Cyclists who park up at County Durham’s libraries, leisure centres and council customer access points are now entitled to pick up some very useful freebies.

Anybody who cycles to one of these venues will get a free saddle cover and a leaflet packed with cycling information.

The saddle cover, made out of 100% recycled plastics, is handy for protecting the seats of bicycles from autumn rain.

The leaflet includes tips on all aspects of cycling, including safety and security. The leaflet also features route maps of County Durham towns.

Those who go to their local libraries by pedal power will get an extra treat – a free book, entitled Bike Easy.

The giveaways are part of Durham County Council’s #durhamcycling campaign, which aims to encourage more people to get about by bike.

People are encouraged to post or tweet pictures of their new saddle covers on social media – using the #durhamcycling hashtag – to urge others to take part in the campaign.

The council are also looking to improve bike parking facilities at public buildings and to install such facilities where none currently exist.

The council’s cycling champion, Cllr Peter Brookes, said, “We’ve extended the campaign because our original trial at selected libraries received such a fantastic response.”

“I really hope the free seat covers and maps will encourage people to travel on two wheels; it is such a great way to experience our beautiful county and cycling allows you to be immersed in your surroundings in a way that you couldn’t in a car.”

“Cycling is a great way to travel, either for fun or as a way of commuting. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also has fantastic health benefits and even shifting to cycling for just a couple of journeys has a positive impact on the environment.”

The #durhamcycling campaign is part of Durham County Council’s Strategic Cycling and Walking Plan. The campaign is also connected to the council’s declaration of a climate emergency and its aim of reducing the county’s carbon footprint.

To learn more about cycling in County Durham – including information about cycling clubs, cycle routes and events, as well as safety advice – please go to

(This article’s featured image shows Victoria Lloyd-Gent, the council’s Sustainable Travel Officer (left) and Audrey Eagles, customer services assistant (right), at Durham’s Clayport Library.)

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  1. brilliant idea, just add to the list of freebies a copy of the highway code, a reminder that lights need to be used in the dark and that traffic signals DO apply to cyclists. That means stopping at red lights and not riding on the footpath.


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