IN AN effort to attract more cyclists to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, local businesses like pubs, cafes and tourist attractions are being offered cycle parking stands - for free.
In the latest move to get people out of their cars in favour of so-called "green tourism," the national park authority is urging business owners - and even local council offices - to install the free stands.
The bill is being picked up by Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency.
The free cycle stand initiative will also be open to operators outside the boundary of the National Park as well as in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAONB).
Operators who receive the stands will need to commit to installing them in locations that will be used by cyclists and to keeping them in place for a minimum of five years.
Says Andy Ryland, national park transport and visitor management officer: "Cycle tourism is a growth industry and research has show that cycle tourists can make a significant contribution to the rural economy.
"It is therefore important that there are appropriate facilities for cyclist and with the support of Yorkshire Forward we can now equip up to fifty sites with stands for secure cycle parking, which is one of the main facilities cyclists ask for. This in turn should help generate extra revenue for operators where they are installed."
Anyone interested in taking part in the scheme should contact their local national park ranger or Andy Ryland on (01756) 752748; or if based in Nidderdale, Chris Jones at the NAONB office on (01423) 712950.