Transport for London (TfL) says that secure parking facilities will open later this month at tube stations on opposite sides of the capital, and has also unveiled plans for a 5,000-space ‘Superhub’ at Waterloo station. It has also launched a website in partnership with the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) so people can share details of existing facilities and suggest where more spaces are needed.
The cycle parking hubs at North Greenwich and Hounslow West stations – both of which also have bus stations – will respectively have 190 and 350 bike parking spaces – including for cargo bikes and handcycles – as well as bike maintenance tools, and will be covered by CCTV.
The planned facility at Waterloo, meanwhile, where existing bike double-deck bike parking is hugely popular with commuters, is due to open in 2018 and will be the largest such facility in the UK, with 2,000 more spaces than the Cyclepoint that opened at Cambridge railway station last month.
It is being built in partnership with Network Rail and the Department for Transport, and TfL says it should result in more people choosing to ride a bike from the station to their place of work rather than taking the tube or a bus.
While cycle parking at railway terminals in London is used predominantly by people commuting into the city to complete their journey to work, the hubs at Hounslow West and North Greenwich are partly aimed at reducing the use of cars at the start of a commute, with people encouraged to cycle to the stations instead.
Other locations where Cycle Hubs could be built include Abbey Wood and Romford – both stops on Crossrail, recently renamed the Elizabeth Line – as well as Tottenham Hale and Barking.
TfL says that 80,000 new cycle parking spaces should be made available across the city by the end of this year, the same number as the total that were installed between 2008 and 2012.
Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director for surface transport, said: “We know that people who want to cycle at least part of their journey need to be given the peace of mind that they can leave their bike somewhere that is safe and secure.
“These new facilities will put us on a par with our continental neighbours, giving people the confidence to take their bike out more often.”
The new website www.urbancycleparking.org.uk aims to outline where existing bike parking facilities are available in and around the capital and invites people to highlight existing facilities as well as outlining where more is needed.
LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha commented: “Substantially more high quality cycle parking at stations and on streets is vital to sustain the welcome growth in cycle use.
“The launch of this interactive Urban Cycle Parking website is a great opportunity for London cyclists to play an active role in improving cycling provision and to suggest the right places to install cycle stands.”
A recent report from TfL highlighted a shift away from private car use towards cycling in Central London as well as huge growth in the number of people taking to two wheels, but it’s clear that in many places infrastructure is desperately needed to keep up with demand.
At Marylebone station, for example, on Sunday evening 340 cycle parking spaces were all full as the bikes awaited the arrival of their commuter owners on Monday morning – with Chiltern Railways only making it available to season ticket holders, who have to register and attach a tag to their bike to show they have done so.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.