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CTC calls for massive increase in secure bike parking at stations

Cyclists' organisation responds to Commons report urging better integration with rail links...

A report by the House of Commons Transport Committee has urged the government to accelerate the integration of other forms of transport with the rail network to get fewer people using their cars, but cyclists’ organisation CTC warns that in order to achieve this, “substantial investment” is needed in cycling infrastructure at railway stations, such as providing access to cyclists as well as bicycle parking, hire and storage facilities.

Roger Geffen, CTC Campaigns and Policy Director, said: “Currently cycle parking provision at most stations is woefully inadequate, with many cyclists having to lock their bikes to railings and lampposts. Secure cycle parking would also reverse the increase in bike theft at railway stations and would actually encourage many more people to cycle to the station.”

CTC also called for sufficient bicycle parking to be put in place for 5% of rail travellers, compared to the current level of 1.6%.

According to CTC, Britain’s busiest 88 railway station would need to have 125,000 spaces available, compared to just 8,000 at present. The shortfall is even more acute at 14 stations in Central London, claims CTC, where the current 1,365 spaces would need to be increased to 67,612, a fifty-fold increase.

Despite the huge increase in spaces required, CTC believes that the target is “achievable,” pointing out that Mayor of London Boris Johnson intends to make available a further 66,000 spaces to be made available at the capital’s railway stations, and highlighting the experience of the Netherlands, where one in three railway journeys involve a bike ride to or from the station, and bike parking is commonly provided for one in ten of a city’s population.

Even those stations where bike parking provision nears the 5% target need some attention, according to the CTC’s full response to the DfT's recent Better Rail Stations report, pointing out that since cities such as Oxford and Cambridge already have elevated levels of cycle usage, demand for spaces at those stations is higher than elsewhere and bike racks are often full to overflowing.

The full response, which can be found here, lists Britain’s busiest stations (Category A) and next busiest in terms of traffic (Category B stations) by the ratio of bike parking spaces currently provided compared to 5% of daily passenger numbers. Complete tables can be found in the CTC response document, but the top five and bottom five stations in each category (excluding five Category A and eight Category B stations that have no bike parking provision whatsoever) are:

Category A Stations        Cycle        5% of passenger/  ratio  
Top 5                      Spaces 2009      day 2008
York                        446                895          2
Bristol Temple Meads        340                970          3
Liverpool Lime Str          200                601          3
London Kings Cross          332              3,374         10
London Paddington           276              4,000         14

Bottom 5
London Liverpool Str       119               7,916         67
London Waterloo            200              13,740         69
London Bridge              100               7,414         74
B'ham New Street            24               2,344         98
London Victoria             84              10,611        126

Category B Stations        Cycle        5% of passenger/  ratio 
Top 5                      Spaces 2009      day 2008
Oxford                      616                646          1
Cambridge                   748                959          1
Liverpool South Parkway      32                 58          2
Didcot Parkway              166                331          2
Basingstoke                 266                630          2

Bottom 5
Bromley South                30                861         29
Shenfield                    12                414         35
East Croydon                 62              3,195         52
Richmond (Greater London)    16                913         57
Clapham Junction             25              2,723        109 


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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