Bikes and trains subgroup

The Bikes and Trains subgroup has been liaising with WAGN to improve facilities and services for cyclists.

Forthcoming meetings, if any, are listed in the diary of events.

  • WAGN has a new website – see

Well, perhaps “subgroup” is too grand a word for this, but we are interested in hearing from members who travel by bike to Cambridge station. We have had a series of meetings with WAGN staff (responsible for running the station) and will be seeking feedback from regular users on some interesting ideas.

For more information, take a look at the following extracts from our Newsletter, or contact us.

  • April 1998 – General article on Bikes and Trains
  • June 1998 – update at the Station
  • August 1998 – WAGN announce new parking plans
  • October 1998 – The new Sheffield stands are being installed
  • December 1998 – The new stands are opened – cycle rental service at the station – and two WAGN staff will come to our Feb 1999 Meeting.

April 2000 – Proposed cycle ban on some WAGN’s trains

WAGN are proposing a cycle-ban on WAGN trains arriving at Cambridge station between 7:45am and 8:45am Monday to Friday. The changes will take effect with the new timetable, on 28 May 2000. (Note that Monday 29 May is a bank holiday.)

We think that that roughly 7 trains are affected.

WAGN staff say that there are on average between 15 and 30 bikes on these trains, which are already very crowded. To reduce the impact of the ban, they are extending the ‘free bike hire’ service to non-season-ticket holders (i.e. people who previously took their bikes on these trains.). They tell us they are instigating a sort of long-term hire, so that people won’t have to return bikes every day.

WAGN staff also tell us that they will be improving the cycle parking at origin stations – in the hope that people will feel happier leaving their own bikes parked at the other end.

Cambridge Cycling Campaign members will discuss the issue at our May monthly meeting – hopefully with an invited member of WAGN staff present at first to answer questions about the proposed ban.

Update: 19 April, 2000

We have summarised the large number of concerns sent to us by people worried about the effects of the ban, and passed them on to WAGN. As soon as WAGN has responded to our list of questions, we’ll post the answers here.

Update: 2 May, 2000

WAGN have answered many of our questions: WAGN response to our questions.

Update: 23 May, 2000

WAGN have supplied copies of some of their cycle counts, and a copy of a fax from the Health and Safety Executive on the subject of bikes on busy Cambridge trains.

Update: 7 July, 2000

Update: 4 August, 2000

  • Bikes and trains news – Newsletter update article
  • Urgent lobby for bikes on trains – Please tell the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority what’s important to you
  • Cambridge Cycling Campaign Bikes on Trains meeting: on Monday 7th August, 7:30pm, Friends’ Meeting House, Jesus Lane, – 7:30pm, Friends’ Meeting House, Jesus Lane. We’ll discuss the Campaign’s policy for bikes on trains, and our message for the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority.

Update: 12 September, 2000

Update: 1 October, 2000

  • Sign the petition asking for cycle provision to be included in the new rail franchises.

WAGN Customer Relations: (08457) 818919

Useful links

December 1998 – Part of Cambridge station’s cycle parking to be cleared

In mid December, 1998, we received some rather alarming reports, suggesting that WAGN had announced that they were about to remove some of the old cycle parking at Cambridge station, following an imminent purge of dead bikes.

So on 14 December, 1998, Clare went along to the Station, to see if she could find out what the story really was.

Here’s what the announcement (or its authors) *meant* to say…

WAGN staff do understand the problems faced by cyclists who cannot find anywhere to park their bikes. WAGN believes that there is a large number of abandoned bikes at Cambridge station, wasting valuable parking space. (I’d agree that there’s definitely a problem, and I’d like to know how great it is. This exercise will provide a way of finding out.)

Therefore, overnight on Monday 21st December, WAGN staff will work continually through the night to clear half of the original cycle parking (i.e. just the area closest to Ginghams). They fully expect that the space will be available for re-use by the morning (i.e. Tuesday 22nd).

Note that one half of the original parking (the half nearest the bus stops) will be UNtouched throughout this exercise.

Note also that this time they are serious about the date. Unlike other recent messages on seemingly abandoned bikes, this time they will stick to the date, and *will* remove all bikes in the designated area.

They already have in place a storage area, and mechanism (a form) for logging details of bikes that have been removed, to enable customers to be re-united with any bikes they wish to reclaim.

They have to give statutory notice of the plan to remove bikes, and that’s the purpose of the current notice. Therefore they cannot change the wording of the current notice. However, in the light of my comments/suggestions, they may add some further explanation.

There is no intention to remove any of the old or new Sheffield stands.

We suggested that they might want to staff the area that is to be cleared from around 4pm the day before, to prevent customers who leave their bikes overnight at the station from being caught out. This could save WAGN more time, from having less bikes to catalogue, than it would cost them.

We also suggested that they might like to use a plan, to show which area will be affected, as the current message is perhaps a little confusing in the areas it talks about.

As a result, they have produced a new, much friendly and clearer poster, and also a very clear message to be handed out on the afternoon before the clearance.