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Cycling in the UK the Way! In association with

Norman Baker has welcomed best practice from the Netherlands as a valuable contribution to the government’s agenda to provide sustainable travel links to and from rail stations



hen people travel, we want them to use sustainable means of transport whenever possible. Using the bike in conjunction with the train is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of travel. And not only does it help to cut carbon emissions, it also helps to reduce congestion on our roads, as well as being good for your health. We have to make it easier and more convenient for people to make their door-todoor journey using sustainable transport modes. In essence, this means making sure a

journey by sustainable modes of transport, such as bike and rail, is as seamless and as easy as getting in the car. In March 2013, I launched the Door to Door Strategy, the government’s new strategy for improving sustainable transport integration. It sets out our vision for a more integrated transport system that facilitates and enhances door-to-door journeys by public transport, supported by cycling and walking. It also explains the actions we are taking, and will take, towards realising this vision. Cycling is a central part

of our vision which is why, earlier this year, I announced the largest ever allocation of funding for cycling to date. We are investing £62m to make travelling on two wheels more attractive for people throughout England. This includes a £15m boost to the Community Linking Places Fund to support schemes that improve cycle-rail integration at stations. Abellio received a share of this funding and I am delighted that they have used this to enhance cycle storage, add new cycle racks, and to introduce their new bike hire scheme at stations across Northern Rail, Merseyrail and the Greater Anglia networks. There is much that we can learn from our Dutch colleagues about cyclerail integration and I am pleased to see that Abellio have imported some of their experience and knowledge to the UK. In October 2010, I was pleased to be asked to open the UK’s first CyclePoint, at Leeds station. Delivered by Northern Rail, this cycle hub combines cycle storage with retail, repair and hire facilities. This is the sort of thing we should be doing across the country to encourage more people to cycle to and from the station. Cycling provision is not about eight spaces around the back of the station next to the dustbins. It ought to be at the front of the station taking pride of place – as it does at Leeds. I want to see more innovative cycle hubs, more cycle parking that is safe and secure, and more cycle hire schemes that encourage people to use a bike. By working together, we can make sure that this kind of integration becomes the norm, rather than a novelty, and help to give people a viable door-to-door sustainable transport option.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport

WHAT’S INSIDE 04 JEFF HOOGESTEGER Abellio’s chief executive explains his ambition to set new standards in integrated transport.

& GO 06 BIKE The UK’s first major station cycle hire scheme is coming soon to over 50 stations.

09 MERSEYRAIL Merseyrail is the first train operator to offer network-wide secure cycle parking.


Chelmsford CyclePoint is the start of the Greater Anglia cycling revolution.


Manchester is next as Northern delivers cycling upgrades from coast to coast.


Bus driver training helps ensure safe cycling in the capital; Bus drivers and cyclists Exchanging Places.


ATOC’s ninth Cycle-Rail Awards are now open for entries.


SPONSORSHIP Abellio London £20k Transaid target; Abellio sponsors Kent cycle racing team.


CYCLING TO LEAD TRANSFORMATION OF DOOR-TO-DOOR JOURNEYS Abellio aims to set new standards in innovative integrated transport and station development, says Jeff Hoogesteger


t Abellio’s Northern, Merseyrail and Greater Anglia rail franchises1, investment programmes are being delivered which have the potential to start a significant shift in the way people travel to and from rail stations. The projects currently being progressed are worth around £10m and will provide a step change in the scale and quality of cycling facilities provided by train operators. This year, Merseyrail will become the first rail franchise to effectively offer secure cycle storage across its entire network. At Northern Rail, the company is building on its creation of a West Yorkshire cycle/rail network with a programme to extend the concept into Greater Manchester and Lancashire. A series of cycle hubs and new secure cycle storage facilities will be built at key stations across the city, alongside upgraded station cycle parking on feeder routes. Arguably the most dramatic


improvements will take place at Greater Anglia. They will begin in June with the opening of a new 500-space CyclePoint at Chelmsford station, providing a dedicated facility tailored to meeting the requirements of all cyclists. Parking will range from a premium paid for service to open access racks. In line with Abellio’s CyclePoint model, new services will also be made available including cycle repair and local route information, as well as some new innovations. Among them is a UK-first insurance scheme to provide maximum peace of mind for customers parking expensive bikes. Chelmsford is expected to be followed by a further five CyclePoints covering all Greater Anglia’s principal stations in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Significant upgrades are also being planned across the remainder

of the network. On top of the operatorspecific programmes, a Dutch-style Bike & Go scheme will be launched this summer, offering low cost, convenient cycle hire at over 50 stations across its three franchises. It will be the first large-scale scheme of its kind in the UK and provide a new means for customers to complete their journey. The projects, predominantly funded by the Department for Transport, represent the most comprehensive improvement to station cycling facilities ever undertaken in this country. Abellio chief executive Jeff Hoogesteger envisages that they will open entirely new travel choices for customers. “Working with local authorities, we will be in a position to ask customers to think again about how they


travel to and from our stations, whether it would suit them to consider going by bike, and whether there are ways of travelling which may not have previously occurred to them,” he says. At Greater Anglia, for example, the scale of the market and the quality of the new facilities will be such that Hoogesteger can envisage significant numbers of regular commuters owning two bikes as in the Netherlands. One would be for the journey to the station and parked there during the day; the other would be a functional bike, left overnight in a secure storage facility at the customer’s destination station and used for short trips to their workplace.

In the less mature cycle/ rail market at Northern and Merseyrail, the creation of cycle hubs offering innovative services at key stations, alongside new facilities covering entire routes, will enable cycling to be promoted as an attractive alternative option for journeys to the station. However, for Hoogesteger, the investment programmes are not primarily about encouraging cycling in itself. Instead he views them as a key step in his agenda to create an entirely new endto-end journey experience. Abellio’s research shows that typically customers perceive that journeys to and from the station take twice as long as

in reality, with consequent impacts on the image and attraction of rail travel. His ultimate aim is to remedy these perceptions by offering a range of interchangeable choices for trips to and from the station which are fully integrated with rail travel and designed so that customers can complete their whole journey seamlessly and simply in all circumstances. “Of course we would like more people to cycle to and from our stations because we believe that in many circumstances it will be the most reliable, convenient and pleasant choice for them,” says Hoogesteger. “However, we have to recognise that on any given day, different customers

will have different preferences in completing their end-to-end journeys in terms of price, time and many other influences such as weather conditions. Cycling is only part of that mix. “So we have to think of how we cater for that demand and how to provide the travel options people want with the requisite flexibility. This is how we will change the way rail travel itself is perceived.” Apart from the new cycling facilities, early initiatives that form part of this agenda include the Cab&Go scheme being pioneered at Greater Anglia and plans to develop integrated travel tickets incorporating a choice of station cycle storage or bus travel with a rail journey.

Further initiatives are being devised drawing on research being undertaken in the Netherlands and best practice across Abellio group. “My ambition for Abellio is to be the market leader for the delivery of integrated transport solutions and innovative station developments that ease passengers’ overall journey experience,” says Hoogesteger. “We will know we have succeeded when our customers view their journey as a smooth and reliable single trip rather than a series of stages. We can then consider our job well done.” In fulfilling this aim, Abellio’s experience in developing partnerships and structured plans to promote new station cycle schemes will provide valuable experience. Northern Rail’s industry-first Cycle Forum and cycling strategy laid the foundations for initial discussions with ministers on delivering improvements in station cycling facilities and subsequent funding commitments. This approach has now been replicated by a number of companies. It is one that Hoogesteger believes the industry as a whole could draw on when considering how to raise the issue of catering effectively for customers’ broader end-to-end journey requirements with government. “It is the public transport industry’s duty to keep pace with a rapidly developing world in which our customers quite rightly expect more sophisticated communications and ease of movement,” he says. “I believe it is imperative, therefore, that the industry focuses continually on improving partnership working. By sharing knowledge and working towards common aims, we can not only satisfy and exceed our customers’ expectations, but those of the wider public and the industry’s funders as well.”

Merseyrail and Northern Rail are operated through Joint Ventures with Serco Group plc. 1


ABELLIO SET TO LAUNCH UK’S FIRST MAJOR STATION CYCLE HIRE SERVICE Hiring a bike will be simple and the price will be comparable to a short return bus journey

Bike & Go is part of Abellio drive to improve journeys to and from stations


his summer will see the launch of the UK’s first major station cycle hire programme, offering passengers across its three rail franchises a new way of completing the final phase of their journey. The Bike & Go service, modelled on the Dutch OV-fiets station cycle hire concept, will be rolled out in July at 20 stations served by Merseyrail, Northern and Greater Anglia. Thirty more stations will be included by the end of the summer, and a further seven by the end of the year. The new service will target commuters and offer low cost, rapid and convenient cycle rental. The administration involved is limited, and the price is just £3.80 per day.


Unlike traditional cycle hire schemes, there will be a small annual fee, £10, which means that subscribers do not have to pay a deposit and fill in a form each time a bike is rented. After completing an online Bike & Go subscription, customers need only show their membership card at a station ticket office, where they will be given a key to unlock a bike from a clearly branded Bike & Go stand. The key will be scanned when the bike is hired and then returned either to the booking office or a designated drop-box at the station. The £3.80 will then be charged to the customer’s credit or debit card account. “From a passenger perspective, hiring a bike will be simple and the price will be comparable to a short return bus journey,” says Merseyrail customer services director, Kaj Mook, who is leading the Bike & Go project for Abellio. “Within minutes of arriving at a station, people can be on their

The distinctive yellow and blue OV-fiets cycles are a popular means of travelling to work from rail stations in the Netherlands. Bike & Go draws heavily on Abellio’s experience of how OV-fiets has developed

hired bike and ready to go.” In setting up the project, Mook, a former managing director of OV-fiets, has drawn heavily on experience from the Netherlands, particularly in creating the back office required to run the scheme. However, in a number of respects Bike & Go will be superior to the Dutch service (see page 8). “The advantage of Bike & Go is that we can use best practice from

the Netherlands and learn from experience gained there,” he says. At the launch, Bike & Go will offer at least 10 bikes for hire at each station. Initially, there will be more bikes available than the expected number of rentals, so that potential customers are assured that they will get a bike. Once take-up levels at individual stations are known, cycles can be moved around

BIKE & GO AT OVER 50 STATIONS The initial locations for the Bike & Go scheme have been selected on the basis of station footfall and the density of commuter destinations within a short radius of up to three miles. Northern will have 25 Bike & Go stations, there will be 17 at Merseyrail, and 15 at Greater Anglia. Stations with Bike & Go facilities will include Southport and Liverpool South Parkway at Merseyrail, Colchester and Manningtree at Greater Anglia, and Wigan Wallgate and Harrogate at Northern Rail.




to cater for different levels of demand. Mook points out that whereas major urban cycle schemes need to build additional docking stations to respond to increased demand, Bike & Go will make use of regular cycle stands, so the costs of both establishing and expanding the scheme are not high. “This is one of the main features of Bike & Go – it’s an inherently low cost scheme,” he says. It will be financed principally through a £1.65m grant from the Department for Transport, and funds will be used to create a back office function, procure the bikes as well as marketing the initiative. While Abellio is keen to promote cycling as an environmentally friendly, low cost and healthy means of making journeys to and from stations, Mook emphasises that

Bike & Go should not be viewed simply as just another cycling initiative. He explains that this service is part of Abellio’s push to provide more options to customers for finishing their journey. “When people arrive at their destination station we want to give them choices for completing the last leg of their journey,” he says. “It’s up to individuals whether they do this on foot, by bike, bus or taxi and the option that is best for them will depend on the weather, time available and how much they want to spend. This is what our research has shown us, and we aim to cater for all of these variables. Bike & Go is one way of making the passenger experience even better.”



BIKE & GO WILL BUILD ON THE SUCCESS OF THE DUTCH MODEL Heightening awareness will be critical to scheme’s success


ince its launch a decade ago, the Dutch OV-fiets station cycle hire scheme has been expanded, with 1.2 million bike rentals made last year. In developing its Bike & Go service, Abellio has drawn on lessons learned by OV-fiets, and made improvements on the product offered in the Netherlands. They include higher quality bikes with gears, and real time information via a mobile website, so that passengers can see that there will definitely be a rental bike for them when they arrive at their chosen station. The Bike & Go service will also benefit from substantially more funding for promotion than was available for the launch of OV-fiets. Bike & Go project leader Kaj Mook considers this essential to Bike & Go’s success, and acknowledges that persuading

There are over 1.2m rentals of OV-fiets cycles each year

people to try new forms of transport can be no mean feat. “The major challenge will be informing people that these bikes can be a fully integrated part of their public transport trip and a very useful means of completing their journey quickly and conveniently,” he says. “Even in the Netherlands, where cycling is far more popular than in the UK, we had to get across the message that OV-fiets is designed to make


Abellio is intending to introduce Bike & Go at further stations on its Northern, Greater Anglia and Merseyrail networks, after evaluating results from this year’s launch. In addition, it will aim to extend the service to other UK rail franchises. “A major feature of OV-fiets in the Netherlands is that it is a national scheme,” says Bike & Go project leader Kaj Mook. “We have the same ambition for the UK, which we hope to achieve as and when Abellio wins more franchises. At the same time, we want to open Bike & Go facilities on networks beyond the Abellio stable.”


the last leg of the passenger journey smoother, easier and generally quicker. It’s essential that we have a marketing budget to communicate this.” When OV-fiets started in the Netherlands 10 years ago, it was managed by Dutch infrastructure operator ProRail (equivalent to Network Rail) and the Dutch cyclists’ union. In 2008, responsibility transferred to Abellio’s parent company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).

Since then, the number of customers subscribing to the service has jumped from 30,000 to 120,000 and rentals have gone up by 400%. Nederlandse Spoorwegen has developed the service, offering electric bikes and mopeds as well as cycles. Abellio will consider expanding Bike & Go to include these modes of transport should uptake of the cycle rental service indicate that there could be a market for them.


Simon Wright MP and Chloe Smith MP open Greater Anglia’s cycle hire scheme at Norwich station

Cycle hire is currently available at three Abellio stations – at Northern Rail’s Leeds CyclePoint, at Merseyrail’s Southport CyclePoint and at Norwich station on the Greater Anglia network. Unlike Bike & Go, these schemes cater mainly for leisure passengers rather than commuters which Bike & Go is targeting. People hiring bikes for leisure tend to make longer trips, so the price is higher, around £8-10 per day, depending on location.


Eco-hub for cyclists aims to set new environmental standards Merseyrail will open secure cycle storage facilities at a further 31 stations this year to add to the existing 22

MERSEYRAIL FIRST TO OFFER NETWORK-WIDE SECURE CYCLE PARKING M New facilities will encourage growth in cycling to/from stations

erseyrail is set to become the first train operator in the UK to provide secure cycle storage facilities across its network. The company has already installed secure cycle compounds at a third of its 66 stations, and has won £1.35m from the Department for Transport to provide similar facilities at a further 31, so soon the vast majority of stations will have them. Made of wire mesh, the enclosures are protected by CCTV, are well-lit and can only be accessed by swipe fobs, which cyclists can apply for. Cycle parking at these facilities is free. Although the programme does not include all its stations, Merseyrail considers that, to all intents and purposes, it will offer complete network coverage.

The only stations without a secure cycle compound will be those which are so close to another station that it would not make economic sense to provide facilities at both, as well as those in Liverpool city centre which are mainly destination stations. “Almost all journeys by bike at present are from home to the station, so we will have pretty much 100% network coverage,” says Merseyrail cycle project manager Margriet Cuypers, who has been seconded from Abellio’s parent company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, to develop and roll out the initiative. Twelve new compounds will be completed this summer and a further 19 by the end of the year, each of which can hold around 32 bikes. The location of the


compounds has been selected with advice from Merseyrail’s Cycle Forum, ensuring they are in areas with easy access to stations, ticket offices and trains. The facilities are complemented by open access stands and racks, which cater for less frequent cyclists who have not registered for secure storage. “Registrations to use the secure compounds have risen 40% in the last year to 2,000, and we are still at an early stage in our cycling programmes,” says Cuypers. “Extending secure storage across our network with the right facilities in the right locations will encourage even more people to cycle to and from stations.” Merseyrail is now using the investment programme to strengthen relationships with local authority cycling officers and is encouraging councils to extend cycling networks to more of its stations.


erseyrail is developing a new CyclePoint in Liverpool city centre with the aim of setting new standards in environmental performance and service quality. Funded by the rail industry, this facility will feature secure storage in a staffed building, cycle rental, repair, equipment sales and information, as offered by the current CyclePoints at Southport and Leeds. The Liverpool facility will also feature more advanced environmental technologies and some service innovations. “Leeds particularly is based on Dutch best practice and you won’t find many locations in the Netherlands with better facilities,” says Merseyrail customer services director Kaj Mook. “The facilities in Liverpool city centre will be just as good, and I would like it to be the ‘greenest’ CyclePoint ever.” The new CyclePoint is expected to open in late 2013 or early 2014.

Kaj Mook, Merseyrail customer services director


CHELMSFORD CYCLEPOINT TO START GREATER ANGLIA CYCLE REVOLUTION Huge demand for cycle parking at Cambridge station will be addressed through a new 3,000 space CyclePoint

Six CyclePoints are planned in network-wide strategy to cater for huge rise in demand


ince Abellio took over the Greater Anglia franchise in February 2012, the company has laid the foundations for a widespread upgrade to station cycling facilities in keeping with a region where cycling levels are the highest in the UK. In recent years, the rise in cyclists heading for Greater Anglia’s principal stations has reached a level where facilities need to be expanded and upgraded. Cycling to certain stations is being suppressed by the quality and scale of cycle parking available. “The increases mean cyclists are not catered for sufficiently well,” says Greater Anglia partnerships manager Geraint Hughes. “This, in turn, is causing wider access issues at some stations for pedestrians and drivers. Capacity on some trains is also being affected by the number of bikes on board – particularly on the CambridgeEly corridor, where well over


100 bikes are carried in the come in June with the opening morning peak.” of Chelmsford CyclePoint, one The initial step in addressing of Greater Anglia’s franchise the issues has been to draw commitments. It will increase up Greater Anglia’s first cycle parking spaces around cycling strategy. Its vision for the station from 600 to nearly promoting cycling to stations 1,000, introduce new services reflects government and and feature UK-first innovations. council policies, and is designed The concept builds on to establish productive lessons learned from partnerships with the first CyclePoint local authorities at Leeds station. CYCLING and the (see page 15). STRATEGY Department for The aim is to PLANS Transport. As provide all the NETWORKa result, even services a cyclist WIDE STATION before formal needs under one UPGRADES consultation on roof, in this case the strategy has cycle retail, repair, begun, new funding has advice and various been committed from a range grades of secure parking, all of partners, replacing previous managed by a local commercial adhoc investment. partner. “Through this approach we Other innovations will include plan to address the matters different grades of cycle parking we face with a network of to meet the needs of different CyclePoints at principal customers. At the top end, stations and upgrades at many reflecting the growing numbers others,” says Hughes. of customers using high value The first sign of change will cycles, Greater Anglia will

provide 300 premium secure parking spaces in a former nightclub building adjacent to the station. The building will be open to registered users from first train to last, with security provided by a sophisticated access system using latest biometric technology. It will include the first changing rooms and toilets specifically for cyclists at a UK station, and provide the first insurance policy for station cycle storage. Users will pay an annual fee, plus a small daily charge for using the premium parking. The next service level will offer 200 free spaces in a secure compound accessed by key fob, for which a returnable deposit of £25 will be charged. Storage itself will be free. This offer is already available at a number of Greater Anglia stations, and is popular with users. The minimum service level will consist of up to 500 further spaces in open access cycle racks and stands in front of the

Artist’s impression of new cycling facilities at Chelmsford station: The improvements gather all station cycle parking in one place, increase spaces from 600 to nearly 1,000, and provide UK-first innovations on top of the standard CyclePoint service

CyclePoint shop and monitored by CCTV. These facilities will also represent an improvement in quality and security over those available at many stations. Another key feature of the project is that all the cycle parking facilities currently spread around the station and its surrounds will be gathered in one place. The space freed up will be used to improve pedestrian flows and access to the station for people using other modes of transport. “At the moment, the station is overwhelmed by cyclists,” says Hughes. “We are solving that issue by providing appropriate capacity for cyclists, and improving the environment for all users.” At Cambridge, the UK’s premier cycling city where 20% of journeys are by bike, an even larger CyclePoint project has been designed (see page 12). Three further CyclePoints are planned at Ely, Norwich and Colchester, with Department for Transport funding agreed in

principle. At Ipswich, Network Rail has provided funding for elements of the CyclePoint service prior to a bid to the DfT to create a full facility. “That would enable us to offer CyclePoints at all principal stations in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,” says Hughes. Different solutions have been developed depending on the station. At Ely, a new 400-space CyclePoint will operate in tandem with the Cambridge facility, enabling commuters to

store a bike at each end of their journey, thus reducing carriage of bikes on trains; at Colchester existing secure storage will be supplemented by additional services, with cycle parking expanded from 400 to 550 spaces. Elsewhere smaller scale improvements are planned. On top of franchise commitments, additional funding is being discussed with Transport for London to increase cycle parking at all Greater Anglia’s A new CyclePoint will build on Colchester station’s award winning provision for cyclists.


Greater Anglia’s investments in cycling facilities are expected to lead to customers exploring new ways to travel to and from stations, as well as encouraging greater numbers of people to cycle. For example, a shift is predicted that will see regular commuters choose to own two cycles. As Greater Anglia’s investment programme is implemented, it will provide facilities for customers with an expensive bike to store it in a CyclePoint or secure compound at large and medium sized stations. Customers may then choose to keep an inexpensive bike in secure storage or open access stands at their destination station for cycling to work. “We know from Abellio’s experience that this is how people use station cycling facilities in the Netherlands,” says Greater Anglia partnerships manager Geraint Hughes. “People do not take bikes on trains like they do here.” Greater Anglia will also explore the potential to offer new multimodal end-to-end journey tickets covering train travel plus cycle storage and bus travel, so that customers have a choice of how to travel to and from the station.

inner suburban stations. In East Anglia, discussions have begun with some local authorities on funding additional cycle parking according to the need at each station identified in the cycling strategy. “The approach since Abellio won the franchise is having a significant change in the way we seek to attract investment,” says Hughes. “By drawing up a programme to improve cycle facilities and providing seedcorn funding we are establishing a basis for local authorities and DfT to work with us in a planned way. What we are finding is that it is becoming easier for partners to make the case for investment because there is a clear vision, which will benefit stations right across the franchise.”


Multi-storey cycle park planned to open December 2014


n December 2014, the premier cycle parking facility in the UK is due to open at Greater Anglia’s Cambridge station. Plans for a 3,000 space, multi-storey CyclePoint in a new hotel building immediately adjacent to the station have been drawn up as part of developer Brookgate’s CB1 project to regenerate the station area. The project is designed to solve major cycle parking capacity and station access issues which are even more pressing than at Chelmsford. At present around 1,400 cycles per day are parked at Cambridge station, where there is capacity for only 900 bikes in cycle racks and

Best practice from the Netherlands, including shallow staircases with ramped cycle channels built in, is informing the design of the Cambridge CyclePoint

Sheffield stands. Cycles are attached to trees, lamp posts and any available area. As at Chelmsford, the CyclePoint project will see all station cycle parking gathered in a single location as part of a solution to improve access for cyclists and other users alike. Premium bike parking, cycle repair, rental and equipment sales will be situated on the ground floor along with

provision for ‘outsize’ bikes such as tandems, child tows fitted to bikes and disabled cyclists. The first and second floors will be public areas monitored by CCTV with a mix of parking in two-tier racks and Sheffield stands. Greater Anglia’s plans for fitting the interior of the building have been informed by experience from similar facilities in the Netherlands. The CyclePoint

will include shallow staircases with ramped cycle channels built in, and a separate exit to leave the building after bikes have been parked. The £2.5m project will see the structure of the building funded by Brookgate, with Greater Anglia responsible for fit-out. A £0.5m grant has already been secured from Department for Transport’s Cycle-Rail Fund.

GREATER ANGLIA STRATEGY SETS OUT HIERARCHY OF STATION FACILITIES Greater Anglia plans to equip more main stations with secure cycle compounds. Pictured: Bernard Jenkin MP opens the Manningtree facility



reater Anglia has divided its 167 stations into four bands according to size and footfall. A programme has been set out to provide appropriate cycling facilities in each band, working with local authorities and the Department for Transport to compile funding. Band A – Principal stations (e.g. Cambridge, Norwich, Ely) The full CyclePoint service of secure storage, cycle hire, rental, retail and information will be provided. Customers

will be offered the option to pay a fee for high security fully enclosed parking, park in a free secure compound or use two-tier open access racks. Band B – Main stations (e.g. Bishop’s Stortford, Southend) Secure compound parking for regular users with keyfob access; open access stands and two tier sheltered racks for less frequent users. All parking areas will have CCTV. Most stations will have cycle hire and potentially premium (charged for) parking facilities.

Band C – Medium stations (e.g. Kelvedon, Audley End) High capacity, covered open access parking in a mix of two-tier racks and Sheffield stands, and an option to use a free secure compound. CCTV coverage of all parking areas. Band D – Small stations (e.g. North Walsham, Stoke Newington) Open access cycle parking in Sheffield stands or similar, with some sheltered parking. CCTV in appropriate areas.

Picture courtesy of Brookgate


Leeds CyclePoint gave Northern Rail an iconic facility which it built on with a Bike n’ Ride network at stations across West Yorkshire

NORTHERN DELIVERS CYCLING UPGRADES FROM COAST TO COAST Sixty stations to benefit from new £2.5m investment


ver the next year, Northern Rail will spend close to £2.5m on new cycling facilities at more than 60 stations. The projects represent a new phase in the company’s programme to make cycle/rail journeys an attractive choice across its vast franchise area, stretching from the Cumbrian coast to the seaside resorts of East Yorkshire. The focus will be on Greater Manchester and Lancashire. A new CyclePoint/hub will be built at Bolton station in a joint project with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), and provide a range of new services for cyclists. In addition, new secure bike parking compounds will be built at high footfall stations in and around

Manchester, and Northern is bidding for funds to improve and expand cycle parking on feeder routes into the city. The new facilities in the city itself will be incorporated into TfGM’s wider programme of cycle hubs. Common branding and technology will be applied, including installation of the Northern Rail is making provision for cyclists on feeder routes into large stations. Pictured: Cycle storage at Hornbeam station

same secure entry systems for TfGM and Northern Rail’s cycle storage facilities. “It’s tremendously exciting,” says Ian Hall, Northern’s marketing projects manager. “When we won Department for Transport funding for our projects in Manchester, TfGM was drawing up its own plans

for city cycling hubs. Working together means we can provide a better, more convenient service that makes it simpler for customers to use all the new facilities at our stations and throughout the city. It’s a great example of partnership working.” When the projects in Manchester and Lancashire are completed, Northern will have improved parking and services for cyclists at more than a third of its 462 stations in five years, at a cost of £4m. Previously, facilities at the majority of these stations were rudimentary, if they were available at all. Although Northern’s cycling programme started in earnest


COMMUNITY EVENTS CELEBRATE NEW CYCLE FACILITIES New partners attracted to help promote cycle/rail

N Train operating companies including Northern Rail and East Midlands Trains have worked to improve cycle facilities at Sheffield

...CONTINUED in 2008, its origins date back to the beginning of the franchise in 2004, well before it became common practice for operators to promote cycle/rail journeys. At that time, Northern committed to publish a formal cycling strategy – the first train operator to do so – and update it every three years. A Cycle Forum was also created, enabling local authorities and customers to influence Northern’s plans. The initial strategy, launched in 2007, was described by John Grimshaw, founder of sustainable travel charity Sustrans, as the blueprint the rail industry had been waiting for to promote cycling to stations. Its most important features included a long term structured approach to identifying the facilities required. At the busiest stations, dedicated cycling centres and secure compounds could be built, with cycle lockers and additional cycle stands also provided; at other staffed stations, covered cycle stands would be required in open view; at unstaffed stations, bike stands would need to be monitored by CCTV. The relationship the strategy opened with the DfT was also

significant. It was important in attracting funding for the Leeds CyclePoint demonstration project in 2008, which acted as a catalyst for many subsequent developments. In 2009, the CyclePoint project formed the centrepiece of Northern’s bid for £1m Bike n’Ride funding from Cycling England to upgrade cycle parking facilities at every station in West Yorkshire. Nearly 1,000 new cycle parking spaces were provided at 107 stations, ranging from 20-30 Sheffield stands at Harrogate and Barnsley to an appropriate number of spaces at smaller stations. Where there was sufficient demand, secure cycle lockers were also considered. “CyclePoint gave us a fantastic iconic facility that the Bike n’Ride scheme built on,” says Hall. “It means anyone can cycle to a station in West Yorkshire, leave their bike with confidence that it will be safe, and take the train to Leeds knowing all their needs as a cyclist can be catered for at the other end.” The experience in West Yorkshire was, in turn, a factor in the successful bid for DfT funding for the new generation of projects. The Bolton hub, for which Northern has won a £100,000 grant,



will provide secure storage for 100 bikes. At seven other stations in and around Manchester where over £450,000 of improvements will be made, storage for a total of 600 bikes will be provided. To maximise the number of spaces, the new facilities have been modelled on the low-cost wire mesh cycling compounds installed by Merseyrail, with CCTV monitoring, high quality lighting and swipe card access. Use of the covered compounds will be restricted to registered users. In addition, Northern has won £198,000 of DfT funding to start repeating the wider West Yorkshire programme across the Lancashire network. Eighteen stations will gain 10 new cycle stands monitored by CCTV. A further £250,000 from Network Rail will deliver improvements at 20 stations in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria, while an £800,000 DfT grant will fund Abellio’s Bike & Go cycle hire scheme at 25 Northern stations. “It’s still early stages in promoting cycle/rail journeys in the north of England, but we’re having some success,” says Hall. “Cycle parking at our stations grew 30% in 2011/12, and the new cycle/rail facilities across much of the franchise will enable the high growth we are still seeing to continue for some time to come.”

orthern Rail regularly holds community events to encourage the use of new station cycle facilities. When the West Yorkshire cycle/rail network was being developed, events were held at eight key stations with 50 partner organisations offering assistance and helping with publicity. The events included Dr Bike maintenance lessons, commuter cycling challenges and family fun days. As the Tour de France was taking place at the same time, several ‘Northern Rail stages’ were held. The Tour de Garforth, led by Northern Rail marketing projects manager Ian Hall in traditional French costume, attracted ‘competitors’ aged from six months to 70! “We take every opportunity we can to promote cycling,” says Hall.“The events have had a real impact in showing cyclists the facilities we provide for them and in building links with local organisation that help promote cycling to stations.”

Northern Rail’s Ian Hall leads the Tour de Garforth


Forum members take a group cycle ride after each meeting to test local cycle routes to stations

Forums being introduced at all Abellio train operating companies


ithin months of the Northern Rail franchise beginning in 2004, the company created a Cycle Forum to assist in the development of new station cycling facilities. The forum’s 100 members include community and cyclists’ groups, specialist organisations, such as Sustrans and CTC, the national cycling charity, and local authorities. Expert input is also provided by Abellio’s parent company NS (Dutch Railways). The forum meets three times per year at different locations across the north of England. “Everything we propose to do on cycling is shared with the forum and they help shape our decisions,” says Ian Hall, Northern Rail marketing project manager. “It means that when we make new investments we know that they are facilities cyclists want.” The Cycle Forum model is now being adopted by Abellio’s other franchises, Merseyrail and Greater Anglia.



n September 2010, Abellio’s first CyclePoint was opened at Northern Rail’s Leeds station by transport minister Norman Baker. Based on best practice from the Netherlands, it is designed to offer the full range of facilities a cyclist could require in a ‘one stop shop’. The CyclePoint provides five core services – secure bike storage, plus cycle hire, repair, retailing and local cycling information. Storage costs as little as 50p per day for annual tickets, providing

a secure alternative to free Sheffield stands, which many cyclists with expensive bikes are reluctant to use. Outside opening hours, access is by swipe card. With a striking curved glass frontage, rather than a purely functional design, the CyclePoint was designed as a demonstration project funded by a £0.5m grant from DfT, £60,000 from Northern Rail, £50,000 from Network Rail and £50,000 from West Yorkshire Passenger Transport

Executive. It was intended to draw attention to the concept of offering superior station facilities for cyclists rather than being directly replicable in appearance. In this respect, it has been successful. Abellio’s three franchises have won funding for a further eight CyclePoints and cycle hubs, based on the service provided at Leeds. Around 100 CyclePoint season tickets are in issue, with a small number of day tickets sold on top.

Cycle trips to Leeds station have doubled since CyclePoint opened.


ABELLIO LONDON DRIVE WELL CAMPAIGN HELPS ENSURE SAFE CYCLING Abellio London’s Drive Well campaign has emphasised the need to consider cyclists’ requirements and give them space when overtaking

New initiatives lead to large reduction in collisions between buses and cyclists


ince the turn of the millennium, London has experienced a boom in cycling, with journeys all but doubling. Over the next decade, Mayor Boris Johnson is seeking to double journeys again through a £900m investment programme, including a major expansion of cycle routes. Ensuring London is perceived as a safe place to cycle will play a crucial role in the Mayor’s ambitions. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorists will need to adapt to the change in circumstances, as journeys by bike continue to increase. Rising numbers of cyclists in the capital is a challenge that Abellio London has already begun to respond to through its Drive Well campaign. Although Drive Well covers every aspect


of bus driving, a substantial portion - around a third involves showing consideration to pedestrians and cyclists and ensuring that drivers are aware of their needs. All 1,800 Abellio London drivers have been fully informed of Drive Well requirements. The campaign has a number of elements. It is incorporated into regular briefings, campaign materials are posted on noticeboards and video display screens in depots show rolling messages highlighting the need to take account of cyclists. In addition, a depot is selected for a quarterly Drive Well roadshow where senior management raise issues which have emerged, show videos from on-bus CCTV of recent incidents, and discuss lessons learned with staff.

Key messages include an overview of the boom in cycling to emphasise that drivers need to check thoroughly for cyclists all around their vehicle. The importance of allowing cyclists space is also emphasised, partly to ensure they feel comfortable when riding and partly to minimise the dangers from cyclists swerving to avoid an obstacle. “All things related to driving are of prime importance to us and cyclists are high up on that agenda, as the Drive Well campaign demonstrates,” says Abellio London assistant operations director Lorna Murphy. The success of Team GB in the Olympic cycling events and subsequent public enthusiasm

to try cycling has also been used to raise awareness of cycling safety, adding a populist element to the campaign. In addition, an incentive scheme has been introduced to encourage safe driving, with drivers rewarded in line with lower numbers of accidents and hence a reduction in the company’s claims costs. Qualifying drivers can achieve a meaningful payout if collisions targets for 2012/13 are met or exceeded. Impressive results have been recorded since Drive Well was fully launched last March. Only two collisions between Abellio’s buses and cyclists occurred in the first three months of 2013, compared to 32 in the whole of 2012.


CYCLISTS’ SAFETY FULLY INCORPORATED INTO DRIVER TRAINING Bus drivers to be trained on roads with high numbers of cyclists


Abellio London’s new Certificate of Professional Competence training will place drivers in situations where they experience large volumes of cyclists

his year, Abellio London will significantly expand the cyclist awareness elements in its drivers’ Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training. The CPC requirements, introduced in 2008, mean all drivers must receive 35 hours’ training every five years in road safety and other role-related subjects. Initially, cycling issues formed a minor element of the training at all bus operators, but the rise in cycling trips in London means companies are reconsidering their approach. “When we began CPC training, there was little on cyclists’ safety,” says Abellio London assistant operations director Lorna Murphy. “We have extended it in our defensive driving training, but the new courses we are writing now will have a lot more on cycle awareness, both in classroom

and on-road training.” On-road training will include drivers being placed in situations where there are high volumes of cyclists, with instructors advising on whether driving standards meet requirements and how they could be improved. Classroom training will be consistent with the company’s Drive Well roadshows, take drivers through situations they may encounter and reiterate Abellio London’s ongoing campaigns on ensuring buses do not present a danger to cyclists. All drivers will take the cycling safety CPC courses over the next five years. Priority will be given to drivers identified as needing to pay particular attention to this aspect of their work in the company’s mystery traveller surveys, driving assessments, from supervisors’ observations and feedback from the public.



yclists and Abellio London’s bus drivers have gained new perspectives on how to share roads safely through the Exchanging Places programme run by the police and Transport for London. It involves the police stopping cyclists and inviting them to sit in the cab of a parked bus, so they can understand the blind spots bus drivers have in their mirrors and the pressure it puts on drivers if a cyclist rides in an unsafe way. Up to four bus drivers take part in the session and help advise cyclists on manoeuvres that should

be avoided. They also experience the cyclists’ perspective in driving close to a large vehicle. “It’s been a really useful experience for everyone involved,” says Abellio assistant operations director Lorna Murphy. “Cyclists often underestimate the size of the vehicle and that there are fairly large blind spots for drivers. It helps them understand they definitely should not overtake a bus on the inside and that it can be very worrying for drivers if they do not ride safely or wear the right safety equipment, for example high-viz vests at night.”

As part of the Exchanging Places programme, cyclists are invited to experience the perspective from the drivers’ cab



Merseyrail’s Southport station was named Station of the Year in ATOC’s 2012 cycle-rail awards

CYCLE-RAIL AWARDS OPEN FOR ENTRIES Awards highlight best practice in all aspects of cycle-rail integration


ow in their ninth year, the 2013 ATOC National Cycle-Rail Awards recognise progress towards encouraging the greater use of cycles to access the railway. The Awards opened for entries and nominations on 28 May. Entries aren’t just open to the rail industry, cycling groups, local authorities and associated

organisations. Nominations are also welcomed from cycle-rail using individuals, particularly for awards such as Station of the Year and Best Customer Service. There is also a CycleRail Photography Award with entries open to all, with the top two photographs winning a Madison Go-Pro camera. There is no cost for entry

and those who are shortlisted will be invited to the Awards ceremony in the Houses of Parliament on 19 November alongside Ian Austin MP, Julian Huppert MP and Transport Minister Norman Baker MP. Further details of the CycleRail Awards categories and how to apply are available on the website





BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE Rewarding improvements or excellence in overall customer service for people wishing to make journeys using cycle-rail INNOVATION Initiatives that aid or encourage integrated cycle-rail journeys in an original and creative way CYCLING CHAMPION Recognising individuals for their efforts to improve cycle-rail integration STATION OF THE YEAR The station that has improved the most relative to its size in terms of cycle-rail integration


OPERATOR OF THE YEAR TOCs who have achieved excellence in the consistent delivery of services, facilities and information to encourage the integrated use of cycle-rail DOOR-TO-DOOR JOURNEY (INCLUDING TRAVEL PLANS) Delivery of sustainable door-to-door cycle-rail journeys through travel plans or other methods PARTNERSHIP WORKING AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEMES Recognising the importance of partnership working to produce many of the facilities and activities that lead to cycle-rail integration

LONDON CYCLE PARKING Rewarding innovation, quality of provision, meeting the needs of cyclists, security and partnership working CYCLE SECURITY AWARD Recognises those who have done the most to reduce bicycle-related crime figures, either through initiative or infrastructure CYCLE-RAIL PHOTOGRAPHY The best two photographs that capture a cycle-rail journey will win a Madison Go-Pro camera




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HOW TO ENTER Entries and nominations can be made using the online application form or by downloading a pdf application form at The Cycle-Rail Awards close for entries and nominations Friday 13 September 2013 at 17:00. Any enquiries can be directed to Web and social media Facebook: www.facebook. com/cyclerailawards Twitter: @cyclerailawards The Cycle-Rail Awards kindly ask you spread news of the awards on social media. Entrants are encouraged to tweet their Cycle-Rail Photograph entries to @cyclerailawards, where we will retweet some of our favourites.

ABELLIO LONDON AIMS TO RAISE £20,000 IN TRANSAID CYCLE CHALLENGE Eleven staff to take part in LondonAmsterdam charity bike ride


n September, staff from Abellio London will put themselves to the test by taking part in a 225-mile LondonAmsterdam charity bike ride. The event is organised by Transaid which supports actions to improve road transport safety in Africa and other developing nations. The Abellio London team will have 11 members, a high proportion of the 60 people expected to take part, and is aiming to raise at least £16-20,000. “PCV (passenger carrying vehicle) driver training in Africa is not of the highest standards and road deaths are high, so Transaid is a charity close to our heart,” says Abellio London assistant operations director Lorna Murphy, who will be taking part.

“We have supported Transaid for a couple of years and as Abellio is a Dutch company, that was further reason for us to rise to what seems quite a daunting challenge!” The Abellio London team members range from drivers and administrative staff to senior management. They will be riding in the colours of the Abellio SFA Racing team, which has offered assistance in helping prepare for the event. ● Transaid’s LondonAmsterdam cycle challenge takes place from September 13-16. Further information is at


O The road racing team’s kit is in Abellio’s colours

ver the past year, Abellio’s red, white and grey colours have become a familiar sight in cycle road racing and time trial events across the UK. At the start of 2012, the company stepped in to provide sponsorship so that the San Fairy Ann cycling club, one of the oldest in the country, could form a racing team.

Abellio London assistant operations director Lorna Murphy will be among the Abellio London team raising funds for Transaid in its London-Amsterdam cycle challenge

Previously members of the club, based near Maidstone, competed in races as individuals, but there had been a steady flow of its most promising riders to smaller, dedicated racing clubs. Since the formation of the Abellio SFA Racing team within the club, which has 450 members of all abilities interested in both leisure and competitive cycling, only one person has left for a rival racing team. “It’s unusual for a large club of our size to have a sponsored racing team, and that provides the prestige that appeals to some of our members,” says road racing team captain Simon Charlesworth. “We

also felt Abellio was an appropriate sponsor because of our common association with sustainable travel, and of course because of the Dutch cycling culture.” The sponsorship of £5,500 for 2012 and 2013 has provided funding for a team kit, at less than half the price that team members would usually have to pay. This has been a particular benefit to Abellio SFA Racing team members who are students. The team’s best known cyclist is former professional cyclist Geoff Wiles, who was national road racing champion in 1987, and over 65s national road racing champion last year. 19

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