Wiltshire bikers are getting free help if they are involved in a crash, after the success of a trial scheme taken up by the county's fire service.

Bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with a total of 349 motorcyclist deaths in 2017.

The Biker Down initiative is part of a nationwide attempt to promote safety to bikers. Sponsorship from AJN Steelstock, of Kentford, Suffork, will provide Biker Down the cash to give training courses and tools to motorcyclists across Wiltshire. The firm have also given road safety services a Triumph Daytona 675 motorbike, so Biker Down can take its message on the road.

Statistics show that motorcyclists are likely to have a fatal accident on rural roads, and bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with 349 motorcyclists losing their lives in 2017.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service piloted the scheme with the help of Wiltshire Air Ambulance, but the new support from AJN Steelstock means the three-part programme can be delivered in multiple locations.

The three-part programme lasts roughly three hours and includes safety training such as how to manage the scene if you come across a collision, immediate emergency aid, collision prevention and the science of being seen.

After completion of the course, bikers will be given a certificate and a first aid kit to put under their seat.

Alan Boyden, joint managing director at AJN Steelstock, said: “Being a biker myself, and with numerous like-minded staff, I really see the benefit of schemes like Biker Down, so I welcomed this opportunity to support the new Wiltshire programme. I have no doubt that it will help to save lives, and we’ll certainly be promoting it with our customers and colleagues.”

The scheme aims to reach as many places in Wiltshire as possible. Dean Hoskins, manager of Wiltshire By Watch, is a keen motorcyclist, was one of the main driving forces behind the scheme coming to Wiltshire.

Mr Hoskins said: “Our intention is to make the scheme available at fire stations around Wiltshire, and this funding means we can now buy all of the resources we need to run the programme effectively.

"The bike will be used for display purposes at public events to help us promote road safety and the Biker Down scheme to as many people as possible.”