FREE Family Cycling Festival to return to Southampton in July

British Cycling's HSBC UK Let’s Ride is returning to Southampton on Sunday 21 July, when city centre roads will be closed to motor traffic to give thousands of locals the perfect opportunity to explore their city in the saddle.

HSBC UK Let’s Ride events – which this year aim to build excitement across the country in the run-up to the UCI Road World Championships in September – inspire people to get on their bikes to combat some of the societal issues that affect major cities in Britain. Tying in closely with local cultural attractions, participants are given the unique opportunity to swap their car for the saddle and discover more of their city from a different perspective: on a bike.

Following the success of last year, this year's event will provide a range of community-led attractions along the route and at festival zones suitable for all ages and cycling abilities, as well as activities for those looking for a day out with family and friends. These will include music performances, a bike maintenance area, food and drink stalls and a zone dedicated to several British Cycling recreation initiatives such as children’s learn-to-ride programme HSBC UK Ready Set Ride, HSBC Go-Ride and women-only HSBC UK Breeze.

Traffic-free events such as Let’s Ride make an important contribution to Southampton City Council’s ten year vision to transform the cycling experience in the city.

The £25m cycling strategy will see significant improvements to the city’s cycle network, delivering high quality safe segregated facilities along the three main freeways coming into the city from the west, east and north.

Already £2.4m has been invested in completed projects and a further £5.4m is committed to projects that will be delivered by summer 2019.

Sam Fox, Southampton City Council’s Service Lead for Infrastructure, Planning and Development, said:

“Increasing the number of people choosing to cycle can play a key role not just in reducing road congestion in Southampton but in improving air quality and tackling inactivity and obesity. HSBC UK Let’s Ride Southampton is an important element in making this happen by showcasing the city at its best. With roads closed off to cars, it encourages both regular cyclists and those who cycle less often to take part in what is a fantastic, free family day out.”

Stay tuned for full details of the day's activities and route and, in the meantime, watch this video of last year's event to get a taster of what's in store.