Wednesday 16 September 2009

More NS cycle parking

I covered before the fears of a shortfall in railway station parking in the Netherlands. There is actually some very good news that has come out of this.

The national railway company is promising to build 100000 (one hundred thousand) additional cycle parking spaces across 150 stations. That's an average of 666 extra cycle parking spaces per station.

They're also promising longer opening times for the guarded cycle parks, more cycle shops at railway stations (they do repairs while your bike is parked), improved wider cycle racks, that they'll be more active at removing abandoned bikes, and that there will be a lick of paint and other maintenance for existing cycle parks.

All this will take about five years to happen.

The question which remains is "is this enough ?" Let's hope it is.

Now, an average of 666 extra spaces per station. How does this compare with elsewhere ? To give an example, the number of extra spaces being installed in just five stations is more than the total parking at all 50 railway stations in London. It also compares very well with the amount at other places in the UK. There are quite a lot of cycle parking articles.

How many cycle parking spaces do you have at your local railway station ?

Thanks to Frits for pointing this article in the latest copy of "Spoor", the Dutch Railways magazine.


Adrienne Johnson said...

Is it enough? I hope not! I hope so many people want to ride that parking is always a challenge. That would be a good problem to have : )

Mark W. said...

Is it enough? Definitely not! 666 for Utrecht is nothing really. So I hope the parking spaces will be unevenly spread! Or better: they will increase the numbers.

l' homme au velo said...

Near to where I live there is a Village with a Station nearby ,it is a Suburban Area of Dublin.

There was a small Yard for Parking Bikes but now they have closed it possibly because of Vandalism. So now People have to Lash their Bikes to the Handrails of the Railway Bridge outside the Station next to the Roadway. So Total Amount of Bikes that can be Parked are around 12 ,6 to each side of Bridge.

On some other Stations along the Route very bad Vandalism,I would not leave any Bike around them and of course no Provision for Bike Parking.

At the End of the Terminus in Howth there is a Nice New Bicycle Shed with Room for about 8 Bikes outside the Station .

jw35 said...

It's always seemed to me that the obvious(TM) solution to a shortage of cycle parking would to charge for it, much as happened long ago for car parking. For the railway company (or whoever) this has the dual advantage of suppressing demand and generating a revenue stream. The latter could be used to further improve cycle parking facilities, though in practice that probably wouldn't happen.

Understand that I'm NOT suggesting that this would be a good thing but, especially in the UK if not elsewhere, it seems to me to be a danger. Cyclists should not assume that cycle parking will always be free.

David Hembrow said...

For those who don't realise already, I have to point out that Mark is joking. 666 extra in Utrecht would be a bit of a joke, but mark knows already that his station is upgrading from its existing 14000 to have a total of around 22000 cycle parking space (yes, 22 thousand).

Jon: Last year, the railway company actually made such a suggestion, that it would have to charge because of the cost of providing parking. It wasn't really going to happen, of course, but I think it helped with getting the government to cough up some money (about a billion euros over the next ten years) to find the station cycle parking.

There are already charged guarded places at most stations too. For instance, here in Assen we have about 750 guarded indoor cycle parking places at the station which you have to pay for (about a euro per day, or substantially less if you buy a month or year pass). The rest of the 2300 spaces are outdoors and free of charge.

álvaro said...

In my hometown, Alcalá de Henares, de are maybe 50 bicycle parking spaces. However, they so bizarrely designed that I don't think many people are aware of their use! Unless you have a chain, you cannot really lock you bike to them.

Still, it's much better than the average Spanish train station. It's also worth pointing out that they were installed in the 90s, when bicycle infrastructure was science-fiction in Spain; newer ones are more sensible.

WestfieldWanderer said...

It would be a real advantage to even have a local railway station. 45 years ago there were four railway stations on two separate routes within a mile of where I live. Now there's nothing, not even a railway, the nearest of which is ten miles away.
Such is life in the car-centric hell-hole.

Erik Sandblom said...

David, sorry if you've covered this, and my knowledge of Dutch is narrow as a British bike path.

But it looks here like they will be offering enclosed bicycle parking to holders of an OV-Fiets pass. If that's what it is, I think it's a clever way to get more people joining OV-Fiets so they can loan a bicycle at the other end of their train journey.

So you ride your own bike to the station, park it in an enclosed box, swipe your OV-Fiets card and get on the train. At the other end of the train journey, you swipe the same card and gain access to a public bicycle.

This is on a trial basis, and Assen is one of the towns for the trial.


David Hembrow said...

Erik, I'd missed that. It looks like you will be able to user the OV-Fiets card to access the parking.

There aren't enclosed boxes at Assen, but a 700 space guarded cycle park. It looks like this.

Daniel Sparing said...

Some UK good news: Lord Adonis is promising some 14M Pounds on rail cycle parking and related infrastructure.

"We want a cycling revolution in this country"

we'll see.

David Hembrow said...

Spag: It's good to hear they're doing something, but they're still orders of magnitude off the figures required to really make a difference. The article you pointed to says that they'll spend that 14M pounds "to create cycling hubs in ten of our major stations including Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and London St Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo. These stations will have thousands of extra supervised bike parking places, as well as cheap cycle repairs and safe cycle routes to and from the stations."

A couple of years ago, Groningen, a city of just 180000 people, spend 10 M euros just on upgrading its railway station cycle parking. 14M isn't enough to scale to the same quality of provision for just Liverpool - the smallest of the cities - let alone enough to do a decent job of cycle parking at the railway stations in London.

As for the "safe cycle routes" and other things promised, those don't come for free either.