Thursday 23 October 2008

Groningen Railway Station Cycle Parking

From a distance, there's not much to see. Most of the cycle-parking at Groningen's central station has been hidden from view.
In 2006, Groningen replaced the cycle parking which had been an untidy clump of bikes outside the station with a remarkable new cycle park which has space for 4150 bikes under cover outside the station. It stretches between the two wings shown in the photo from the left side right past the right side of the photo.

Along with the old two storey cycle park just around the corner and the 1500 or so spaces in the indoor, watched cycle parking in the newer looking building on the left of the photo, this brings the total number of spaces for bikes to around 6000. The population is about 180000, so there is space for about one in thirty people to have a bike at the station at any one time.

On top of the cycle park, there are now seats and a sculpture, and the whole thing looks really rather nice compared to the untidiness of the previous situation, which in any case had fewer places and didn't have the bikes undercover.

Here's my video showing cycling through the cycle park. You don't see any bike twice in the video as we take two different routes. You also don't see anything like all the bikes, as there are different ways through.

There is also a video produced by the Fietsberaad which shows the top of the cycle parking and also (about 1 minute in) how to use the double decker parking:

This new cycle park cost €10M to build. Of course, as with all cycle parking, it's permanently full. So there are also a lot of bikes parked around this cycle park. It is estimated that there are frequently over 6000 bikes in the 4150 official spaces of the new cycle park.

Not sure how big this is ? Compare with London...

And note that in 2010, Cycle parking at this station was again increased.

Note that most Dutch bicycles have kick stands. This means they can be conveniently parked anywhere.

Nearly 60% of all journeys are made by bicycle in Groningen - a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. The city is 30 km North of Assen and it's featured on both our Study Tours and Cycling Holidays. There are also several more posts showing Groningen.


Kevin Love said...

How does one get his bike on/off the upper level of the rack?

David Hembrow said...

Kevin, your comment reminded me that there is a video from the fietsberaad showing someone using the mechanism. I've added it to the post.

The mechanism gives quite a bit of mechanical advantage over just trying to lift your bike up.

sheridan said...

There's some similar parking at Euston station (I seem to recall there's another mainline London station that has it too, but Euston is the only one I've seen and used). You pull the wheel guide out and pull it down, then wheel the cycle up. I can't recall exactly how I got the rack up again, but that must mean I didn't have to struggle with it!