Twenty-one new, free, active travel routes have been created across North East Lincolnshire.
The routes, known as FitRoutes, provide people with mapped outdoor fitness tracks to use and enjoy when they are planning and enjoying exercise while exploring the outdoors.
Consisting of three phases – urban, rural and trail – the way-marked routes are spread across numerous locations in the borough including Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham, varying in distance and terrain, making them suitable for all ages and abilities.
Local events organisers Tape2Tape, who put on the much-loved Ørsted Great Grimsby 10K, came up with the idea after they noticed a huge increase in people enjoying the outdoors and getting involved in walking, jogging and running as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Designed for all, many of the routes are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies and within short distance of a bus stop or car park. Full details on accessibility can be found at www.fitroutes.com.
Managing directors Neil and Nicola Pattison said: “FitRoutes is a great sustainable way of enabling people and families to experience some new and exciting routes in North East Lincolnshire and we hope they will also be a great attraction for visitors as a way of seeing the area whilst keeping fit.
“The story behind our creation stems from being sat in our garden during the pandemic.
“Our garden overlooks a very quiet lane and we could not believe the amount of people we saw pass by getting their daily exercise. This was the same in other areas of the borough. Enabling others to stay active is something we are both very passionate about and we wanted to encourage people to keep active and get outside, hence the idea of the FitRoutes.
“Exercise is really important to us both and helps us mentally and physically. The outdoors is like medicine to us. It really does help change our mindset and enable us to cope better with stress.
“We are very excited to launch the routes and setting them up has been great fun. It’s kept us fit too as we have covered almost 400 miles in total.
“We really hope that people have as much fun on them as we have. We would also love for people to share their experiences with us on social media.”
Proud to a part of the project, North East Lincolnshire Council and its regeneration partner, ENGIE have joined forces as co-sponsors to help support the initiative.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “Over the last year, it has been well publicised how important fresh air and exercise is for our wellbeing, and we have seen a huge increase in people’s newfound appreciation for this.
“We want to nurture this enthusiasm and provide people with sustainable ways of continuing their fitness journeys and we feel that FitRoutes gives them a platform and incentive to do so.”
Phillip McConnell, Deputy Partnership Director at ENGIE said: “ENGIE are thrilled to be supporting the borough’s new FitRoutes project.
“The past year has certainly been a challenging year for all, but it has taught us that taking care of our physical and mental health is incredibly important.
“We only hope that FitRoutes will continue to encourage people to enjoy the fresh air and take care of their health.”
Free to use, the routes can be accessed via a number of platforms making them available to all.
For those with access to a smartphone, the routes can be accessed via the RunGo app which provides users with a live feed of directions and historical facts about the route.
Those who prefer a more traditional map, route instructions can be accessed via the website at www.FitRoutes.com. Alternatively, all routes are way-marked with clear signage to reassure people they are heading in the right direction.