'Great work' by rail industry helps people make greener transport choices
- Published on Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:09
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
A revolutionary automated bike hire scheme and the addition of 2,000 cycle spaces across one operator's network were some of the achievements celebrated at this year's National Cycle Rail Awards.
The awards, which are run by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), recognise the work being done by train companies, associated industry groups and individuals across the country to encourage the combined use of cycle and rail travel.
The rail industry is always looking for ways to work with local individuals and groups to improve access, security and information for passengers who want to get in the saddle.
Train companies understand that cycling offers passengers a low cost way to travel, has considerable health benefits and is environmentally friendly. The awards show the continuing progress that is being made in developing new facilities for cyclists by working closely with local communities.
This year's winners include:
- The new fully-automated Brompton Dock Hire facility, which is helping to revolutionise cycle-rail travel. The system allows users to register online and pay for bike hire automatically using debit or credit cards. The 24-hour-a-day facility was first installed in July at Guildford station but has quickly been rolled out to four other stations with plans for installation throughout the UK by summer 2013.
- Paul Best from Southern Railway, who smashed a target of providing 1,500 new cycle parking spaces across the Southern network 19 months ahead of schedule, even adding a further 500 spaces for good measure. Paul has used innovative solutions to increase cycle provision including introducing several double-decker cycles racks and the company's first cycle hub at Haywards Heath.
ATOC Chief Executive Michael Roberts said: "Cycling plays an important role in increasing access to the country's railways and the rail industry is fully committed to making it easier for more people to combine cycling and rail travel."We have seen a record number of entries to the awards this year, not only from train companies and other industry organisations but from individual cyclists.
"The consistently high standard of entries reflects a real commitment to improving facilities which both help those who have already decided to cycle, and encourage more people to get in the saddle."
Transport Minister Norman Baker said: "Cycling is great for your health and good for the environment so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for people to cycle to the railway station.
"I am really impressed with the work being done across the industry to encourage the use of bikes to get to and from the station by improving facilities for cyclists at stations. This great work gives people more choice on how they make their door-to-door journey as well as making it easier for passengers to make greener transport choices.
"I hope that the success showcased here today will encourage others across the industry to take similar steps to encourage more of their passengers to leave the car at home and get to the station on two wheels."
The winners were announced on Wednesday at a ceremony hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, with a presentation from Transport Minister Norman Baker.