The winners of the 2015 National Cycle-Rail Awards show how the industry is working together to contribute to the country’s cycling revolution


merseyrail_cycleBike & Go


Cycle-rail continues to be an industry success story. This year 38 million rail journeys included a bike – a staggering 66% increase since 2009/10.

Operators and Network Rail are delivering cycle improvements across their networks, ensuring that high-quality infrastructure is in place to support the anticipated increase in cycle-rail journeys.

The annual National Cycle-Rail Awards showcase initiatives, partnerships and improvements taking place across the country which are boosting the facilities and opportunities for people to combine cycling with their rail travel. This year’s winners, from 10 strongly contested categories, were announced at a ceremony in London last week.


Best customer service: South West Trains – Looking after Ride London

South West Trains showed their commitment to customer service by looking after passengers during the annual Prudential Ride London event, a two-day festival of cycling. With tens of thousands of spectators and cyclists coming into the city and Surrey, extra capacity on trains was needed and information had to be provided on key sites to view the race and how to get there by bike. South West Trains was proactive and well organised, keeping customers informed at all stages of their journey, with the result being  “a delightful event”.


Partnership Working and Local Government Schemes: Arriva Trains Wales – Improvements to Cycle Provision at Chester Railway Station

This is a great example of working in partnership to significantly improve cycle provision and security at a Grade 2-listed station. Arriva Trains Wales’s overarching aim was to encourage the use of cycles to access Chester Railway Station by increasing cycle parking, and reducing cycle crime in the process. The operator worked closely with Network Rail after they were jointly awarded funding to carry out the improvement scheme. This involved creating new designated and covered cycle storage areas and replacing existing hoop storage with two tier racks. Capacity was doubled.


Innovation: Citymapper – Journey Planning App

Citymapper is a smartphone app which helps people to navigate around complex cities, making best use of all the transportation options available to them. The aim was to use the cycle hire infrastructure to suggest routes which are quicker than alternatives planned using other modes such as bus, rail or metro only. The app was described by one of the award judges as: “A highly impressive and popular journey planning solution that truly integrates rail with cycling, and other modes. A game- changing innovation.”


Cycle Champion: Jonny Wiseman – East Midlands Trains

Jonny Wiseman was told to “sort bikes” at East Midlands Trains. That is exactly what he’s done. He has been credited with revolutionising the company’s attitude and response to cycle-rail and for having carried out work that will deliver benefits to users for years to come. For example, Wiseman has overseen the delivery of two outstanding cycle hubs at Sheffield and Leicester, which required him to overcome some complex issues with a range of stakeholders.


Door to Door Journeys including Station Travel Plans: Northern Rail – An integrated approach to cycling in Greater Manchester

Northern Rail won the ‘Door to Door Journeys’ Award for its work with Transport for Greater Manchester to develop a fully integrated cycling scheme across the region. The scheme provides safe and secure storage for bikes at multiple locations, all linked by a single registration card, helping to provide customers with an easy-to-use cycle storage scheme.


Cycle Security: British Transport Police – Operation Lock-It

Operation Lock-It is an innovative project which channels funds seized from criminals into cycle security for rail users. Launched in 2014 by British Transport Police, it has been rolled out across south east England by officers from Cambridge to Bournemouth. It has already had a significant impact in reducing cycle crime.


Station of the Year: Southern – Brighton

Southern won ‘Station of the Year’ for Brighton where it has introduced a new cycle hub with outstanding facilities for cyclists as well as the wider community. Just over a year ago Brighton station only had 250 cycle spaces. Most of the cycle parking was exposed to the elements and in some areas of the station it was filled to capacity. The introduction of a new cycle hub has transformed a derelict area of Network Rail land to create a super-hub containing an additional 500 cycle spaces, with a range of facilities. These include a cycle repair and maintenance workshop, a coffee shop, new keep fit facilities offering classes such as yoga and spinning, a rentable office space, a roof terrace area and showers/changing rooms. Judges said it was “the standard that all operators should be aiming for” and that “every hub should aspire to this”.


Operator of the Year: Merseyrail

Merseyrail has delivered a range of great cycle improvements. The secure cycle storage network and Bike&Go bike hire scheme play an integral part in the customers’ journey and provide a seamless door-to-door experience. Bike&Go has more than 1,500 subscribers and hires on average 150- 250 bikes each month. The ‘secure cycle facilities’ initiative started in 2010 at a handful of stations. There are now over 2,000 secure cycle spaces. These compounds will soon all stations on Merseyrail’s network.


London Cycle Parking: London Borough of Waltham Forest – Mini Holland Programme

This Transport for London-funded scheme aims to encourage people to cycle more safely and more often by providing better environments and facilities for everyone. The programme specifically targets people who make short car journeys in outer London which could have otherwise been easily cycled. A key element of this strategy is linking commuter areas within the borough, via safe cycle routes, to high quality cycle parking facilities at railway stations.


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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