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Cycling England has started working

with four train operating companies on a series of projects investigating how best to encourage more cycling to railway stations. Nearly all the projects include either the introduction or improvement of cycle parking facilities at stations, as well as improving cycle pathways to and from the stations themselves. Although primarily intended for

Bike Dock Solutions’ Parisian Shelter

Pedal power I

Cycling is one of the central planks of the government’s sustainable transport policy. However, many commuters remain reluctant to cycle to the station in case their bike is stolen during the working day. James Nash looks at ways to improve cycle security at railway stations

n the UK, a bicycle is stolen every minute and fewer than five per cent of those are returned to their owners. Cyclists are more likely to have their bikes stolen than motorcyclists their motorcycle or car owners their cars, and

cycle theft is the single greatest deterrent to cycle use after road safety fears. A total of 23,748 bikes were reported

stolen in London alone during 2009-2010. It was also discovered that railway stations are the worst locations for bicycle theft, according to figures published last year by the Mayor of London’s office. As a result a Cycle Security Plan was

produced for the capital by Transport for London (TfL), the British Transport Police, the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, to prevent and deter cycle theft and criminal damage. Initiatives included the establishment of a dedicated Cycle Task Force to investigate and

tackle organised cycle theft, and to disrupt the trade of stolen bikes and parts. Solutions identified include tackling cycle theft at problem locations (prioritised at a local level by policing), educating cyclists to prevent cycle theft and increasing the availability of designated cycle parking in public places where cyclists can securely leave their bikes. If we are to encourage commuters to

cycle to the station, any increase in cycling traffic needs to be met with a consequent increase in secure cycling parking and storage facilities; with the emphasis on secure. People need to be confident that their bike will be where they left it when they return. TfL is already working with Network

Rail, the train operating companies and boroughs to increase cycle parking by London railway and Tube stations, but this strategy needs to be adopted nationwide if cycling is to be encouraged throughout the UK.

domestic installations, when considering cycle parking options at stations, railway operators would be well advised to follow the guidance for secure cycle storage as laid down in the Code for Sustainable Homes. These are intended to encourage people to use cycles for short journeys instead of cars, which will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, along with noise and air pollution. Such facilities require both wheel and frame to be locked. Materials must be galvanised steel with a thickness of 3mm or more and a foundation depth of 300mm with a welded T-bar set in concrete. Solid, enclosed structures should be

fitted with an entrance lock or secure fixings to which cycles can be locked. Non-solid structures require an entrance lock and secure fixings to lock cycles to. The minimum requirement for cycle store structures is that they constitute three sides and a roof. Local authorities can help out by working

alongside cycle shelter providers in selecting and installing the most appropriate, secure parking facilities for railway stations. They should also look to improve other security elements around the cycle parking area, such as ensuring that CCTV cameras are fitted and are working correctly. A member of staff should also be checking the cycle park on a regular basis. Cycle shelters can be tailored so that

they ‘blend in’ with the design of their surroundings, so there are no problems in ‘uniforming’ them so that they meet the corporate requirements of the rail companies. Of course, functionality and security are central to the design because, after all, if cyclists don’t like the rack, they won’t use it. It is important that railway stations utilise

secure, functional cycle parking shelters. It is only by doing this that commuters will be encouraged to cycle, benefiting both their health and the environment. By removing the risk of theft, the commuters’ reluctance to get on their bikes will also be reduced.

James Nash is the director of Bike Dock Solutions:

MAY 2011 PAGE 27

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