ScotRail has expanded its cut-price bike hire scheme in the Highlands, operated alongside local bike shops.
The train operator has an existing discount scheme with Ticket to Ride rental shop in Inverness, offering 15 per cent off cycle hire for people with a Freedom of Scotland Travelpass and ten per cent off for those with other valid ScotRail tickets.
Now the scheme has been extended to also include Nevis Cycles shops in Oban and Fort William.
The three shops have agreed to organise the return of hire bikes – meaning cyclists no longer have to pedal back to their starting points.
“We believe that our customers will welcome the opportunity to make one-way rides through some of Scotland’s finest landscapes," said ScotRail MD Steve Montgomery.
Transport Minister Keith Brown welcomed the scheme expansion. He said: “Active and sustainable transport modes like cycling and the train go hand-in-hand to help us all achieve Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets and improve public health.
“The Scottish Government is committed to promoting both these forms of transport and I applaud ScotRail for this scheme, which makes both cycling and the train more attractive and more accessible.”
The expanded scheme is hoped to prove popular with cyclists tackling The Great Glen Way, a 73-mile path between Fort William and Inverness, and the long sections of cycleway between Oban and Fort William.
Bikes must be left for collection at either of the three participating rental shops.
The forward-thinking ScotRail also runs a discount rental scheme with Base Camp Bikes in Blair Atholl, Perthshire. It offers 10 per cent off bike hire to cyclists with a valid ScotRail ticket – and a 20 per cent discount to Freedom of Scotland Travelpass