A councillor has asked Hertfordshire County Council to look in to the fitting of bike racks to the front of buses – after spotting them on holiday.

While in Canada, Cllr Annie Brewster saw cyclists slot their pedal bikes onto the racks before getting on to a bus – ready to use them again for the next stage of their journey. They are also used in the US.

She believes it’s a great way of encouraging people to use their bikes – even if they don’t want to cycle for the whole of their journey.

She highlighted the practice at a meeting of the county council’s public health and prevention cabinet panel last Wednesday (September 18).

And she has asked officers at the county council to investigate whether it could be developed locally.

Cllr Brewster, who is deputy executive member for public health and prevention, says it takes the cyclists just a few seconds to slot their bikes into the racks.

She says it would be particularly welcome for those living in rural areas of the county – who would like to cycle around the towns, but who are put off by narrow country lanes they need to take to get there.

Instead, she says cyclists would be able to take a bus to the outskirts of the town or city – such as the Green Ring around St Albans – before continuing their journey on two wheels.

And importantly Cllr Brewster – who is also a member of St Albans District Council – says cyclists could take their bikes in the knowledge that they could take a bus instead if the weather changed – or if they had had one too many at the pub.

While she says there isn’t the budget available to make all rural routes safe for cyclists, the racks – which “would cost just a couple of hundreds pounds to fit” – could make a difference.

The idea was welcomed at the meeting of the county council’s public health and prevention cabinet panel.

But while cabinet member for growth, infrastructure, planning and the environment Cllr Derrick Ashley points to the importance of cycling in the county, he says existing regulations could make this difficult.

“In principle we are supportive of bikes on buses, which is common practice in other parts of the world but currently regulations are not overly supportive,” he said.

“Helping cyclists to join up their journeys is a key component of our local transport plan and we believe a change of approach is needed.”