Monday, 5 October 2009

Headline news

Front page headline news in today's "Metro" - a free national newspaper available at the train station.

"Cyclists struggle with full cycle parking". The article, continued on page three with a headline "Where did you leave your bike?" is about the continuing crisis in railway station cycle parking in the Netherlands. The newspaper reports on how due to the growth in cycling, cyclists taking their bikes to railway stations have a growing problem of finding somewhere to park. Rotterdam is building a new underground cycle park for over 5000 bikes, Amsterdam is building a new one for 7000 bikes.

The number of people arriving at the railway stations by bike rose on average by 40% in 2008 and in university cities the rise was around 50%. The railway company is predicting another rise of 30% in the next ten years.

Overall, an additional 100000 cycle parking spaces are to be built at railway stations across the country, and another 150000 existing places are to be renewed. That's enough new and renewed spaces for one in 64 of the population of the entire country. The newspaper is asking quite seriously whether this is enough. The Netherlands has just 16M people. For the USA (for instance) to achieve the same thing, they would have to build 4.6 M cycle parking spaces at railway stations.

"Going by bike to the station ? You're not the only one..."

The Netherlands has a higher cycling rate than any other country and there are cities here with higher cycling rates than any cities elsewhere. This is why so much cycle parking is needed. Dutch cyclist counts don't even include those people who are cycling to the railway station or bus stop. They're counted only as public transport users. There are other posts about integrated transport or specifically about cycle parking.

The high cycling rate is the result of policies to increase the directness and safety of cycling.

Meanwhile, there are efforts to get cycling combined with public transport higher up the agenda.


l' homme au velo said...

At our Stations in Ireland it is next to Impossible to find Parking for your Bicycle. You will probably only find 5- 15 Bikes Parked and yet no Room left, All things are Relative.

You will find in most cases that there are no Parking Stands at all and People have to search around for some Railings or a Tree to Park the Bike.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the size comparison for a parking garage for 5000 cars versus 5000 bikes.

Erik Sandblom said...

David, I know you've commented on this before, but here's another story about parking in the UK:

"£12 million for improvements at stations, including enhancements to Newcastle, York, and Peterborough. The focus of investment in stations is designed to add significant benefits for customers, these include the provision of 200 new cycle spaces at Newcastle, 100 at York and 150 at Peterborough"


David Hembrow said...

Erik, thanks for that link. It is, of course, a good thing that they're building more spaces. But the numbers are actually very small compared with what's going on here.

The Dutch are building an average of an additional 660 spaces for each railway station in the country.