A fifth (20 per cent) of Brits say they’re considering cycling to work, but are put off by busy roads and worries over their bike getting stolen
Network Rail and Cycling UK partner to address these concerns with tips on safer cycle routes and storing bikes securely
5,000 secure bike storage spaces available at Network Rail’s 20 managed stations
As government guidance around returning to the workplace comes into effect, a new YouGov study commissioned by Network Rail reveals that a fifth (20 per cent) of people are now likely to consider cycling as part of their journey to work, with nearly 60 per cent of commuters feeling confident about travelling back to their workplace and almost a third (32 per cent) planning to do this within the next week if it’s safe for them.
Yet, despite many wanting to cycle for parts of their journey, the research highlights a number of barriers which are putting people off: 49 per cent are worried about cycling on busy roads (which increases to 55 per cent for Londoners), while 22 per cent are concerned their bike will get stolen or damaged, and 15 per cent are worried there won’t be enough available bike storage at or near their place of work.
To address these concerns and support the growing numbers of cyclists in the UK, Network Rail has partnered with charity Cycling UK on a new initiative to help novice cyclists taking to the roads in towns and cities. Together, they will be offering cyclists practical tips on where they can park their bikes at stations, information on safer cycling routes on quieter roads, as well as access to an interactive journey planner to help plot a cycle-friendly route from each station, in a bid to encourage sustainable, healthy travel.
There are currently 5,000 secure bike storage spaces at Network Rail’s 20 managed stations, including at London Waterloo, Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly, offering convenient places for people to park their bikes before heading onto their next destination.
Network Rail has also introduced a range of measures – including enhanced cleaning regimes and increased station staff – to help keep passengers safe from the virus while travelling by rail. Passengers should continue to follow public health guidance – wear a covering if you are not exempt, travel at quieter times and maintain a distance from others wherever possible. Those who do not wear a face covering and are not exempt risk a £100 fine.
Network Rail and Cycling UK will provide information across each station and on their website about the availability of bike storage space and how to use these units safely and securely to avoid bikes being stolen or damaged.
David Biggs, Managing Director, Network Rail Property, said: “With more people taking up cycling and considering using it as part of their journey back to the workplace, we wanted to let them know that our stations offer lots of convenient storage space for them to leave their bikes.
“We’re working with Cycling UK to help promote sustainable, healthy travel, by offering useful and practical advice to new cyclists and help overcome some of the common barriers to cycling.”
Jenny Box, Head of Behaviour Change – England, Cycling UK, said: “Cycling is one of the best ways to make your short essential journeys, such as riding to the station or shops. It’s fun, free, good for you and an easy way to maintain social distancing while still getting out and about.
“Together with Network Rail, Cycling UK wants to encourage more people to discover the simple joy of riding a bike and give them the skills to keep on cycling.”
Cycling Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “We have set out a revolutionary plan to transform attitudes around cycling, focused on creating a healthier and more active country.
“This important partnership will provide practical support and guidance, as well as confidence that they can safely store their bikes at stations, helping people make a positive change.”
You can find out more information about the initiative, bike storage locations at Network Rail stations and Cycling UK’s interactive journey planner at www.networkrail.co.uk/cycling.
Following two years of work and a nine-day closure of routes across South East London, new, more reliable signalling on the Sidcup, Grove Park and Bromley North lines through Hither Green has come into use.
Passengers have been thanked for their patience during the disruption:
The old system, which controlled the movement of trains on the lines through Hither Green, had been in place since the 1970s. It had become unreliable, difficult to maintain, and spare parts were hard to find.
The new system, now controlled from a modern state-of-the-art operations centre at Three Bridges, will mean fewer faults, fewer delays and better journeys for passengers travelling between Kent, Hither Green, Lewisham and into Central London.
What improvements were delivered?
Providing turnback capability at Hither Green, Grove Park and Lee – this means that more trains can run when there are unplanned delays or engineering works.
Signalling control of the area will be transferred to the to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges route control centre, helping to recover the service more quickly when there is an incident.
Track circuits – the train detection system, replaced with 254 more reliable axle counters.
92 new signal heads, 58 new signals and nine new, easier maintained signal gantries built.
24km of new power cable and 19km of new fibre cable installed.
86 set of points enhanced to improving reliability of junctions.
Power supply upgraded and made more resilient.
Better signalling at Grove Park station to allow 12-car trains to stop at platform 3 during unplanned disruption – making it easier to keep passengers moving
Deep cleaning, painting, platform and canopy repairs at Chislehurst, Elmstead Woods, Grove Park, Sundridge Park, Bromley North, Lee, Mottingham and New Eltham stations.
Work to improve Hither Green and Chislehurst stations will continue over the next few months along with the removal of the old signalling kit.
Dedicated fifth platform and track at Stevenage station will enable more frequent and reliable services
£40million project, delivered over a year ahead of the revised schedule, will provide better connectivity with other destinations on the East Coast Main Line
Completion of the work marks an important milestone in the wider £1.2 billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh
Rail passengers now have more frequent and reliable services as well as better long-distance connections thanks to a new £40million platform and track at Stevenage station, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced today (Monday, August 3). Construction work on the project has been accelerated and delivered more than a year ahead of the revised schedule.
On a visit to the station today where Platform 5 was officially opened to the first weekday services, the Rail Minister hailed the completion of the project as an important milestone in the wider £1.2 billion upgrade of the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh.
Work began in early 2019 to build a dedicated fifth platform where GTR’s Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line, known as the Hertford Loop, could terminate and then go back towards London creating space on the existing tracks for Thameslink trains and restoring the train service between Stevenage and the Hertford Loop served by buses since May 2019.
With the new platform and track separating out the local Hertford Loop services from the longer distance mainline Great Northern, Thameslink and LNER trains, there will be better reliability.
The restored train service running between Stevenage’s new platform and the Hertford Loop will be an improved all-day, twice-hourly service between Stevenage and Hertford North, giving passengers from the loop better connections with the fast main line services which stop at Stevenage.
Network Rail worked with GTR to accelerate the revised project which has been delivered over 12 months earlier than planned. The new platform includes a passenger lift and stairs to an extended station footbridge along with two waiting rooms, three sets of seating, a help point and ticket machine
.Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Our ambition is not just to deliver more punctual journeys, but to deliver major projects punctually as well.
“This new platform and track at Stevenage will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in day out.
“Thanks to the hard work of Network Rail and GTR who have worked tirelessly to accelerate the project, we have reached an important milestone in our ambitious £1.2billion East Coast upgrade, which will bring improved connections, faster journeys, thousands of extra seats per day and more choice for passengers.”
Paul Rutter, Network Rail Route Director, said:“ This vital project to build a bay platform at Stevenage is part of a programme of investment that will allow additional services to run on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more choice, more seats and a more reliable railway for passengers.
“It will also bring more resilient local services on the Hertford Loop, as trains will soon be able to terminate at Stevenage and then go back towards London.
“We would like to thank passengers who have needed to use bus replacement services between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone, station users and people who live near the railway for their continued patience whilst this essential part of the East Coast Upgrade was completed. “
Steve White, GTR Chief Operating Officer, said:“ The most recent independent customer satisfaction survey showed Great Northern as the most improved operator. This is more good news for our customers.
“We have worked closely with Network Rail on this important project as part of the continuing transformation of our railway. This new, additional, platform will help us run services more punctually on both the Great Northern metro and mainline services.
“The new platform also means that we can start running our Hertford services to and from Stevenage again giving our customers from that area fast, convenient, step-free connections at the station to Cambridge, London, Gatwick and Brighton.
“The Government’s £1.2billion investment in the East Coast Upgrade between 2014 and 2024 will improve passenger journeys, create capacity for up to 10,000 extra seats a day on long-distance services, speed up journeys and improve reliability for passengers.
Major work is also taking place at King’s Cross and near Peterborough, where a new section of railway is being built at Werrington so trains, particularly freight, can get to and from the line to Spalding, freeing up space on the East Coast Main Line for extra passenger services.
The East Coast Main Line is also set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link with £350 million of new investment to install state-of-the art electronic signalling designed to cut journey times and slash delays.
Conventional signalling will be replaced with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track allowing the smooth the flow of trains, making journeys safer and reduce signal failures that every year result in thousands of hours of delays.
Steam returns to the Devon coast once again tomorrow when 70000 Britannia heads Saphos Trains operated English Riviera Express, a return working between Bristol and Kingswear.
Passing the stunning coastline through Devon, including the famous sea wall and our brand new camera at Teignmouth, 70000, running as 70022 Tornado (TBC) departs Bristol at 07:50 with an arrival time of 12:33 at Kingswear. Return working departs at 16:45, arriving in Bristol at 20:59.
Those important camera times and working information is as follows,