Providing information and collecting tourists' views on cycling in Sefton and West Lancashire.

On first impression it might seem like an unusual alliance between a horticultural show in a Northern seaside town and the national cycling charity but as a once famous TV show stated – ‘The clues are there’.

Sefton and West Lancashire councils VISIT Project [2] is funded through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), VISIT (Visitors In Sustainable Integrated Transport) has a  focus on bringing tourists into the area's attractions by cycling and walking.

Dating back to 1924, the Flower Show [3] is a renowned event in the northwest, attracting not just the green fingered followers, but now providing something for the whole family. The show attracts 80,000 visitors from far and wide, providing an ideal opportunity to canvas visitors on their travel arrangements and to provide further information regarding upcoming events and activities in the VISIT region and more general information on cycling and walking.

The Sefton council marquee was a joint provision between Sefton and West Lancashire councils VISIT teams, Sefton’s Walking, Cycling and Travel Team and The Sefton Coastal Team. It was an ideal opportunity to promote the extensive network of cycle maps [4] within the area, ranging from gentle 3 mile beginner routes to full day rides incorporating the full coastal network that takes in all the sights of the historic coast.

During the 4 days we conducted a survey amongst visitors, gauging their reasons for visiting the area, how they travel, travel requirements, ideas and considerations for more sustainable travel in the future and barriers to sustainable travel options. This information will help us to formulate a work plan and address any potential barriers visitors may feel are stopping them from utilising sustainable travel options and incorporating new methods and facilities to combat these issues.

By far the biggest draw over at the show was the now famous Sefton cycle smoothie maker. The pedal powered blender sliced its way through a mountain of strawberries, banana, mango and pineapple, quenching the thirst buds of happy visitors both old and young alike.

Ross Adams is the CTC Cycling Development Officer for Sefton.