A CYCLING campaigner says cycling protests in Worcester are attracting dozens of riders and are set to expand even further in the future.

Cyclists have been meeting for 'critical mass' rides in a bid to show the authorities that there is an appetite for increased cycling opportunities.

Dan Brothwell, chairman of city cycling campaigners Bike Worcester, said one of the benefits of the Woo Critical Mass events is giving people the chance to cycle on Worcester roads they usually wouldn't.

The Critical Mass international cycling movement was brought to the city in June, and the fifth ride is taking place this weekend.

The movement has been described as direct action in which people meet at a set location and time, and travel as a group through their local area on bikes, all to raise awareness of cycling safety issues and put pressure on authorities to support green forms of transport and develop cycling-friendly infrastructure.

Critical Mass events are set up through social media but are ‘leaderless and have no organisers’ with whoever is the leader at a time choosing the route.

Mr Brothwell, who has been on three rides so far, said: "It has been similar numbers each time, around 40 people.

"What has been interesting is the spread of people. There have been little kids, four and five-year-olds, and people in their 70s and 80s - all ages.

"It has been pretty well attended. If you look at when these have first been done in other cities you start small, sometimes two or three people, and they gradually grow over time.

"It's not unreasonable to think the same thing will happen here.

"Local politicians say not enough people cycle to warrant the infrastructure - this is about saying there are a lot who cycle, and people think it is important.

"The other thing about it is the less confident riders - I don't think they would cycle on some on these roads alone, like City Walls Road.

"I go to work every day on my bike, and I'm thick skinned so I'm comfortable with doing that.

"The critical mass means you ride as a mass and it gives people the confidence to ride on roads they are legally allowed to go on."

Previously Worcestershire County Council has responded to the protest, providing a statement that said: “The council is committed through our Local Transport Plan to improving walking and cycling links, or ‘Active Travel Corridors’, throughout the county.

"We have recently completed several improvements for walkers and cyclists including Hams Way Bridge and the refurbished Sabrina Bridge.

"We invite people to take a look at the new proposals for schemes across the county and share their views as this will help us as we look ahead to completing them later this year.

“More information on the proposed schemes, including maps of each one is available at www.worcestershire.gov.uk/EATC.”

On its Twitter page, Worcester Critical Mass says the next event will start at Cafe Viaduct from 10.15am this Saturday, October 16.

Riders meet at 10.15am for a 10.30am start.

Further rides are organised, taking place on Saturday, November 20 and Saturday, December 18.