A new initiative to address bicycle thefts has been enthusiastically welcomed by Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC).

The trial scheme, running on Saturdays in September and October, sees the new 140-space secure bicycle park at Kingston's Guildhall available for use by the general public.

The initiative came after the KCC asked for urgent action to address an increase in cycle theft across the borough.

Between January and August last year, 363 bicycles were reported stolen across Kingston.

The Guildhall's state-of the-art cycle parking compound, designed for use by council staff was completed earlier this year, has a number of shelters in a controlled-entry yard, which is monitored by CCTV.

When the KCC realised it went unused at weekends, they approached the council and asked if town centre users could access to it.

Jon Fray of the KCC said: "We are pleased to see that this pound is being put to good use on Saturdays.

"We hope that cyclists will use it and that the facility can be made available on a more permanent basis next year on Saturdays and Sundays too."

Each Saturday, the free compound, open from 9am to 6pm, will be staffed by PCSOs who will provide security advice and discount vouchers for cycle locks.

Visit kingstoncycling.org.uk for more information.