Rail promotes pedal power as cycle-rail journeys soar to 50M a year
A new campaign to promote PlusBike, the rail industry’s free ‘one stop shop’ for tailored information to help people plan and make easier combined cycle and rail journeys, was unveiled today.
Better bike facilities at stations and on trains are helping to fuel a rapid rise in the number of people combining cycle and rail to get to work or to make leisure trips.
Figures show that:
- There were around 50million ‘cycle-rail’ journeys last year, up 40 per cent on 2010;
- The number of cycle-rail journeys where a bike is parked at a station has increased by 75 per cent since 2010;
- The number of cycle spaces at rail stations has risen from 25,000 to more than 64,000 in the last five years, and that number is set to rise to 75,000 in 2017.
Now the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has launched a new drive highlighting PlusBike, the information portal now made even easier to access and understand, where people can find out more about cycle-friendly train travel.
PlusBike includes details of facilities at stations such as the number of cycle parking spaces, rules about taking bikes on trains, whether reservations are available or required, and even links to local cycle-hire businesses.
Jacqueline Starr, RDG Managing Director of Customer Experience, said:
“Record numbers of people are getting on their bikes as part of their rail journeys. We have more cycle spaces at stations than ever before, and PlusBike shows people just how easy it is to take your cycle to the station or on the train, helping cycles play a key part of the customer journey.
“It’s great to see cycle-rail’s growth in popularity, and train operators and Network Rail are doing lots to improve facilities, working with government and local authorities.”
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said:
“I am delighted the number of people cycling to and from the station has soared by 40 per cent since 2010. We have provided £29million to improve bicycle facilities at hundreds of railway stations since 2012 and have invested in PlusBike. There is no doubt this has made a real difference.
“We made clear in our cycling and walking strategy that we want to double cycling, and this is a welcome step in the right direction.”
Last year the Department for Transport granted £14.5million more to improve cycle facilities at railway stations.
The RDG and Cycle-Rail Working Group have also published new guidance for train and station operators. The Cycle Rail Toolkit 2 shares best practice and will help them make improvements to support and encourage even more cycle-rail journeys.