A total of 6,956 bicycles were reported stolen from UK railway stations in 2022, a 39% increase from the 4,999 stolen in 2021 and the equivalent of 19 per day, according to new Freedom of Information research from Direct Line Home Insurance.
From January 2021 to May 2023, there have been more than 14,000 reports of items stolen at train stations and London’s underground stations.
Ten train stations outside of London reported the greatest number of thefts, with St Albans City (260), Cambridge North (217) and Woking (182) making the top three of that list.
In reality the number of bicycle thefts is likely to be much higher as 36% of individuals have admitted that they did not report their bike as stolen.
According to Direct Line research, nearly two in five individuals who have owned a bike had it stolen.
Despite the increase in bike thefts from train stations, the number of people charged fell by 8% in 2022, from 260 charges in 2021 to 238 in 2022.
In 2021, 1.2% of the 4,999 bikes were returned. In 2022, 1.5% of bikes were recovered out of the 6,956 reported thefts.
According to Direct Line, Brits spend, on average, £430 on their bikes, bringing the total estimated value of these thefts to nearly £3 million.
Two thirds of bike owners admit that they do not have bike insurance, leaving them vulnerable in the event that their bike is stolen.
Dan Simson, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: “Train stations are a prime target for thieves with high numbers left every day as individuals commute to work or school. Many rely on their bikes for day-to-day transport making it incredibly inconvenient and expensive if their bike is stolen.
“Investing in a strong D lock will help deter thieves and making sure that your home insurance covers personal possessions away from the home will give peace of mind should the worst happen. In the event of a theft, report it to the police as soon as possible.”