Over £1 million cash boost for rail station cycle facilities
Greater Anglia has welcomed over £1.1 million of funding to improve cycling facilities at seven stations across the region.
The cash will be spent on installing an extra 510 cycle spaces and improving lighting and CCTV at some of the stations.
The money comes from the Department for Transport’s Cycle Rail Programme and local authorities.
Essex stations to benefit are Audley End, where an extra 100 spaces will be created, Braintree, 50 spaces, Chelmsford, 60 spaces, Manningtree, 100 spaces and Marks Tey, 100 spaces – thanks also to a £133,000 contribution from Essex County Council.
March station, in Cambridgeshire, is to get 50 additional spaces, enabled through the support and investment of Fenland District Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).
In Suffolk, Greater Anglia will be installing an extra 50 spaces at Newmarket station, also using £15,000 of funding from Suffolk County Council.
Greater Anglia will provide a mix of new covered and open cycle parking spaces and conversion of single tier bike racks to double tier.
Lighting and CCTV coverage will also be improved at cycle parks at some of the stations.
Local authorities which have contributed towards the improvements are Essex County Council, Fenland District Council and Suffolk County Council.
Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia director of asset management, said: “We’re thrilled to have received this funding from the Department for Transport and our local councils.
“With more people choosing to live in our region and travel by train, we are seeing increasing numbers of people cycling to stations so we’re keen to expand our cycling facilities, especially as it helps people to minimise their carbon footprint for the entire length of their journeys.”
Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader of Essex County Council and cabinet member for infrastructure, said: “I am thrilled and delighted that our £133k investment is creating an extra 410 new cycle parking spaces at stations across Essex.
“This is part of our commitment to help make it easier for people to travel across Essex, bringing communities together and connecting people to services, employment and learning opportunities. It also secures sustainable development and protects the environment. It truly is money well spent.”
Cllr Chris Seaton, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for transport, said: “This investment is great news for rail commuters in March as it will make it easier for them to include cycling in their everyday journey. Cycling directly to the station and leaving the car at home will also help to reduce congestion on the roads, improve health and fitness and cut the cost of the daily commute.
“I’d like to thank the CPCA for its continued funding support, helping make this improvement and others planned in our Railway Station Masterplans project possible.”
Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues said: “Suffolk County Council was delighted to invest in this project, which will improve the provision of cycle parking at Newmarket Station. In 2015 we worked with partners to invest in upgrading the cycle parking facilities at the station and these are in high demand.
“The new spaces will enable the station to be more accessible by environmentally friendly modes of transport and give people the confidence to cycle to the station knowing they will have a secure place to store their bike.”