torbay and that it would promote cycling as an activity as well as focusing on key events.
Debbie Stark, South Devon Healthcare director of public health, said: "We all agreed there was a need to increase the uptake of cycling through the promotion of sports, facilities and recreational events.
"One way to achieve this was through the creation of a new cycling group for Torbay.
"I cannot stress strongly enough the benefits of cycling activity to health and well-being."
After the event, attendees were treated to a display from world champion BMX rider Kye Forte and Darren Tottman from the Pro Cycle Centre in Newton Abbot.
To join the group, contact Mark Richards, public health, NHS Torbay on 01803 321168.