An East Ayrshire cycling initiative is set to be extended until next year due its popularity and benefits.

Love to Ride East Ayrshire has been stretched out until at least March 2025, to encourage new cyclists and support existing ones through a specially designed web platform and app.

The scheme was introduced earlier this year, as a way to encourage people onto their bikes.

Participants can create a profile via the website and join a workplace or group; log their rides using the Love to Ride UK app; post photos and stories; receive targeted advice to help overcome barriers; view leader boards; set goals; win prizes and more.

READ MORE: Partnership apologises to tragic patient's family following 'protocol breach'

Participation in the scheme has been continuing to gain momentum and to date, Love to Ride East Ayrshire has engaged 18 workplaces and 256 riders of which 64 are new riders.

302,515 trip miles have been recorded across 16,904 journeys which has generated a saving of 25,234 pounds in CO2 emissions.

Riders have already taken part in the Ride into Spring campaign and May’s Bike Month, and they can look forward to future campaigns including Cycle September and Winter Wheelers which will start in December.

According to a report at full council, the cost to extend the scheme until next year will be around £28,420.

READ MORE: Promotion the aim as Cumnock's new boss sets out his ambitions

Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Spokesperson for Housing, Transport and Communities, said: “The aim of this scheme is to get more people to choose cycling as their preferred mode of travel for everyday use wherever possible.

"We’ve had a great response to this initiative since it began at the end of last year and have seen the positive impact that it’s having on both the health of the participants and on savings of CO2 emissions.

“It’s a well-designed scheme that encourages riders to get involved all year round, whatever the weather, and I hope that even more people will sign up and get involved over the coming year.”