A shiny new Christmas bike is not much use if someone steals it.

Now Slough Council's sustainable transport team Better by has launched a campaign to ensure it does not happen - by encouraging people to get their new 'pride and joy' security marked.

Look out for free bike marking sessions provided by the Better by team throughout the borough, where the bike is registered on a national database and a tamper proof sticker is added to the frame to deter thieves.

Cllr Rob Anderson, the authority's cabinet member for transport and environmental services, said: “Bicycles are a great way to enjoy leisure time, use to travel around the borough and commute to work.

“Riding contributes to physical fitness, reduces the number of vehicles on the roads and pollutants.

“There are several measures cyclists can take to make sure they remain the rightful owner - getting a good quality lock, the bike security marked and locking it up in very visible places can contribute to deterring thieves from targeting that new bike."

The council recommends spending around one tenth of the cost or more of the bicycle on a lock.

Cyclists can register the bikes on www.bikeregister.com and www.immobilise.com with the bike’s frame number for a small fee.

There will be a series of security marking sessions, in partnership with BikeRegister announced in the new year as well as sessions with Cycle Experience at Langley Pavilion, Upton Lea Community Centre and the Britwell Centre on February 18, 19 and 20.

Lots of information about winter cycling, free security bike marking sessions throughout the year and other sustainable transport advice is available at www.slough.gov.uk/betterby