Tag Archives: cycling


It is now easier for cyclists to take their bicycles to areas across the Island using public transport instead of their cars.

The Isle of Wight Council is working with Southern Vectis to provide bike storage facilities on four buses. The buses, which are the existing ‘Coaster’ route vehicles, have been converted to each store up to six bicycles at a time using money from the council’s sustainable transport access to tourism project, which is funded by the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

Four journeys will leave per day from either Ryde or Yarmouth, with some extended to include East Cowes and Newport, providing a round-the-Island connection for cyclists. It will mean cyclists can now visit local attractions or areas they would normally drive to using public transport instead with their bicycles.

Luisa Hillard is the council’s Executive Member for sustainability and welcomes the new buses. She said: “This project is part of the council’s commitment to promoting greener, car-free tourism on the Island. It will support cyclists getting from the ferries, to and from their accommodation and to the tourist attractions in more remote locations and will be particularly useful for those who may not feel able to cycle long distances but enjoy cycling locally.

“This is just one of many other exciting projects which are benefiting from government funding to improve the cycling infrastructure for visitors and locals and will strengthen the reputation of the Isle of Wight as one of the best places for a cycling holidays in the world.”

General manager of Southern Vectis, Matt Kitchin added: “The Coaster route has proven to be tremendously popular as it is a great way to see the Island and visit attractions without the hassle of driving. The addition of space for bikes on board gives more opportunities for cyclists to get out and about, enjoying the scenery without relying on a car.”

The Island’s destination management organisation Visit Isle of Wight has recently launched its ‘Bicycle Island’ scheme which is aimed at bringing more cycle tourists to the Island. Tom Ransom from Visit Wight is responsible for promoting cycle tourism and said: “Having the bike buses is a really valuable addition to our cycle friendly reputation. It makes cycle touring more accesible to all by providing a service to those of us who perhaps do not have thighs like those of Chris Hoy. Combining a bus trip with a bike ride allows people to be bolder and go further, without needing to use a car for transport”.

The newly converted Coaster buses will begin service from 5 April and will run daily until 28 September. There is no charge to carry bicycles on the buses other than the normal passenger fare.

The mechanism used for storing the bicycles has been designed by two local engineering students

Notes for editors

Please credit Isle of Wight Council if you use any this photo which shows bicycles in use on one of the storage racks.   Other photos are available on request.

The Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project is a £3.95 million project that is funded through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Funding was won in the summer of 2012 and the programme continues until March 2015.

The Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project involves improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure, public transport services and the provision of improved passenger transport information. In addition, the project is funding extensive marketing of the Island as a destination for “green” travel holidays. This element is being delivered by Visit Isle of Wight, the Island’s tourist board.

The overall aim of the project is to encourage more people to use sustainable travel as opposed the car while on holiday, as well as boosting the local economy by attracting increased numbers of visitors who come to the Island and travel sustainably.

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer

Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254

Mob: 07976 347636

Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk



To celebrate English Tourism Week (29th March to 6th April), the Island’s MP, Andrew Turner  joined Tom Ransom of Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) on a new “Taste” Round the Island cycle route, part of a new marketing campaign to promote the Island as the top cycling destination in the UK.

As part of VisitEngland’s week-long celebration of England’s vibrant tourism industry, Mr. Turner wanted to give local people a flavour of what the Island has to offer visitors as he promoted the Island’s Round the Island cycle route, which has been given a new “foodie” theme by VIOW – the Island’s tourist board – to attract even more cyclists to tour the route.

This mouth-watering new route highlights the Island’s food and drink attractions placed along the already popular Round the Island Cycle Route, including The Garlic Farm, Adgestone Vineyard and The Dairy Deli.

Andrew Turner, MP, commented: “I was delighted to be asked to take part in English Tourism Week as I recognise the importance of visitors to our local economy, and commend supporting the cycling economy and local food producers at the same time.

“There is no greater opinion former than local people and English Tourism Week 2014 is aimed at reminding local residents of the tourism experiences to be had on their own doorsteps, inspiring them to become the ambassadors for their local area.”

Taste Round the Island is promoted by Visit Isle of Wight on their new Bicycle Island web pages. Any food-related business located on or near the existing Round the Island route can apply to become a “taste location” but must be willing to offer a discount to those arriving by bike and must supply at least one Isle of Wight-grown product. The full criteria can be found on the VIOW industry website at www.visitisleofwight.org

For more information about English Tourism Week, go to www.englishtourismweek.co.uk

For more information about Taste Round the Island Cycle Route, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island


For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Attached image attached shows Andrew Turner MP and Tom Ransom, Visit Isle of Wight’s Sustainable Transport Marketing Executive taking a break at The Dairy Deli in Shalfleet, Isle of Wight, one of the locations on Taste Round the Island Cycle Route.

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org



Visit Isle of Wight’s new campaign to promote the Island as the country’s premium cycling destination stepped up a gear last week when two members of  VIOW’s marketing team attended a prestigious “meet the media” evening event in London.

In March 2014, Visit Isle of Wight launched a new cycle tourism brand for the Island – “Bicycle Island” to capitalize on the Island’s reputation as No 1 of the top ten world’s cycling routes (Lonely Planet 2012) and give visitors even more ways to traverse the Island’s 200 miles of secluded cycle tracks, byways and bridleways.

A brand new cycling section on the official tourist board’s award-winning website has been created that is dedicated to “Bicycle Island”. These pages provide information on all of the Island’s very best cycle routes and services such as bike hire and baggage transfer from the Island’s rapidly expanding cycle tourism industry.

The Bicycle Island pages were launched at a special Tourism South East media event in London at Adam Street Private Members’ Club, The Strand, London, on 18th March, at which Visit Isle of Wight was represented by Sustainable Transport Marketing Executive, Tom Ransom, and Press Officer, Sue Emmerson.

Sue said: “This media event allows local tourist boards to share with the nation’s best journalists what’s fresh and exciting in our area. It was a great opportunity to present the new Bicycle Island web pages to people who may go on to write highly influential pieces in the national media.”

Over 60 national travel and lifestyle journalists attended the evening along with 10 south east destination management organisations. The Bicycle Island pages benefit from specially commissioned art deco inspired artwork that promotes the Island as “the cycling destination for everyone” – from families to over 50’s, from relaxed potterers to mud-plugging extreme bikers.

Oli Whitehurst, Visit Isle of Wight’s Digital Content Manager, helped assemble the new pages; “We will be updating the site regularly as information on cycle tourism providers and routes comes in.”

Visit Isle of Wight’s recent cycle tourism workshop highlighted that there is strong support for the Bicycle Island route themes, and fresh new ideas for rebranding have been implemented, such as turning the Cowes to Sandown cycleway into a family friendly route called “The Red Squirrel Trail” and the rebranding the Round the Island Cycle Route as “Taste” – a food and drink themed four day tour.

In May 2012, the Isle of Wight Council was pleased to learn that its Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid had been successful.  This £3.95 million bid seeks to upgrade, improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network in order to grow its green tourism market.

Tom Ransom, who is the tourist board lead on Bicycle Island and was employed through the Isle of Wight Council’s successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund, said: “It was really exciting to see so many tourism operators and accommodation providers wanting to be involved in Bicycle Island.

“Whether it’s investing in offering hire bikes or getting accredited as Cyclist Welcome accommodation, people are becoming cycle aware. Having these pages on our website will provide a really valuable platform from which we can promote the Island as a cycling paradise and for providers to promote services to cycle tourists.”

For more information about Bicycle Wight, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk


For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Attached:    Bicycle Island graphic attached.

Visit Isle of Wight Ltd

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

a iow-cycling-fest2012-1



Newly appointed to Visit Isle of Wight, Tom Ransom, who was employed through the Isle of Wight Council’s successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid, is busy wheeling out a set of exciting tourism opportunities around holidays by bike.

Cycle Tourism is growing all over the globe with a wealth of stunning routes being developed to capitalise on the economic benefits. Tom moved to the Island from New Zealand where he was involved in the NZ government’s 60 Million dollar NZ Cycle Trail scheme.  Now keen to put this experience to good use, he is currently developing branding and marketing plans to ensure the Isle of Wight is at the forefront of the cycle tourism movement.

Tom says “2014 is the Year of the Bike, with a perfect storm of interest in cycling gripping the nation”  and Tom believes the Island has some world class cycle routes, “the round island and our cycle ways on old railways are assets that have real potential to pull new visitor to the Island if we get the marketing right.”

And modern cycle tourists have an impressive spending profile:

Tom says “Cycle tourists nowadays are looking for high-end accommodation and back-up services like baggage transfers and they are prepared to pay well for it.  It’s less about speedy Lycra super heroes, more about active over 50’s using comfort bikes on four night tours. That way, they can relax and enjoy our stunning scenery and have lots of opportunities to stop and spend.”

Tom has also sent out invites to a Cycle Tourism workshop on 18th February between 11.30 and 14.00.  It’s a chance for the Island tourism sector to learn about opportunities for their businesses and see how Visit Isle of Wight’s “Bicycle Island” brand is developing. Speakers will present on cycle tourism case studies from the UK and overseas and after lunch, the workshop sessions on Bicycle Island will kick off.

Tom says “So many people on the island have worked for years to develop cycle business and routes on the Island. It’s important for them to be involved in the next phase of the industry’s development.”

Anyone interested in attending this or future cycle tourism workshops should contact Tom for an invitation and further information – he is available at Visit Isle of Wight on 01983 201048, or email him on tom@visitwight.org.

Tom is also attending the Telegraph Outdoor Show where he will be supporting the IW Council’s event team in promoting their annual cycling festival held in September and drumming up even more interest in “Bicycle Island”.



For further information, or images, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Image attached shows Tom and his son Oliver enjoying the Island’s cycle “Rail Trail” from Cowes to Sandown.
  2. Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry
  3. website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) was launched by the Government in September 2010.  The Fund provides an opportunity for local transport authorities outside London to ‘build on their plans for taking forward sustainable travel measures…and to develop enhanced packages of measures that support economic growth and reduce carbon’ and ‘could also help to tackle problems of air quality and deliver improvements in public health and transport safety’. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-sustainable-transport-fund

LSTF funding is aimed at improving the access and ease of non-car transport to tourists and is an important part of Visit Isle of Wight’s plan to grow the tourism economy – bike tourism is an obvious fit.

The Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, 14th to 29thSeptember, organised by the Isle of Wight Council, provides cyclists the opportunity to get off the beaten track and experience some of the Island’s most beautiful, unspoilt countryside. There is a wide selection of fantastic cycle rides for all levels of ability, whether you are a novice or an experienced cyclist.  http://www.sunseaandcycling.com/