The Fietsersbond reports in the May/June 2009 "Vogelvrije Fietser" that cycle parking at railway stations in the Netherlands is in crisis. There simply are not enough places to accommodate people's bikes. Growth in use is around 5% per year, which means there will be a shortage of 150000 spaces in three years time.
Ten years ago, the ministry responsible made half a billion gulders available for cycle parking. This seemed a lot at the time, but more is needed. It looks like a billion euros will be required over the next ten years for railway station cycle parking in the Netherlands. That works out as 60 million a year for the actual building and 40 million a year reserved for maintenance, advertising, planning etc.
The map shows how many extra spaces some cities are planning. Delft, for instance, is building a new 5000 space underground cycle park. However, there is already concern that it will be completely full from the first day that it is available because cycle and train usage is growing so quickly between the time that plans are made and the cycle park opens.
Cycle parking is also under pressure to look attractive, and that often means that it should be underground, covered parking, rather than being a vast area of bikes exposed to the elements in front of the station. Groningen already has done this. However, the problem is that each underground space costs about 2100 Euros to build, while an outdoor space costs just 300 Euros per bike.
I've previously covered the cycle parking at Assen, Amsterdam, Groningen, Utrecht and Beilen stations. The last link includes comparisons with British railway stations.
There are also other articles about cycle parking and planning.
100 million Euros per year for railway station cycle parking ? That's roughly twice what the UK, a country with 4x the population, spends each year for everything to do with cycling. Britain recently announced a once off sum of 5 million pounds for improved cycle parking at ten railway stations, but that's only around half the amount that was spent here in Groningen alone... The Netherlands does have some problems too, of course. Mark Wagenbuur pointed out to me in email that the railway company has so far only promised to build 100000 spaces, not the 150000 which are expected to be needed...
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