SHOWERS could be built at the new £50 million transport interchange in a bid to encourage more people to bike into Bolton.

Transport bosses hope the facilities will encourage more commuters to use pedal power instead of their cars — especially those inspired by the success of British cyclists such as Jason Kenny at the Olympics.

A cycle hub is already planned for the transport interchange in New Street, Bolton town centre, but now Transport for Greater Manchester chiefs have announced this will also include showers, changing cubicles, covered and secure parking for bikes, lockers and toilets.

Cllr David Chadwick, who represents Bolton on the TfGM committee, said discussions had taken place about making the hub a stand-alone building rather than it being part of the Interchange itself, but said proposals were still in the early stages.

He added: “People could ride into Bolton, get a shower, put their bike in a locker and then get on the train.

“Thanks to the Olympics and the feats of Jason Kenny I see more and more people on their bikes around Bolton, which is great to see because it’s good exercise.”

The hub is due to open by spring 2015 and is being funded by the £50 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme.

People who want to use the facilities would have to become a member of the scheme and would gain access with a swipe card.

The exact details of how many bikes could be stored are still being finalised, but in a separate project, Northern Rail is also planning to install new cycle storage facilities on each of its platforms.

The move has been welcomed by commuters, cycling clubs and health chiefs.

Stephen Smith, aged 45, of The Haulgh , said: “I think showers are a good idea. Where I worked they had them in the office building, but going on the train if you’re scruffy isn’t nice.”

Ray Ducker, aged 53, of Farnworth, has been cycling for 30 years.

He said: “The showers are a good idea. I ride to Great Lever, which is two miles from mine, but if I worked in Bolton I’d use that facility, “I think the Olympics has made people more involved with sport.

Jason Kenny lives near me.” Brendan Nawrocki, aged 34, of Hall i'th'

Wood, said: “It’s a good idea, especially as you could leave your bike.

“I only live two miles out of town and it can take half an hour to get into town in the car because of the traffic.”

Andrew Richardson, secretary of Bolton Hot Wheels cycle club, said: “If this new facility is done well I'm sure it would be a major benefit to the town.”

Lesley Jones, Bolton’s deputy director of public health, said: “Commuting by bike can help you achieve this level of physical activity by making it a regular part of your daily routine.

“If you are unable to perform vigorous exercise, cycling is a great option because it can be done at the speed and level you feel comfortable with.”

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme is investing in new cycling schemes, routes and facilities across Greater Manchester to make the bike a “realistic and attractive”

way of getting to work for thousands more people.