CYCLISTS have been putting the new BMX and mountain bike 'Pump Track' in the grounds of Blackburn’s Witton Country Park to the test.

Since it opened over the Festive Season people of all ages and abilities have been turning up to give the new attraction a try-out.

The 50metre looped route, known as a 'Pump Track', consists of a series of rollers and 'berms' that can be ridden without pedalling.

It works by riders propelling themselves, shifting their body weight and bike over the track’s contours.

The circuit, which can also be ridden by children on balance bikes through to mountain bikes, aims to widen cycling opportunities in the borough for all abilities, ages and experience levels, although children must be supervised by an adult.

The track, a partnership between Blackburn with Darwen Council and Padiham’s Landscape Engineering Ltd, is free to use allowing riders to improve their technique and balance.

It was built as part of the borough's Local Transport Plan.

Council regeneration boss Phil Riley said: “It’s great to see people using the new facility which is testament to our continued commitment to improving our local cycle network.

“The pump track and improvement to the mountain bike trails at Billinge Woods is part of the council’s wide ranging support for more active travel and lifestyles complimenting the skatepark in Darwen and the planned Weavers Wheel cycle network.”

Tember Walsh, from Witton Park’s Cycle Centre, said: “We are really excited to have this new facility right on our doorstep. It’s great for riders to learn and enjoy the tricks of riding.

"Sessions will soon be made available to the public to teach them the basic techniques to enjoy riding this great facility.”

Nick Riley, of Landscape Engineering Ltd said: "We are keen riders and are keen to see young riders coming through.

"Getting kids outdoors using facilities is what we are about, that’s why we enjoy building the pump tracks.

"The council is keen to provide a full range of facilities around the town, focusing on Witton Park and its Cycle Centre, an excellent facility to get people riding and more importantly to get fit."