The head of Birmingham bicycle campaign Push Bikes is pressing the local council and Network Rail to take greater consideration of cyclists’ needs as the city’s New Street railway station, the busiest in the UK outside London, currently the subject of a massive redevelopment programme.
Although it handles some 140,000 passengers a day, John Bennet of Push Bikes says that the station has only 30 bike parking spaces, compared to 300 at Bristol Temple Meads.
“Birmingham has always been at the bottom end of the table for cycling the UK but it has grown a lot in the last year,” Mr Bennett explained to the Birmingham Mail.
“The council needs to do more and so does Network Rail,” he added. “They don’t provide nearly enough racks and what is there is in a dark location which is vulnerable to thieves.”
A spokesman for Network Rail told the newspaper that the redeveloped station would have 190 bike parking spaces from 2015, with improvements also made to security.
That still sounds a far cry, however, from the £700,000 Cyclepoint facility opened at Leeds railway station last year, operated by Evans Cycles and developed jointly by Network Rail, Northern Rail and Leeds City Council.
The facility, modeled on the Dutch FietsPoint concept, provides secure, fully staffed parking for more than 300 bicycles, as well as housing a bike shop and workshop.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.