CYCLING shoppers who use their local high street will be rewarded in a new loyalty card scheme.

Sustainble transport charity Sustrans has launched the scheme with Redbridge Council as part of the council's pledge to become a biking borough.

More than a dozen shops in High Street, Wanstead have signed up to the scheme which rewards cyclists for shopping locally.

For every 20 stamps a shopper collects on a loyalty card when they make a purchase in a participating shop, they will receive a reward, which this month is a bike pannier.

Cycling promotion officer for Sustrans, Emilie Charlesworth, said: "Wanstead has got this local high street feel to it. Residents and shopkeepers want to preserve that feel.

"The more people that use their local shops reduces the need for drivers to visit large shopping centres.

"Cycling has definately increased with the amount of people we see coming to us for information and help, especially parents with their children."

Participating shopkeeper, Dill Puneet, and business owner of The Art Shop, in Wanstead High Street said: "We do support the local community and I think the idea is a good thing to have in the high street.

"It is good to encourage people to cycle and to have a green environment for all. We have regular cyclists who come to our shop, so they should benefit."

The scheme was funded out of a £250,000 grant given to Redbridge Council by Transport for London and is supported by the Wanstead Business Partnership.

The money will be spent on improving cycling in the borough until March 2014.

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