Parking at British railway stations may never be the same again if a new Dutch-style Cyclepoint which launches at next year at Leeds station is a success.
In Holland Cyclepoints (they are called Fietspoints over there) combine a secure cycle parking garage with a bike shop. The first UK Cyclepoint will be run by Northern Rail which operates out of Leeds station, the Northern Rail franchise is owned by the Dutch national rail company Ned Railways and it will be working with Network Rail, which owns the station, Leeds City Council, the CTC, and the West Yorkshire PTE to open the Cyclepoint by early 2010.
In Holland Fietpoints offer manned secure cycle storage along with bike retail, repair and hire facilities and it is envisaged that the same format will be used here. Something similar already operates in Bristol where the Mud Dock bike shop received funding from the city council a few years ago to offer secure parking, showers and changing facilities to cycle commuters. The shop though is not attached to a station.
Dutch Fietspoints are not expected to make a profit but to cover their costs and they are subsided by the rail company during the initial set up phase.
Ned Railways found that in Holland when station car parks were full, the number of off-peak train journeys were reduced. However, when money and effort was pumped into creating thousands of secure bike parking spaces, the number of passenger train journeys increased. Peak time passengers also increased.
According to Northern Rail they expect the Leeds Cyclepoint to have covered all it's costs by 2012. If it is a success more are such facilities will follow.
Here's a some video of a Fietspoint in action shot by Carlton Reid who filmed a recent study tour to Holland by the all party Parliamentary Cycling Group to see bikes and trains in action
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.