CYCLISTS using Forth Bike across the region have clocked up enough miles to go around the globe twice over the past year.

The electronic motor assisted bike – or e-bike – hire scheme, which has a station in Tillicoultry with groundwork soon to begin for ones in Alloa and Dollar as well, has just celebrated its firth birthday at the weekend.

To mark the milestone, Forth Bike was offering annual memberships for just £10.

Free annual memberships are also currently on offer for all key workers.

Usage of the scheme was steadily increasing over the past year, but has sky-rocketed since March with people travelling as much as 22,000 miles since lockdown began.

Clément McGeown, Forth Bike project officer, said: "The past three months have been our busiest period yet, with usage tripling since Covid-19 restrictions started.

"Many locals are taking advantage of the quieter roads to try out our bikes for the first time and our free membership scheme for key workers has been a huge hit.

"Nearly 50 key workers have signed up for a free annual membership and we've had some incredible feedback from them on the benefits of cycling to their mental and physical health."

There have been nearly 9,000 journeys made on Forth Bikes in the past year and across the region, the most popular stations are at The Helix and at Falkirk Wheel.

Forth Bike's lending library specifically for NHS key workers, supported by the Energy Savings Trust, has also been supporting GPs at Dollar Health Centre.

Dr Helen Ranfield is among those who have been saddling up for house calls.

She said: "The bike is stationed at the health centre and we have been using it for home visits.

"We've attached a pannier for PPE and kit and have found it a welcome excuse to get some fresh air in between visits.

"Several of the staff have had a go and are now talking about saving up for their own electric bikes."

Email for further information about bike hire and support.