Photograph: Petra Appelhof

“World’s largest” bike parking facility opens in Utrecht

The “world’s largest” bicycle parking facility has opened in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with a total of 12,500 spaces.

State secretary Van Veldhoven (infrastructure and water management) said: “Utrecht celebrates the opening of the largest bicycle parking facility in the world.

Photograph: Petra Appelhof

“It’s an important moment and one to celebrate because the number of travellers is growing and continues to grow. Thousands of travellers in Utrecht can once again park their bikes right near the train platforms they use.

“We’ve already expanded the number of bicycle parking spaces in the Netherlands from 200,000 to 490,000 in recent years – and we’re certainly not finished yet.

“With the extra money that the Government is allocating for this, many more spaces will be created at busy stations throughout the country.”

Dutch people collectively cycle about 15 billion kilometres per year, meaning that bikes are used for more than a quarter of journeys made in the Netherlands.

Victor Everhardt, councillor for the Utrecht station area, said: “Cycling is part of our genetic makeup in Utrecht. This city opened the first cycle path in the Netherlands in 1885. Utrecht wants to be, and will remain, a beautiful, healthy, liveable city.

“That is why we are focusing on cycling as a healthy and sustainable means of transport in a growing city. The largest bicycle parking facility in the world compliments this perfectly. I am proud that we have been able to build this in the Utrecht station area.”

Photograph: Petra Appelhof

The Municipality of Utrecht, Prorail and NS jointly built and manage the Stationsplein bicycle parking facility in Utrecht.

In addition to 12,500 parking spaces, the parking facility also has space for 1,000 public transport bicycles (OV-fietsen).

The parking facility is open 24/7 and users can park their bikes for the first 24 hours for free.

The parking facility consists of three floors and a continuous cycle path runs through the facility so riders can cycle in and out of the parking facility on both sides.

A digital bicycle space indication system helps cyclists find free spaces easily and travellers can reach the train platforms from the facility.

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