The Government has announced a £6.8 million investment for an extra 2,300 cycle spaces to be built at 48 stations across England, enabling commuters to cycle directly to the station and lock up their bike securely.
The investment is part of the Cycle Rail programme, now been backed by over £40 million from the Department for Transport.
Cycling and walking minister Michael Ellis said: “Cycling to your nearest station and catching a train to work is a great way to keep healthy, reduce emissions and help make our towns and cities vibrant places to live.
“But to make this a reality, I know that the right infrastructure needs to be in place. This latest investment will see many more stations become accessible for cyclists, so that greener travel options – whether as part of a longer or shorter journey – become the norm.”
The Cycle Rail programme has already tripled the number of cycle parking spaces at more than 500 stations, bringing the total to over 80,000.
This includes the creation of integrated cycle hubs at railway stations including at Hove, where 150 additional bike spaces with secure key card access and CCTV have been provided alongside a cycle maintenance, hire and repair business. At Preston, cyclist access to the station has been improved by the completion of a cycle path alongside a cycle hub, providing safe parking for more than 200 bikes.
Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, said: “Walking and cycling should be the easiest way for everyone to get to their local station, making our towns and cities better places to live by reducing congestion and air pollution, and improving our physical and mental health. But it’s not always easy.
“Train operators and their partners have come up with a range of schemes that will make it easier for people to get to and from their station under their own power, which we hope will encourage more people to choose cycling and walking as part of their everyday journey.”
Phillip Darnton, chair of the Cycle Rail Working Group, said: “This latest, most welcome grant to the Cycle Rail Working Group continues the Department for Transport’s successful funding programme which, over the last five years, has directly led to the number of trips to and from stations by bike more than doubling. This cost-effective investment really does work.”
The announcement includes financial contributions from wider station development projects, including the Chisholm Trail cycle route in Cambridge and 280 additional spaces being provided for ongoing improvement works at Chatham station in Kent.
The Government has also launched the refreshed Cycle to Work scheme, providing employees with a tax exemption to access adapted bikes and e-bikes, making it easier to have a greener commute.