BOSSES behind one of Southampton's biggest mass cycling events have set a date for this year's spectacular.

HSBC UK Let’s Ride Southampton will take place on June 17, when six kilometres of city centre roads will be closed to traffic to enable thousands of people to explore the city on two wheels.

Formerly known as Sky Ride, the event supports the city council's campaign to turn Southampton into a cycling city.

Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said: “Last year we were blown away by the response of thousands of local people who got on their bikes and joined us.

“Along with HSBC UK and Southampton City Council, we are passionate about creating better cities for cycling.

"Events like HSBC UK Let’s Ride Southampton are a fantastic opportunity for people to get on their bike and take that first step towards making cycling part of their everyday life.”

HSBC UK Let’s Ride Southampton will be the third in a series of 14 events due to be staged across the UK this summer.

They are a key part of British Cycling and HSBC UK’s vision to persuade two million more people to use a bike by 2020.

More than 100,000 cyclists took part in last year’s events, riding a total of 1.5 million kilometres in the process.

Luke Harper, head of HSBC UK’s partnership agreement with British Cycling, said Let's Ride was a perfect opportunity to cycle along traffic-free streets.

He added: "These events provide a great day out for those who want to get back on their bike after allowing it to collect dust at home, or for experienced cyclists who want to try something a bit more relaxed.

"They will also be doing their bit to help create a greener, fitter, healthier Britain.”

Sam Fox, the city council's service lead for infrastructure, planning and development, added: “Our vision for cycling is to transform Southampton into a true cycling city where safe cycling is a daily norm.

"HSBC UK Let’s Ride Southampton is an important element in making this happen by showcasing the city at its best.

"With closed off roads it encourages regular cyclists and those who cycle less often to take part in a fantastic, free family day out.”

Full details of the day’s activities and route will be announced in the next few weeks.