A GROUP hoping to increase the amount of cycling in the area has celebrated after receiving a sum of money from Waitrose in Chipping Sodbury.

Every month, the supermarket lists three charity organisations that shoppers can select in the Waitrose Community Token Scheme.

This scheme sees customers insert green tokens into one of three charity boxes, and £1,000 is then distributed between the three organisations in proportion to the number of tokens each has received.

One of the groups that benefited from the most recent round of the scheme is the Joint Cycleway Group.

The group aims to improve the number of people that cycle around in its five constituent towns. The areas that the group focuses on are Dodington, Pucklechurch, Sodbury, Westerleigh, and Yate.

Waitrose has contributed £288 to the group and Bob Keen, the vice-chairman of the group, has said that they will be using it to fund a publicity push.

“It is important that we get more people cycling in the area,” he said.

“If you are safe then you can definitely get around the are really easily on a bike.

“Saturation point is getting near with a lot more developments being built, this means more cars.”

The group will now be working with the University of the 3rd Age (U3A), in the area to deliver flyers to local businesses urging them to appoint an Active Travel Champion.

This is part of a scheme promoted by South Gloucestershire Council and works to try and promote alternative commuting methods.

The belief is that this then helps to ease congestion on the roads and makes a contribution to ending long-term car parking problems near working places.

“We are grateful for the money from Waitrose and we will be using it to try and push the message, cycling more would be good for the area,” Bob said.

“The joint cycleways group is pleased and grateful.

“We are also happy that they have decided to make a staff member an Active Travel Champion.”