UNIVERSITY freshers are being offered pedal-powered tours of their new home city to help them settle in to their new surroundings.

UniCycle is a walking and cycling campaign to help Durham University students get to know the city, the best routes to take and raise awareness around cyclist safety.

A series of four guided bike rides starts on Thursday, with a five-mile ride setting off from the bike stands outside the Department of Geography at noon.

The series ends with a three-mile night ride from St Mary’s College starting at 4.30pm on Thursday, November 23.

Places can be booked by calling Andrew Thorp on 07831 863770.

There is also a women-only nine-mile guided Breeze ride setting off from Dunelm House on Saturday, October 28 at 2pm.

There are also three guided walks, ending with a Durham Ghost Walk, led by David Shotton,on Thursday, November 23 setting off from Prebends Bridge at 4.45pm.

The whole project will culminate in a UniCycle Celebration event for students on Thursday, November 23 at St Mary’s College, which will include stalls, giveaways, demonstrations and free bike security marking.

Cllr Carl Marshall, from Durham County Council, said: “This project will enable students to gear up for cycling in Durham City by getting them kitted out and getting them moving through their new home city”.

“As well as cycling and walking tours, our latest residents will be given advice, bike safety checks and even goodie bags thanks to our partners”.

He added: “UniCycle addresses ongoing concerns over safety of student cyclists who do not use lights and increases in bike theft that have hit the student population hard”.

“There are also offers on bike purchases to receive free locks and lights, supplied by Recycke Y’Bike; maps by Durham County Council; and security marking, provided by Durham Constabulary, to make sure students have safe travels as they make their way through university life.”