Cambridge Cycling Campaign has warned that the opening of the new £2.5m, 3,000-space CyclePoint bike park at Cambridge railway station could end up being a "fiasco" due to the way the closure of the temporary bike park is being handled. They also fear that CyclePoint's new bike racks will be incompatible with standard UK frames.
CyclePoint will open at 6am on February 15. However, people only have until 10pm the same day to collect any bikes left in the old, temporary bike park. After that time, bikes will be removed by Abellio Greater Anglia and stored for a week, awaiting collection, ‘before disposal through the OWL charity’.
Cambridge Cycling Campaign's Roxanne De Beaux told Cambridge News:
"The railway company is proposing to give merely 18 hours for users of the over 1,000 bikes in the current cycle parking to move their bikes.
"What should have been a major cause for celebration, and the result of 15 years of campaigning, looks like it could be a fiasco, if urgent changes are not made to the opening arrangements."
When one local resident pointed out that it was half-term at this time and he would be away for a number of days, Abellio Greater Anglia’s advice was simply to leave the bike at home.
@Sim0nRedfern Hi. I would suggest leaving it at home/dorm and travel to the station without a bike. RS
— Greater Anglia (@greateranglia) February 3, 2016
Martin Lucas-Smith, liaison officer for Cambridge Cycling Campaign, added: "The removal of bikes from the temporary racks with such short notice seems not far short of criminal theft. It certainly doesn't comply with the local bye-laws requiring a notice for 14 days."
Peter Meades of Abellio said notice would be given before bikes were taken away. He also defended the new bike racks, which Cambridge Cycling Campaign say will not allow most users to lock through the frame: "From our point of view, we believe the racks will meet people's expectations and will be secure and fit for purpose. We had some issues with the type of rack we have in the existing facility, which were not as robust or hard-wearing as we would want them to be."
De Beaux remains unimpressed.
"We have real concerns that the new racks proposed for the cycle park are of a poor design that appear not to enable the frame of the bike to be locked.
"The last two years have seen a trial of different types of racks, but these new types haven't been tried here, and were not presented as options at any stage of consultation. The racks are designed for Dutch bikes which have built-in locks, unlike most cycles in the UK.
"We hope that these two issues can be resolved urgently, and that the opening of the new cycle park, Britain's largest, can be a source of celebration, not marred by problems."