Friday, 8 July 2011

Southern Rail U-turn on Cycle Parking at main entrance to Brighton Station: 40 new spaces at front (south entrance)

May. Cyclists locked bikes to railings outside
8 July 2011. Southern Rail today announced that a new 40-space double-tier bicycle parking facility is to be installed at the south side of Brighton railway station by September 2011.

The announcement is a reversal of the previous decision by Southern not replace cycle parking facilities at the front of the station, which were removed during renovations earlier this year. At that time, Southern said cycle parking represented a security threat in that they could not monitor bags left on cycles in the busy main entrance to the station.

The new cycle rack will be located where currently there is a small car parking area used by British Transport Police (BTP) and Southern Staff adjacent to the building that houses the BTP offices and public conveniences. It will be fenced, and monitored 24 hours a day by Southern’s CCTV Control Centre. The new facility is due to be completed by early September.  

As they once were: an estimated 100 cycles or more at station front
May: The space where the old cycle racks once were
Cyclists protested against the removal of the cycling facilities, saying no consultations were made, and that the remaining provisions were less convenient since they were at the rear of the station and required cyclists to dismount, and walk through the station onto a rear platform before they could park. As a consequence, the front railings became festooned with bicycles locked to the railings.

The cabinet member responsible for Transport in Brighton and Hove's new Green-led City Council, Cllr Ian Davey, backed the campaign to get cycle parking re-instated at the front of building. He described the move as a Green win and said: "I have been discussing the need for provision of cycling parking at the front of the station with Southern since coming into post in May. I am delighted they have listened and responded so positively. I look forward to them being opened in September.”

Cllr Ian Davey is also Brighton and Hove City Council’s Deputy Leader.

A council spokesperson said: "Southern has been working closely with Brighton and Hove City Council on plans for the station frontage including cycle parking, and following recent feedback from cyclists who use the station, installation of the two-tier rack will begin next month."

Southern’s Franchise Improvement Director, David Scorey said: “We are pleased to announce the installation of this new facility. Although we have put in over a hundred extra cycle parking spaces at the rear of the station which are very well used, some of our passengers told us they wanted parking to be available at the front. This will go some way to meeting those requirements.”

Cycling should be made a more convenient option option, not less convenient.

In my opinion, the 40 new cycle parking spaces will barely be able to cope with the number of cycles already chained to the front of the station. It seems clear that people some people are leaving their cycles there for long term parking. Not only is there a train station and a bus terminus there, it is the gateway to Brighton's main shopping area, and dense residential areas of Queens Road, Western Road and the North Laine. If we are going to encourage cycling, we need to plan for storage for a lot more cycles. It seems a pity to waste the quadrangle in front of the Station, and Southern should play its part in promoting sustainable transport. But they do face a problem - how to deal with cycles left there long term, and even abandoned. Could they levy a small fee, as is done in some other places? Should the city provide a large cycle parking facility? Watch this space.

How it is done in Utrecht
Take a look at this video, and the comments below it, to see how another station in another city is providing parking for cyclists.

Brighton: Sign warning cyclists not to park cycles.
Brighton: Railings outside the front of the station

No comments:

Post a Comment