This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 21.
Good news: on Thursday 5 November, the 300 new spaces were opened at last. This doubles the number of spaces for bikes. Tom Joyner, of WAGN in Cambridge, and John Sarson, of WAGN in London, have put a lot of time and effort into installing the new racks (and it really wasn’t easy). Thank you to them, and to Cambridgeshire County Council, who provided the materials.
Bad news: it saddens me greatly to report that, in Tom’s absence, the opening of the new racks was announced solely by a message on the information screens saying that bikes must be parked in the racks provided, and ones in unofficial spaces would be removed.
Anyway, I met Tom and John just before the new racks were opened, to continue our discussion of cycling issues at the station. I was pleased to learn that the new area will be covered by the existing CCTV cameras. We have since suggested that signs are installed in the area announcing this. We have also asked for a grille to be fitted across the gully in the car park. In the longer term, we would like to see a connection from the Carter Bridge into the station.
Another welcome change is a new cycle symbol in the latest WAGN timetables, showing exactly which trains don’t accept cycles at peak times. This is much clearer than the previous system of summarising restrictions in a separate leaflet.
I must say that these have been very positive meetings, and I do have the feeling that WAGN’s cycle working group is moving in a number of very positive directions. I am pleased that we have an opportunity to contribute.
We would like to hear from Campaign members who use Cambridge station regularly, so we can gather feedback For example, my perception of the parking problem at Cambridge station has been that it’s nigh-on impossible to find a space to park. I recently heard an alternative view: if you find a space, at the end of the day you have to extricate your bike from all the others that have been leaned on yours!
Messrs Joyner and Sarson have offered to come along to our General Meeting on Tuesday 2 February next year to talk about the initiatives they are working on, together with any issues Campaign members may wish to raise. Integration of cycle and train transport is a subject close to many hearts. Make a note of the date now!
We asked Paul Munro, of Cambridge Recycles, to tell us about the cycle business at Cambridge station.
After many discussions with WAGN, we are now open in our premises at the railway station. We offer bike hire, bike repair, bike accessories and left luggage. The shop is on the left of the station (as you approach it) next to the transport police. Our main thrust has been to establish the bike hire and left luggage facility. Now we need to complete some building work before stage two, the development of bike repairs and accessories sales. We currently offer small repairs (punctures, lights and brakes) but will ultimately be able to offer full service facilities on the majority of bikes. We are aiming to offer customers a morning drop off and evening collection service.
In association with WAGN, it is now possible to purchase a combined ticket from London King’s Cross which covers rail travel, bike hire and punt tours. It is also planned to offer regular commuters priority bikes as an integral part of their season ticket. Arrive at the station, hop on a bike, go to work and drop the bike back in the evening, Monday to Friday. Other ground-breaking initiatives are being discussed and we will tell you more as plans are finalised.
We are currently open 7 days a week, 9 am-6 pm, although we are discussing plans to extend this to 8 am-6.30 pm, to offer our customers a more convenient service.
We still operate from our other premises at 61 Newnham Rd (at the top end of Fen Causeway) but are only allowed to offer hire bikes from there. The winter opening hours for Newnham are Monday-Friday 9 am-5.30 pm.
The ‘Cycle Station’ is still developing but we are fully committed to offering customers a friendly, convenient and efficient service. Suggestions from your members will be gratefully received.
We are also delighted to offer all Campaign members a 10% discount on bike hire, bike accessories and bike repairs. (Discount on bike hire does not apply in June, July and August).