An automated bike hire scheme and the addition of 2,000 cycle spaces across one operator’s network were some of the achievements celebrated at this year’s National Cycle Rail Awards, held yesterday at a reception in the Houses of Parliament in London, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group.
The Awards, which are run by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), recognise the work being done by train companies, associated industry groups and individuals across the country to encourage the combined use of cycle and rail travel.
ATOC Chief Executive Michael Roberts said: "Train companies understand that cycling offers passengers a low cost way to travel, has considerable health benefits and is environmentally friendly. The Awards show the continuing progress that is being made in developing new facilities for cyclists by working closely with local communities."
The awards were MC’ed by Phillip Darnton of the Bicycle Association.
This year’s winners included the new fully-automated Brompton Dock Hire facility. The system allows users to register online and pay for bike hire automatically using debit or credit cards. The 24-hour-a-day facility was first installed in July last year at Guildford station but has been rolled out to four other stations, with plans for installation throughout the UK by summer 2013.
Paul Best from Southern Railway won an award for providing 2000 new cycle parking spaces across the Southern network 19 months ahead of schedule. He used Dutch-style double-decker cycle racks.
Roberts said: “Cycling plays an important role in increasing access to the country’s railways and the rail industry is fully committed to making it easier for more people to combine cycling and rail travel.
“We have seen a record number of entries to the Awards this year, not only from train companies and other industry organisations but from individual cyclists.
“The consistently high standard of entries reflects a real commitment to improving facilities which both help those who have already decided to cycle, and encourage more people to get in the saddle.”
Transport Minister Norman Baker was at the awards and said: “Cycling is great for your health and good for the environment so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for people to cycle to the railway station.
“I am really impressed with the work being done across the industry to encourage the use of bikes to get to and from the station by improving facilities for cyclists at stations. This great work gives people more choice on how they make their door-to-door journey as well as making it easier for passengers to make greener transport choices."
• Best Customer Service (sponsored by Brompton Dock) – winner: South West Trains
• Best Local Government Scheme (sponsored by Landor) – winner: Ealing Broadway Cycle Hub
• Innovation (sponsored by Abellio) – winner: Brompton Dock Hire
• Cycling Champion (sponsored by First Group) – winner: Paul Best, Southern Railways
• Station of the Year (sponsored by Network Rail) – winner: Southport Cycle Centre
• Operator of the Year (sponsored by Cyclepods) – winner: Southern Railway
• Best Station Travel Plan for Cycling (sponsored by Easitnetwork) – winner: Colchester
• Partnership Working (sponsored by Falco) – winner: East Midlands Trains and Councils
• London Cycle Parking Award (sponsored by Transport for London) – winner Ealing Broadway Cycle Hub
• Summer of Cycling Award (sponsored by First Great Western) – winner South West Trains
• Lord Tony Berkley, All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group
• Tom Bogdanowicz, Senor Policy and Development Manager at London Cycling Campaign
• Martyn Brunt, National Cycle Network Development Manager at Sustrans
• Phillip Danton, The Bicycle Association of Great Britain and chair of the Cycle-Rail Working Group
• Andrew Forster, Editor at Local Transport Today
• Martin Gibb, British Cycling
• Sharon Goodsell, Department for Transport
• Conrad Haigh, Integrated Transport Manager at ATOC
• Mark Peyton, Transport for London
• Carlton Reid, executive editor, BikeBiz
• Gordon Seabright, Chief Executive at CTC
• Hannah White, Transport for London
• Christian Wolmar, transport journalist