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Olympics bike storage facilities 'a joke'

Just 200 spaces for thouands of visitors

With just over a thousand days to go before the London Olympics, organisers are facing up to the fact that cycle parking in and around the site is, at the moment, completely inadequate.

An investigation has revealed that Stratford station, which will see the main influx of visitors to the Games still has no secure bike parking.

And in the five ‘Olympic boroughs’ there are only just over 200 bike storage spaces at railway stations.

The Evening Standard survey has been backed by campaigners who accuse Olympics organisers of paying nothing but ‘lip service’ to cycling in their plans for the 2012 event.

The 39 stations across the five Olympic boroughs — Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest — have a total of 212 parking spaces for the 132,512 passengers who use the stations daily, an average of one space for every 625 passengers.

In Hackney, where cycling is being taken up faster than in any local authority in Britain, only one out of its nine overground stations, Hackney Downs, has any storage for bikes.

Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator of the CTC, said: “We know cycling is pretty much ignored in the Olympic boroughs and that is symptomatic of the problem.

“The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are paying lip-service to cycling but they are not giving any real commitment. They are only interested in the Javelin trains that can shift 1,000 people at a time during the two weeks of the Games, but will go back to services in Kent afterwards. Proper facilities at the stations would provide a real legacy in these boroughs.”

Tom Bogdanowicz of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) said: “If we want the Olympics to be watched by active spectators we have to provide proper cycling facilities or the whole thing becomes a joke. I think the Olympics ought to be a beacon of best practice.”

An ODA spokeswoman said 15,000 temporary bike racks will be put up including 5,000 in Victoria Park.

She said: “A £100 million investment plan has just gone in to transforming Stratford station, but there just isn't any room to put in more bike racks at the station itself.”

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