Published: 28 February 2012
Guide: Eddie Allen
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Southport was granted Cycling Town status in 2008 and subsequently benefitted from three years of Cycling England funding which ended in 2011. Since then, Sefton Council has successfully attracted a share of the DfT's Local Sustainability Transport Fund to continue developing routes, amenities and resources to encourage cycling in the seaside town.
Cycle route provision
In terms of National Cycle Network Routes, Southport is notable for being the westward starting point of the Trans Pennine Trail (part of NCN62) which straddles the breadth of the country, terminating in Hornsea, near Hull. NCN62 enters the town via the coastal road through the impressive Formby dunes, with the trail itself ending on the Southport seafront within sight of the town’s historic pleasure pier.
Within the town, there is a grid-iron pattern of recommended cycling routes, exploiting Southport’s wide and generally quiet suburban streets. These are identified as yellow striped routes on Sefton Council's map.
Cycle parking and cycle hire
The biggest impact of the Cycling Towns funding has been the provision of cycle parking throughout the town. As well as numerous on street parking locations around the main pedestrianised shopping area and on the town’s tourist oriented boulevard Lord Street, the most noticeable and innovative feature is the Southport Cycle Centre situated at the railway station. The Cycle Centre combines secure, covered cycle storage, cycle hire and cycle maintenance, all housed in an distinctive, modern, pod-like building on London Street. There is also a further cycle hire centre at Victoria Park near to the seafront.
Cycling and trains
Multi modal commuting is a cinch in Southport thanks to the Cycle Centre’s convenient location right next to the main railway station. There is also cycle parking at Birkdale Station. Cycles travel free, subject to space on all Merseyrail services. Check with other operators regarding their cycle policies here.
As befits a Cycling Town, Southport has a range of bike shops to cater for sales, spares and repairs. Formby Cycles, a few miles south of the town, is a big and impressive independent bike shop while there is a Halfords Bikehut at Meols Cop, with Birkdale Cycles on Liverpool Road and Mosscrop Cycles on Bispham Road. For more bike shops in the area check out the shop finder here.
Don’t leave home without...
Sefton Council’s PDF cycle map, detailing routes and cycle parking in Southport and Crosby.
Sefton Council – Southport Cycling Town homepage – lots of useful links on leisure and commuting cycling in and around the town.
MORE SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMMUTE: Ride Membership offers bike commuters legal protection, insurance and discounts on essential commuting kit. Click here for more details