Cambridge Cycling Campaign welcomes the opening of the UK's biggest cycle park at Cambridge station this week.
The opening of the new cycle park, which will hold almost 3,000 cycles, is the result of many years of hard work by Brookgate (creating the CB1 development), Network Rail, Abellio Greater Anglia, plus partners Cambridgeshire County Council and the Department for Transport. It also represents the culmination many years of campaigning by ourselves, Cambridge Cycling Campaign.
Martin Lucas-Smith, Liaison Officer for Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said:
"The new facility is a major cause for celebration. It will be the UK's leading cycle park, providing proper cycle parking for the vast number of commuters and others who access the station by cycle. When fully open, it will contain almost 3,000 spaces, suitable for people with all types of bicycles and abilities. It is covered, has various security measures, and includes a cycle shop and hire facility.
"In a rapidly growing city, this cycle park is essential to enable many more people to access the railway. The facility will provide a clear incentive for people to cycle to the station, rather than drive, freeing up space on the roads and in the car park.
"We would like to thank all those involved in the creation of the new facility over many years."
The developers, Brookgate, engaged with us during the design of the facility, and we are pleased that several of our suggestions were taken into account.
Lack of cycle parking was one of the top three problems about which we were continually contacted about over the last two decades. Until relatively recently, there were only 700 spaces provided but demand was well over double that.
In fact, we've been campaigning for almost 20 years to sort out the cycle parking problem at the station. It was as long ago as 1998 that we created a video showing the problems people faced. Stories of people missing their train while they searched frantically for a space were common.
The problem was always going to be solved "in a few years' time", but plan after plan failed to materialise. At last, following our ongoing pressure, the City Council included a clause in their approval of the CB1 development that parts of the new development could go ahead only if a cycle park were included. That has now resulted in the excellent new facility.
Although we have some remaining concerns about the change over from the old provision, and we note the security of the type of stands used is as yet unproven, we hope that these will not cloud what will be a landmark facility of which Cambridge can be proud.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Our historic 1998 vox-pop video showing the problems at the station, is available at:
A computer-generated video of the cycle park can be seen at: