Cycling should be used for a variety of reasons, not just to save the environment.

That’s the view of Recycles, a cycling group in Swindon, who want to encourage people to use bikes as a primary mode of transport not just to cut down on emissions but also for the health benefits it can bring.

Paul Ashman, a co-founder of the group, said: “Obviously, for me, cycling is the best way to get around. Of course it’s not always the most practical, but it’s definitely the best. You can’t beat it.

“Not only are you cutting out pollution but you’re also not contributing to the wear and tear of the roads like cars and lorries are.

“It’s also a big time saver, during rush hour you can use the cycle paths and it’s much quicker and more efficient.

“There is literally no pollution from a bike, it’s simple.”

Along side the obvious environmental benefits, Paul says that cycling has a variety of other benefits too.

“There is a much bigger picture.” Paul added: “It benefits you as a person, it helps contribute to your fitness and your daily exercise.

“The government has a big thing about tackling obesity and this is one of the ways you can do that.

“It also has a big effect on your well-being, it makes you feel better.

“Some days I’ll come home from work and just feel terrible, but getting the bike out and going for a ride gives you that fresh air and makes you feel much much better.

When it comes to the more tangible benefits or riding a bike, Paul said: “Bikes don’t cause a traffic jam.

“If there’s an accident, with multiple cars there’s more chance of something really bad happening, but if it’s multiple bikes, yes there may be a few injuries, but it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as a car.

"Getting a bike is brilliant, so long as you get the correct type. But there are plenty of places that can help you, all bike shops will."

Swindon actually has quite an extensive cycle network, something Paul says we're lucky to have.

"We're very lucky with our cycle paths, you can travel most of Swindon just using those paths.

"People need to be aware we have it, not only because of the environmental factors but also for personal benefits and it can cut down your journey times."

Paul added: "It's also much cheaper than owning and driving a car. Once you buy a bike that's it, there's no insurance, no tax and no fuel needed, it all adds up in the end."