Greater Anglia consults on cycle strategy and further cycle-rail improvements
Abellio train operator Greater Anglia has launched a consultation process about its new cycle strategy, seeking stakeholders' views on its ongoing plans to further improve cycle-rail provision on its network. The company has already taken a very proactive approach to providing a better service for cyclists. In the short time since its franchise began in February 2012, it has installed over 500 additional cycle parking spaces at stations across East Anglia; opened the impressive new Cycle Point at Chelmsford (complete with cycle repair facilities, a bike shop, almost 1000 cycle spaces and different types of cycle parking) and launched cycle hire schemes at six stations (Colchester, Harold Wood, Manningtree, Norwich, Romford and Southend Victoria). Details of Greater Anglia's services for cyclists have also recently been promoted through a new customer leaflet and on the train operator's website.
The company intends to maintain that forward momentum over the next 18 months, with plans for more cycle hire initiatives, more Cycle Points (including a 3000 space hub at Cambridge for which planning permission has been secured) and a further increase in cycle parking facilities - adding to more than 7000 spaces already available at GA stations (with over 88% of Greater Anglia's stations now offering some cycle parking).
It has also formally launched its new cycle strategy with a consultation process, seeking users' and stakeholders' views on its ongoing policies and plans for cycle facilities. Details can be found on the Greater Anglia website and the company is seeking responses by 1 November. Amongst the proposals outlined in the strategy is the creation of a Greater Anglia Cycle Forum, which will meet twice a year to provide continued customer feedback and help prioritise further upgrades.
Another initiative, given that cycle carriage on trains has long been restricted on certain routes at morning and evening peak periods on weekdays (e.g. on all services, apart from intercity services, into Stratford/London Liverpool Street in the morning peak and from London Liverpool Street/Stratford in the evening peak), will be to seek to enhance facilities at stations on those routes, so passengers have the option of cycling to and from the stations at both ends of their journey, even though they can't take their bike on the train (folding bikes excepted).
Commenting on Greater Anglia's new cycle strategy and consultation process, Ruud Haket, Managing Director, said:
"We are pleased to launch our new cycle strategy and consult on future policies and plans. We welcome cyclists using our network and we are committed to improving cycle parking facilities at stations across our franchise area, to make it easier for travellers to use their bikes to get to and from the station. As befits a transport operator with strong Dutch roots, we have already delivered significant upgrades to cycle facilities since our franchise began just 18 months ago and we have plans for more improvements over the months ahead. We look forward to working with stakeholders and cycle users to further enhance our service for cyclists."