POSTER and billboards are springing up across Craven in an effort to improve safety for both cyclists and motorcyclists.

It follows an increase in the number of those on bikes and on motorbikes being seriously injured or killed on North Yorkshire's roads.

Last year saw a more than 60 per cent increase in the number of people killed in collisions, including three times as many motorcyclists and an upward trend in the number of fatalities involving pedal cyclists.

The Think Bike campaign, jointly organised by North Yorkshire County Council's road safety team and the police, is also set to coincide with the summer's Grand Depart of the Tour de France.

"It's great to see people getting on their bike to enjoy this beautiful county, take exercise and keep fit, but we want them to stay safe as well," said county councillor, Don Mackenzie, member for public health. "This latest initiative aims to tackle the problem of driver error in road casualties involving cyclists and bikers."

Deputy chief constable Tim Madgwick said police were urging drivers, motorcyclists and pedal cyclists to pay attention.

"We are urging them to pay attention not just to their own behaviour, but also make themselves alert to other people using the roads," he said. "Vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcyclists should also ensure they have the most appropriate protective and highly visible clothing and equipment."

The county council is also working in partnership with British Cycling through its SkyRides programme to bring a host of free cycling opportunities to the county, including Sunday rides in Craven in June and July.

To find out more about the SkyRides visit its website.