Friday, 20 May 2011

Cyclists protest against the removal of cycle parking facilities from Brighton Railway Station

This cycle parking at Brighton Station is scrapped.
19 May 2011. On Friday 13 May cyclists at a meeting of the Station Gateway Group protested against the removal of cycle parking racks from the main (south entrance) of Brighton Railway Station. Scores of cycles are now chained to railings at the front of the station and facing the bus depot and surrounding shops.

A Brighton resident who was at the meeting said: "There was no community consultation about the decision to remove the cycle racks. Southern Railways says cyclists can use the cycle racks at the rear (north entrance) of the station. But most people arrive at the station from the main entrance, which faces the seafront and the North Laine shopping and entertainment areas. To get to the rear you have to dismount and walk through the station and onto a platform. Studies show that cyclists typically won't go more than fifty meters to park their cycles. The response of the station manager who was at the meeting was unsympathetic to cyclists - he said that since cars have to park at the back, there's no reason why cyclists should not do so as well."

Chris Hudson, Media Relations Manager for Southern Rail who operate the station, said security was the primary reason for the decision to remove all cycle storage facilities from the station frontage on a permanent basis. He said the chained cycles represented a security risk in the crowded front for the station, since rucksacks and satchel bags are left attached to bikes.

"People have been chaining their bikes to the railings around Brighton station for many years. There are sufficient cycle parking facilities at the rear of the station, so there should be no need for people to chain their bikes to railings at the front," Mr Hudson said.

"We re-painted the canopy which stretches across the entire station frontage and in order to carry out the work safely bicycles the coffee bar and the taxis were moved from the front to the back. Cycles are now permanently parked at the rear of the station which has been the intention for some time," he added.

In answer to speculation that Southern Rail will use the space freed up by removing the cycle storage for retail sites, Chris Hudson said: "There are no plans at present to develop the area left free by the cycle park at the front of the station."

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