Cyclists in Preston are to be given a boost as a new facility opens its doors.
Independent shop Leisure Lakes Bikes has launched at the city’s railway station, offering bike hire as well as maintenance and repairs.
It will work alongside the Virgin Trains Bike Hub, which is expected to open in the coming weeks, and is hoped to encourage more people to cycle across the county.
Manager Lucy Noy said users of the hub would be given a key fob from the shop, and would then have access to the storage unit at all hours of the day.
She said: “We are hoping it is going to encourage a lot more people to come to work on their bikes if we are providing safe storage for them, in an area where they can get repairs and servicing to their bikes.
“It is all trying to improve the environment, because it’s going to cut down the overall use of cars.
“It is all in line with the investment in cycling in Preston.
“I think now is a good time for cycling in Preston - it seems to be coming to a head at the same time.
“Obviously it is great for people’s health and fitness in terms of exercise, if they are using bikes as their form of transport.” The family-run business allows people to hire both hybrid and electric bikes, and has shops around the country.
It is based next to the Virgin Trains Bike Hub, set to open in the coming weeks.
The train operating company is investing in the new hub as part of its latest scheme to improve facilities for cyclists along the West Coast Mainline.
It is creating a secure space for up to 200 cycles – making it the largest on the West Coast Mainline.
Work on the hub began last month.
Simarjeet Kaur, head of responsible business at Virgin Trains on the West Coast, said: “At Virgin Trains, we share the nation’s passion for cycling and we’re committed to sustainable travel.
“We want to make end-to-end journeys for our customers seamless and cycling is a great way of achieving this.
“We’re pleased to be investing in facilities for cycle users at Preston and hope it encourages more people to get on two wheels before and after they board our trains.”