Congratulations to WAGN Railway for their recent CycleMark award for ‘achievements in improving local services’ for cyclists.
We nominated WAGN for the award earlier this year, as we felt a number of WAGN staff had genuinely worked hard to make life easier for their cycling customers. The new cycle parking (with room for 300 more bikes, and provided in partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council) may be the most obvious change, but other initiatives include the innovative free cycle hire for season ticket holders, reserved ‘Premier’ cycle parking stands close to the station entrance, room for bikes on their newly-refurbished trains and clearer cycle information in timetables. The judges were particularly impressed with the free cycle scheme, observing that the company avoided taking the easy option of simply banning cycles altogether in peak hours.
The awards were presented by Steven Norris, who was the architect of the National Cycling Strategy, and so has been fittingly described as ‘probably the politician to have done the most to improve the cyclist’s lot’.
WAGN Managing Director, Euan Cameron, received the award, and commented that it is only in the last year or two that WAGN received a Chocolate Chain from Cambridge Cycling Campaign for being the company doing the least for cyclists!
In WAGN’s press release on the award, Euan Cameron says ‘Our schemes all work towards the integration of cycling with rail travel to make life more convenient for our customers. We will continue to come up with fresh and exciting ideas.’
The big changes afoot in and around Cambridge Station (see The station area in Newsletter 24 ) will be a one-off opportunity to create even greater improvements for cyclists, as well as pedestrians and bus users. I am looking forward to hearing what WAGN will plan next, and I very much hope that we will have an opportunity to contribute ideas too.
|Euan Cameron receives WAGN’s CycleMark award from Steven Norris, former Minister for Local Transport|
I understand that competition for the awards this year was particularly tough, and there was a long list of commendations. However, the recipients of the other three awards were:
- Anglia, for the third successive year, for partnership work including their launch of a set of leaflets promoting cycle routes devised around the Bittern Line, from Norwich to Sheringham, for making space for wheelchairs and 4 bikes on their new Turbostar trains, and for ‘championing the cause and promotion of bikes on trains’,
- ScotRail, for scrapping the ‘hated’ £3 charge for carrying bikes, for providing more space for cycles (as part of a Scottish Cycle Challenge project) and for, with partners, providing secure cycle lockers at 22 stations,
- Truronian, for their ‘Helston Branchline’ bus service, along the old rail branch line from Helston to Truro in Cornwall, with integrated bus and rail timetabling, through-ticketing, and cycle carriage – integrating buses, trains and bikes!
This is the first year that bus companies have been eligible for CycleMark awards. There’s a lot more than just cycle parking to be considered in integrating cycles and public transport. But given how hard it can be to find a cycle space at Drummer Street, I’d love to see this area looked at too.
Meanwhile, on 26 September Central Trains will drop their £3 charge for carrying bikes. (Central run the Cambridge to Peterborough to Birmingham service.) However, we understand that reservations are still necessary for the two cycle spaces available on these trains, but it will be possible to book up to two spaces for a £1 fee.
For more about bikes on trains, see ‘Out and About’.