Compton Abbas Airfield is buying a fleet of electric bikes. Dan French of Dorset Adventures is partnering with the airfield in arranging the bike hire.
Dan believes this new service will appeal to Shaftesbury area visitors because cycling has become popular during lockdown. “People are wanting to try them and go out for experiences on them,” said Dan.
His company will also offer guided tours both on and off road. “We might show them where to go, so they don’t have to navigate. Lots of people enjoy that because they’re taken on a journey,” said Dan.
E-bikes are a game changer, allowing visitors to experience the hilly terrain of Shaftesbury, the Vale and Chase. “You look at a hill and you know, with a smile on your face, that you can tackle it,” said Dan. He reckons the e-bikes will have a 40km range.
Airfield MD Clive Hughes says it will allow his flying day-trippers to discover our area and support local shops and services. “We get a lot of people come in asking for taxis and where they should go. The trouble is, there’s not always enough taxis to take them, which is a bit of a disappointment, because we do try and shuttle people into Shaftesbury, Blandford and the surrounding areas,” said Clive.
His visitors come from across the British Isles – ‘from Ireland, Scotland and North of England’ – and Clive expects to see increased domestic tourism when lockdown rules are lifted. He hopes to start the e-bike service in the summer. And he says he’s keen to hear from anyone who can accommodate his visitors who chose to stay overnight, once they’ve seen how beautiful our area is.