Plans for the UK’s biggest cycle park at Cambridge railway station have been submitted, and we have a video here showing the cyclist's view of the approach and the facilities that could be on offer.
The plans include stairs with ramps to push the bikes up, and the £2.5 million Cycle Point facility will have space for 3000 bikes, in an attempt to end the chaos that is currently the parking situation at the station. There will also be a 230-bedroom hotel located above the bike spaces.
One viewer of the video on Youtube was less than impressed, commenting: "You want us to ride along the pavement, slaloming trees and pedestrians, for how far? 50-100m? Or you actually think its a good idea to open a bike park only accessible on foot? Either way, thats a terrible design flaw. Fix it!
And then I get to the bike park and I've got to go up stairs? You've included -stairs- as part of the bike access? Sorry to ask, but what were you smoking when you came up with that?"
In fact the stairs in to the bike park include up and down channels - much wider than the bike gutters previously installed on a footbridge at Cambridge Station and shortly afterwards scrapped for being unusuable. The channels in these stairways look wide enough for a confident cyclist to ride (whether you will be allowed to is another matter) they are certainly wide enough for a cyclist to push their bike along as they walk up the stairs, which might be the only option during peak times anyway when weight of numbers might make riding up the channels impractical.
As for the need to "slalom trees and pedestrians" before getting to the entrance - the trees look to us like a method of deliniating the cycling and pedestrian parts of the pretty wide footway, although this is one of those cases where painting a big bike symbol on the cyclists's side of the path or simply painting it - light blue perhaps - would achieve exactly the same effect,. The trees no doubt do contribute to cutting the devlopment's carbon footprint though.
Cambridge Cycling Campaign told Cambridge News that the scheme could "go a long way" to ending the chaotic cycle parking at the station which the current shortage of spaces has encouraged, but is concerned that it will not be possible to ride bikes around the building.
Chief executive of Brookgate, who came up with the plans, Sven Töpel said: "We have been working closely with the council and Greater Anglia to come up with a scheme that addresses the substantial demand for more cycle parking spaces at Cambridge station.
"A new station square and transport interchange are important benefits of the cb1 development, and achieving planning permission for the cycle park will be a significant step towards delivery of our plans to create a new transport hub for the city centre."
The development will also include a bike shop, shops and restaurants and Sheffield and double-stacking bike stands.
Near to the station lies the cycle bridge that was driven down by a man in a Jaguar car last week, which was only possible, say police, because thieves had stolen a metal bollard blocking the entrance. It has now been replaced with a concrete one.
<p>After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.</p>