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“Please help me persuade National Express East Anglia to fix the dire cycle parking shortage at Cambridge station” – Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign


Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign

We believe that the cycle parking situation at Cambridge station is truly dire and desperately needs to be sorted out. See our letter which explains more.

Please add your voice to this campaign.


There is common consensus that the cycle parking situation at Cambridge station desperately needs to be sorted out; it is regarded as truly dire by many people. There is a massive shortage of spaces, and it can easily take at least five minutes to find a space, if at all.

The amount of space given to car parking is large compared to the number for cycle spaces. Around 20 cycles can be parked in the amount of space that a car and its reversing space requires. These 19 people are additional potential customers that may be being turned away.

The continual promises of "this big development plan will fix it soon" will no longer wash. As long ago as 1998, Cambridge Cycling Campaign created a film interviewing people about the situation. 13 years on, the situation remains unresolved.

It is time to reallocate space to cycle parking now. Whilst it is very welcome that 2,812 cycle parking spaces will be provided by the Pink Phase of the CB1 development, where a cycle park must be started by April 2016 and completed by 2020, this still leaves at least six years of continued problems.

We welcome the ongoing regime of clearing out unused cycles and the efforts made by the station. However, even the most perfect clearance system would not address the problem. Demand is simply much higher than the amount of cycle parking provided.

The current situation is an embarrassment both to the train companies and to Cambridge as a city; visitors to the city should not be met with scenes like this:

The treatment of railway customers in this way is unacceptable. Please kindly commit to:

- use other small pieces of land currently available to yield an extra one or two hundred spaces;

and moreover:

- convert more car parking to provide hundreds of new cycle parking spaces within a 3-6 month period.

We look forward to your response and to working productively with you to see a commitment turned into reality.

Martin, Cambridge Cycling Campaign

Images and media

Problem History

  • 1 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 11:47 06 Sep 2011
  • 2 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign wrote to National Express East Anglia close 11:47 06 Sep 2011

    Here is the letter that Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign wrote.

    Cycle parking at Cambridge station

    There is common consensus that the cycle parking situation at Cambridge station desperately needs to be sorted out; it is regarded as truly dire by many people. There is a massive shortage of spaces, and it can easily take at least five minutes to find a space, if at all.

    The amount of space given to car parking is large compared to the number for cycle spaces. Around 20 cycles can be parked in the amount of space that a car and its reversing space requires. These 19 people are additional potential customers that may be being turned away.

    The continual promises of "this big development plan will fix it soon" will no longer wash. As long ago as 1998, Cambridge Cycling Campaign created a film interviewing people about the situation. 13 years on, the situation remains unresolved.

    It is time to reallocate space to cycle parking now. Whilst it is very welcome that 2,812 cycle parking spaces will be provided by the Pink Phase of the CB1 development, where a cycle park must be started by April 2016 and completed by 2020, this still leaves at least six years of continued problems.

    We welcome the ongoing regime of clearing out unused cycles and the efforts made by the station. However, even the most perfect clearance system would not address the problem. Demand is simply much higher than the amount of cycle parking provided.

    The current situation is an embarrassment both to the train companies and to Cambridge as a city; visitors to the city should not be met with scenes like this:

    The treatment of railway customers in this way is unacceptable. Please kindly commit to:

    - use other small pieces of land currently available to yield an extra one or two hundred spaces;

    and moreover:

    - convert more car parking to provide hundreds of new cycle parking spaces within a 3-6 month period.

    We look forward to your response and to working productively with you to see a commitment turned into reality.

    Martin, Cambridge Cycling Campaign

  • 3 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 12:08 06 Sep 2011

    Lots more photos at:

  • 4 Myf Nixon commented close 12:37 06 Sep 2011

    Great photos, Martin. Good luck in getting this issue some support - and a resolution.

  • 5 Andrew Jones commented close 12:54 06 Sep 2011

    When I had my bike stolen from the station last year I was also told that nothing is going to be done until the new development is completed.

    I would really like a temporary solution before then, both in terms of extra capacity and better security.

  • 6 Peter Stevens commented close 14:14 06 Sep 2011

    I have also had a bike stolen from the station because I was unable to securely lock it due to the lack of spaces.

  • 7 Geoff Jones commented close 14:14 06 Sep 2011

    I guess people who park there cars have to pay! Cyclists expect parking to be free! there seems to be always lots of space for cyclists in the paying spaces.

  • 8 Dave H commented close 14:19 06 Sep 2011

    There is a demand for cycling to connect with rail services at Cambridge, and there will be a premium to be able to do this through getting a) a guaranteed space b) with minimum delay between bike parked and on to train (or no delay and use folding bike). Some users will pay a premium for premium service (secured parking, bike hire). I suspect that a moderate percentage of the bikes are not used daily, and the users might switch to a low cost daily hire of a well maintained bike, reservable for the days when they come to town (see www/

    How well does the TOC understand these valued customers?

  • 9 Hester Wells commented close 14:25 06 Sep 2011

    @ Geoff Jones I believe there is something like a two year waiting list for the paid cycle parking space. Just because they're empty when you see them, doesn't mean someone hasn't paid for them! They wouldn't be much use if they weren't reserved and therefore available when you need them.

  • 10 Andrew Jones commented close 14:47 06 Sep 2011

    NXEA made some comments on Twitter after I shared this page. No real news, but their people on Twitter seem happy to ask the station manager for updates on our behalf.

    See my conversation with them at (oldest items in the discussion are at the bottom).

  • 11 Eleanor Catherine Blair commented close 15:28 06 Sep 2011

    I've had a bike stolen there too: in my case locked to a wooden fence which turned out to be less sturdy than it looked. I now won't leave it unless locked to something more substantial, preferably a sheffield stand, which means having to leave plenty of time to find parking space if travelling by train.

  • 12 Shaun McDonald commented close 16:11 06 Sep 2011

    How about some CycleHoop car shaped bike parking in the unused parking spaces?

  • 13 Sarah Brown commented close 16:16 06 Sep 2011

    As you may know, I've pushed National Express to try and do something about this. They made some positive noises, then went silent. That they seem to have something of a high turnover of managerial staff at the station probably doesn't help. - Cllr Sarah Brown

  • 14 Phil Lee commented close 17:56 06 Sep 2011

    Now that the busway is open, drivers should be encouraged to park their cars at the Park & Rides and ride the bus (or cycle) from there.
    Reducing the number of car parking spaces would be an effective way of achieving that.

  • 15 Owen Dunn commented close 15:43 06 Sep 2011

    What's the point of petitioning NXEA when there's less than five months left before they turn into a pumpkin?

  • 16 Andrea Davies commented close 14:10 07 Sep 2011

    I really hope something comes of this campaign. The station management have been giving the excuse for years and years that the CB1 development will solve all of our problems and new cycle parking is in their contract. But does anyone believe that this company will honour a commitment to open a new cycle park in NINE YEARS TIME? Remember that they have already declared themselves bankrupt and resurrected their company with a new name to avoid clauses in their contract that would benefit existing residents of Cambridge rather than their own bank accounts.

  • 17 Myf Nixon advised Martin to write to Cambridge News. close 14:29 07 Sep 2011

    Hi Martin,

    I'm sure you've already contacted local press over this, but I thought they might be interested to hear that you've created our most-supported campaign to date. Might be worth dropping them a line, in any case?

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

  • 18 Myf Nixon advised Martin to write to Helen Burchell of Look East. close 14:31 07 Sep 2011

    Hi Martin,

    Also perhaps consider Look East, your local BBC channel; Helen, whose email address I've given you here, is the transport correspondent.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

  • 19 Katie Turner commented close 15:10 07 Sep 2011

    I don't even try and leave my bike at the station any more after missing trains trying to find a space that doesn't have "do not park your bike here" signs all over it.

  • 20 Jan Thomas commented close 22:26 07 Sep 2011

    I support this request for better bike parking. I am fed up of taking ages to try and find a space and then having a high chance of my bike being blocked in by other bikes while parked there. I often get oil and dirt on my smart work clothes due to overcrowding of bike parking and I get fed up of us cyclists being treated as if we don't need space. It seems like car drivers are given a much better service. I would consider paying at a meter to park my bike at the station if it meant I could drop my bike off quickly and easily and keep my clothes clean. I would not pay pay for the dubious privilege of taking ages to find a space and then getting my bike bashed up plus a chance of having to leave it overnight because I can't lift it out of the congested space.

  • 21 . Wookey commented close 12:54 08 Sep 2011

    I was slightly surprised to see this campaign started, as I understood that now that the CB1 development was finally underway (only taken about 15 years!) we were finally going to get a useful number of spaces. But then I saw that this phase wasn't even starting until 2016. To be fair that's the latest possible date, so things could happen sooner, but the building is going on the site currently occupied by Station Cycles and last week they had not been given any dates for their move to new premises.

    Some more action like the small section of parking added in the carpark a few years back would be a huge benefit, and could be done very quickly. I spent time on two occasions over the last couple of weeks trying out bikes from Station Cycles during the day and there was loads of free space in the carpark - 30 or 40 spaces, so it's not even full, at least in the summer. That's in dramatic contrast to the huge pressure on the bike parking. Converting 30 car spaces would provide at least 400 bike spaces.

    I too had a bike stolen there 18 months ago, and largely due to the indeterminate time needed to find a space I have pretty-much given up parking there. I either park in the triangle site or get the bus to the station. Both of these require allowing extra time to catch a train.

  • 22 Keith Garrett commented close 22:02 14 Sep 2011

    Yesterday the stand next to me had 3 bikes attached to it making it very tough to get my bike out. Today it took me 10 mins to find anywhere to put my bike and to get to that I had to lift it onto my shoulder and put it in between two sets of stand next to a tree. Luckily I had left plenty of time to get my train and already had my ticket.

    This is not the image that a world class city should portray at it's main station.

  • 23 Richard Taylor commented close 00:10 15 Sep 2011

    I fully agree with this campaign; there's clearly need for action now.

    In February 2010 councillors at the East Area Committee made clear they wanted quick action on cycle parking at the station;

    The next East Area Committee is on Thursday the 27th of October 2011; it might be worth writing to the committee, and someone using the public speaking slot there to point to this campaign, and asking them why their calls for action have not yet been effective.

    I spoke to British Transport Police after my bike was vandalised at the station, they urged me to lobby National Express (who they said were responsible) for better cycle parking saying that only "people power" would make improvements happen.

    I suppose by joining this campaign I'm getting round to joining in with some people power in action.

    Like others who've commented so far, I too sometimes don't cycle to the station because I'm not sure I'll find a decent secure place to park my bike. When I do leave my bike there I wonder if it'll still be there when I return.

    I'm going to try and draw some attention to this campaign, with some tweets, some in the direction of local media and journalists.


    Richard Taylor

  • 24 Dave H commented close 10:54 15 Sep 2011

    There is still a vast gulf of understanding between the train operators and their cycling customers. Here is demand for a product - a complete integrated door to door journey where the time spent waiting for the train is minimised (because local cycle trips are remarkably consistent in the time they take, and in the reverse direction the onward joureny from the train begins instantly as you start cycling (no waiting for the next bus or queuing for the taxi).

    This provides the fastest delivery and cheapest cost for a delivering 'High Speed Rail' travel by eliminating the low value time spent waiting for the next stage of a multi mode journey. All 'rail' journeys are multi-modal and train operators need to wake up to this fact, and recognise they cannot viably offer the journeys which their customers want as a station to station deal. There is a market to sell the product so get some better market intelligence guys.

    Pressure on parking is currently being eased by the tolerance of train crew on trains coming in to Cambridge. It is not uncommon to see 2 bikes per door vestibule (16 bikes on a 4-car train) but DfT specification of fixed seating and poor internal layout makes this a pig to operate. FCC got their ticket inspectors to survey the demand and had to impose a ban on one weekday service - all 242 seats full with standing passengers PLUS 15 non folding bikes and 8 folding ones - 10% of the seated capacity of the train - travelling with bikes (figure which seems to be pretty consistent for trains used by cyclists).

    One detail from many mainland Europe locations is to park bikes in places where you cannot park cars, and where the space is less likely to be needed for other activities. At Cambridge there is such a space which could be offered as a premium place to park (generating revenue from those who would gain a secure place to park, and a guaranteed space, with a direct access to the platforms) This space would have to be restricted to those prepared to subscribe and use a controlled access, and would require the users to push bikes up a ramp (steps & wheeling ramp). I reckno that around 1000 spaces could be provided relatively comfortably in this way, without requiring any additional land.

    Another detail that would resolve the Bikes in excess of capacity (to borrow from the railway lexicon) would be to install cycle parking like the Orion Beta & other equivalents that prevent bikes being tangled but park a bike every 20 cm in a hi-lo double sided system (overlapping front wheels) you'll put 26 bikes onto a 3m x 5m plot (but will need aisle space to put the bikes into the rack). The units are modular so that a 'toastrack' several metres long can be made to fit the space available, and the units can be tipped over on a hinged mounting to clean the debris from underneath. Look at many 'mainland Europe' stations and they don't use the Sheffield hoop simply because it can be parked up to 350% of the nominal capacity. In Cambridge Simon Nuttall and I did a review of parking stand designs, including designs which located a front wheel in a tray (not a single point wheelbender butterfly but 2 well spaced points of contact with the tyre). This design keeps bikes in an ordered but densely packed arrangement, from which individual bikes can be removed, and does not require the 4 metres width* and 2.6+ metres headroom to use 2-tier stands. *Room to pull down the upper tray and line a bike up to load/unload. Let me know if it would be helpful to try-out the modular high density units - samples are available.

    Simon & I also tested out a way to park bikes along a wall in a strip 0.8m wide, with a bike for every 0.9m of wall length - and possibly even closer, but although I have the design no-one has considered an installation

  • 25 Myf Nixon commented close 13:52 15 Sep 2011

    Hi Martin,

    Now that you've over 100 supporters and are definitely FMT's biggest campaign, have you any plans to contact your local press?

  • 26 colin minney commented close 19:12 15 Sep 2011

    we need loads more areas apart from the railway area for bicycles....a good secure set of racks near the bus station would be great.

    It is a shame that more shops do not have wood or cycle guards to lean ones bike against.

  • 27 Amanda Taylor commented close 19:47 15 Sep 2011

    Good point Colin. I'm sure there is space for bikes there.

    Do you know about the Park That Bike project?
    They are offering FREE bike stands to small businesses and groups in Cambridge -- their offer is valid till March 2012.

  • 28 Colin Wiles commented close 21:57 15 Sep 2011

    Well done for taking this up - the cycle parking situation at the station is an absolute disgrace and the management appear to be doing nothing to deal with abandoned cycles. When will they realise that trains and cycles make a brilliant integrated transport system.

  • 29 Phil Lee commented close 06:36 16 Sep 2011

    @Colin Wiles
    The abandoned bike situation is being controlled - OWL bikes have a contract to regularly remove them, which they have been doing about every 2 months.
    Any that look even vaguely dubious are tagged, and then removed if the tag is still present 2 weeks (I think) later.

    So what is needed is more space, with stands that can be securely locked to.

  • 30 Peter Andrews commented close 07:33 16 Sep 2011

    ParkThatBike is happy to support the campaign for better cycle parking at Cambridge station. Rail+bike is potentially a marriage made in heaven. The rail operators need to recognise this and make decent provision.

    Couple of related links:
    . To improve cycle parking in other locations use
    . Cambridge organisations are eligible for free cycle parking stands. See http://www.parkthatbike,com

  • 31 Jason Devenish commented close 12:22 16 Sep 2011

    Streetsure (a division of Bellsure group)are happy to assist with whole cycle parking solution for this Station.

    We are suppliers and installers of many cycle parking solutions that really work, including the Orion range of products which includes DOUBLE DECKER Cycle parking (recently installed at Waterloo Station), and BETA, The High Capacity single level cycle parking system.

    We are also developing a new division specialising in secure cycle compounds and high security intelligent entry systems run from a web interface which can be designed for specific TOC's and Councils and managed online.

    Our specialist Consultants will also assist with Feasilbilty studies, Site surveys, 3d Modelling, and product demonstartions

    Wed be glad to hear from any responsible parties to develop this concept and meet up on site

    Contact Jason @ Streetsure on 01483 568287 or email

  • 32 Simon Geller commented close 16:09 16 Sep 2011

    Living in Sheffield, we wish we had your cycling problems. Nevertheless, good luck!

  • 33 Anna Langley commented close 14:04 22 Sep 2011

    The cycle parking at the station is so dire, it's been years since I've parked my bike there. I love my bikes and parking them at Cambridge station is no way to treat them.

  • 34 Anna Rygielska commented close 14:24 24 Sep 2011

    I am one of the lucky ones who live and work in Cambridge and can lock their bikes in the city centre bike parkings.

    Looking at the previous comments - the double decker bike parking doesn't seem to be particularly secure (it seems to have the wheel bender lock up method) and you need to be strong to actually lift your bike up to the second level. A city bike with a basket, dynamo lights etc is too heavy to lift that high.

    A better solution, in my opinion, would be using one of the Cycle Hoop products. The cycle hoops can be seen in side streets off Mill Road. It's a company that Cambridge City Council is working with already.

    Using their Car Bike Racks would make a point with frustrated drivers - that 10 bikes can be securely parked (ie using a good old Sheffield stand) in one car space. Another option is to use their Temporary Cycle Parking. Albeit, temporary, it can provide a temporary solution before anything permanent is put in place.

    Now, this one : seems to be a paid / subscription only bike parking solution, and a bit time consuming, but it's another solution nonetheless.

  • 35 Dave H commented close 16:24 24 Sep 2011

    Most 2-tier bike parking systems have locking points for frame and wheels, although the designs are variable in their fitness for puropse over a range of bike types. None has the single point grip of the butterfly wheelbender but many use the well proven 'tray' option where the bike tyre(s) are fitted into a tray that has 2 points of contact well spread around the circumference of the wheel. These designs were fairly well received in the Cambridge Cycle parking project that Simon Nuttall and I did about 8 years ago, although some designs did pose problems for UK front lights (fitted on RH fork rather than LH one) and front basket systems.

    The Cycle Hoops fitted to street furniture suffer a similar problem to sheffield stands - they can be parked on by more bikes that designed for, and in a random fashion. I have pictures of a Sheffield stand regularly used to 350% of designed capacity - messy.

    Bike Tree is nice but presents a lower level of service this is the long wait for your turn to have the bike hook descend and rise up, especially if you have to wait in turn. At Winterthur we timed an automated parking unit and the 3rd person in the queue had to stand for over 1.5 minutes, destroying any benefit from cycling to the station, and probably missing the train they were going to catch.

    There will be a potentially viable audience for premium cycle parking given the level of demand at Cambridge Station, and a smart card access, with reserveable spaces in a location giving rapid & direct access to the trains is potentially possible, as is a Cambridge installation of the Brompton Dock used in Guildford where people can buy long term hire of a folding bike to take on the train & bus - this need not be at the station, but could be at a workplace/business park, as the operating model is very much unlike the Boris Bike (long term hire is encouraged - coming down to around £2/day, and short hires are priced to be equivalent to current Brompton hire prices). Brompton Dock is leased to a host who then has a revenue share option with Brompton Dock running the scheme, or they buy-out the revenue share and have the option of having a private pool bike service, where bikes are available to staff or clients from the host.

    Another bike volume reduction option is OV-Fiets, as many bikes parked at the station are not used every day, Users pay a low fee to take a fully serviced bike to work from the station and return it at night, with a further option for those coming home at night taking the bikes home to bring in the next morning. Effective management of bikes at the station probably by registration and externally readable microchip tags, would help to identify bikes which have infrequent use, and could be replaced by an OV-Fiets machine. At some key cycle-rail stations it is estimated that up to 20% of the bikes are kept there for the occasional visits the user makes to the town.

  • 36 Colin Wiles commented close 21:32 24 Sep 2011

    Regarding tagging of bikes, I see no evidence at all that bikes are being tagged and removed. I was at the station at 7.15am yesterday and every single bike rack was occupied and I did not see a single bike with a tag. I would guess that at least 20% of all the bikes at the station are abandoned, if not more. There is an opportunity for a social enterprise to make a decent living from the proper management of bike racks, but it needs some leadership and commitment..

  • 37 Phil Lee commented close 22:51 24 Sep 2011

    The tagging is being done, and by a social enterprise.
    You just happen to have selected a time in between purges.
    iirc, they happen about once every 6 weeks, and the tagging is done a week or two before the removal.
    Even immediately before the first such operation, the proportion of abandoned bikes never reached 20% - it may have just about peaked at 10%

  • 38 Colin Wiles commented close 16:15 25 Sep 2011

    I use the station regularly and have never seen any tags. Every six weeks is not enough, it needs to be a constant operation - if the bike racks were properly managed there would be enough spaces. Some enterprising social entrepreneur should be put on the case.

  • 39 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 16:40 25 Sep 2011

    As the letter says:

    "even the most perfect clearance system would not address the problem. Demand is simply much higher than the amount of cycle parking provided."

    Of course clearance should be happening (and it is) but freeing up 20% of space (if it was that) wouldn't anything like solve the problem. welcome as it may be.

    The clearance of bikes is something of a distraction from the key issue, which is the shortage of space for stands.

  • 40 Anna Langley commented close 16:40 25 Sep 2011

    The issue isn't just the culling of abandoned bikes. The quality of the parking provision is disgusting. A large part of it is in an unsurfaced area which is muddy in wet weather, dark and a bit scary at night. The parking is cramped so bikes get damaged. And it's a paradise for bike thieves, who nick parts off bikes, when not nicking whole ones.

    I've parked my bike there and come back and found it enclosed by other bikes, and have had to lift it out from the middle. Something I can no longer do.

    It is thoroughly unpleasant, and that's why I've not parked my bike there for the last six years.

    We need bike parking that is plentiful, dry, light and secure.

  • 41 Amanda Taylor commented close 17:49 25 Sep 2011

    I used to leave my old bike at the station but I wouldn't now I have a new one. Too high a probability of it being damaged if not stolen.

  • 42 Rob Archer commented close 21:07 27 Sep 2011

    I've been following this discussion with interest. It's not a new problem. In the late 1980s I worked for British Railat Cambridge station. I ran the stores and uniforms department from the north end of the large warehouse that now hold the bike shop. Cycle parking was becoming an issue and up to 300(!) bikes were being parked in odd areas around the station and were being seen as a 'problem' by some managers who would like to have banned them from the premises. I argued that, even in those dark days, BR should be encouraging cyclists as far more bikes than cars could be catered for in the limited space. The warehouse was mostly empty and I put in a staff suggestion that we convert it to proper cycle storage, with a staff presence. I suggested that if we could cater for 1000 cycles, and charge 50p a day people would happily pay that for the security and, as the building was unused this would have been self-financing. I also suggested doing a deal with a local bike shop to set up a repair point. Needless to say, I was treated as if I had suggested something indecent! I was told that catering for cyclists was a waste of money and that we simply needed more car parking. (This was around the time that the Carter Bridge was being built!)

  • 43 Keith Garrett commented close 23:31 01 Oct 2011

    On Tuesday I ended up missing my train because there was nowhere to park. I had to wait for someone to come along and unlock their bike. Infuriating!

  • 44 Myf Nixon commented close 15:52 03 Oct 2011

    I asked National Express on Twitter if they were aware of this page. Their reply: "yes we are aware. We are also doing all we can about the issue, but it's not an easy one to resolve!"

    I did then say that they are welcome to add comments to this page, but I see they have not taken that up yet.

  • 45 Karen Arrandale commented close 14:56 05 Oct 2011

    The lack of cycle parking at the station has been both disgraceful and ridiculous for a very long time. It has always been clear that cycling to the station has been far the most important and popular mode of transport for people living in the city and a significant way forward when so much new development is aimed at more commuters. So why is this central issue not being given priority? And the problem is not limited to regular daily commuters, but to the hordes of transient members of the local population, students, tourists, travellers.

    Providing good, safe, tidy, imaginative cycle parking will help to address what is all too likely to become a localised transport nightmare in the next few years. Of course, that's not the developers' problem, but it would be outrageous if the planners did nothing to enforce a fundamental condition attached to planning permission.

  • 46 Anna Langley commented close 15:10 05 Oct 2011

    Looking at the details of the plan from the Cambridge Cycling Campaign site, it seems that we're to get some undercover parking in the multi-storey car park. Firstly I was alarmed at the idea of there being a multi-storey car par there at all. It's foolish to attract cars to the station. I accept the need for a certain amount of parking there, for people with particular mobility needs. But the infrastructure there station should be about encouraging sustainable transport between home and station. And in Cambridge that can only mean bikes, and lots of them.

  • 47 Simon Geller commented close 16:39 05 Oct 2011

    ATOC are piloting Station Travel Plans(see Sadly neither Cambridge nor Sheffield, which are both in dire need of better cycle parking (Sheffield probably has less than a tenth of the amount of parking that there is at Cambridge at the moment) are in the pilot programme, but this could well be the vehicle by which better facilities are provided.

  • 48 Shaun McDonald commented close 00:57 06 Oct 2011

    UK railway stations - please report to Japan for lessons in parking-lot design:

  • 49 Myf Nixon commented close 11:12 13 Oct 2011

    Did you see the coverage of this issue on ?

    Some interesting comments there too - eg about Dutch bike parking solutions.

    I wonder if it's worth sending the link to this page around a few more cycling mags and sites?

  • 50 Richard Taylor commented close 20:51 21 Oct 2011

    I observed Cambridge City Council's Full Council meeting on the evening of Thursday the 20th of October 2011.

    The leader of the Labour opposition on the council, Cllr Herbert, had placed a written question to Liberal Democrat Cllr Ward who is the Executive Councillor for Planning and Sustainable Transport.

    Cllr Herbert's question was:
    "Where does the Council identify there still to be a significant secure parking space shortage, and what action is planned, particularly on the current deficit of approximately 1000 secure spaces needed in and near the railway station, which looks to be made even worse by CB1 plans?"

    Cllr Ward's response, which was circulated at the meeting, stated:

    "There is an obvious shortage of cycle parking in the city centre but also a lack of available space. Work is ongoing to identify any areas where additional racks can be installed. As part of the European 2 Seas project the County Council are also in the process of identifying space to install additional on- carriageway cycle parking in the central and Mill Road areas.

    The County Council are currently working with the Station Manager to install additional racks, probably double decker, (providing a possible 200 extra spaces) at the station in the area currently used for short stay car parking and some space at the back of the new bus stops is also being considered for a small number of racks. In the longer term provision is planned for a significant number of spaces in a cycle park facility which is associated with the Pink Phase of the station development."

    Source: "Council Information Pack":


    Richard Taylor

  • 51 Keith Garrett commented close 21:27 23 Oct 2011

    A week of commuting and a week of having to hunt for space in a rush in the morning and fighting to get it out at night. Thursday I put the bike against a stand and when I got back there were a total of five bikes between the two stands.

  • 52 Dave H commented close 22:08 23 Oct 2011

    It was officially confirmed (after a leak 2 weeks earlier) that Abellio (the trading name for Nederlandse Spoorwege) has been awarded the 'short' interim franchise for Greater Anglia until July 2014.

    They have substantial experience in delivery of cycle parking, and cycle hire schemes for commuters, and will no doubt be keen to start a dialogue on what they can do (albeit of a short term nature) when they take over in February 2012.

    I have some contacts with Abellio and their Northern Rail joint venture (50-50 with Serco) has a successful Cycle Forum. Abellio website is and CEO who spends a lot of time in the UK is Anton Valk.

    Note that there may be a period of purdah for any major initiatives as the NXEA assets and projects that are to pass over to Abellio are transferred.

  • 53 Peter Dixon commented close 20:17 14 Nov 2011

    There appears to be a lot of anger with cyclists using the newly installed disabled ramp to chain their bikes up.

    Trust the rail operator to deal with the symptom rather than the cause.

  • 54 Myf Nixon commented close 15:54 15 Nov 2011

    Agree it's the symptom rather than the cause, but those chaining their bikes to the disability ramp aren't helping the image of cyclists, and may even lose them sympathy. :(

  • 55 Shaun McDonald commented close 17:18 15 Nov 2011

    If you are at a station looking to lock your bike in a rush, you'll be looking for something that is secure, it wouldn't surprise me if people didn't realise that it was a disability ramp, and that it was blocking access.

  • 56 Myf Nixon commented close 11:18 16 Nov 2011

    A clear sign wouldn't hurt, in that case!

  • 57 Paul Verbinnen commented close 11:50 16 Nov 2011

    I would be interested to know the nationality of those locking their bikes to the disabled ramp.

  • 58 Neale Upstone commented close 14:28 16 Nov 2011

    Yesterday I had my bike lock destroyed for securing my bike to the yellow railings (not the disabled ramp) with no warning that they had an issue with bikes parked there. There was a notice about parking on the ramp (rightly so - it's for disabled access!).

    Paul ..., the station manager, was unwilling to provide any written justification for having destroyed a £50 lock, when appropriate warning would have been sufficient.

  • 59 Jason Devenish commented close 15:06 16 Nov 2011

    All I can say, is will you let us come to site and explore the possiblities of what can be done on improving the cycle parking? Who do we need to be talking to in responsible positions? We are cycle parking specialists and at the end of the day what is required at Cambridge is a highly functional High capacity system to maximise teh space you have.
    We are Streetsure 01483 568287 I look forward to hearing directly from you.

    Jason Devenish

  • 60 Paul Verbinnen commented close 17:08 16 Nov 2011

    I enclose details of emails I sent last year:

    From: "Moss-Eccardt Rupert Cllr"
    Date: 15 February 2010 15:04:22 GMT
    Subject: RE: Cycle parking at the Railway Station

    Thank you for your email.  I must apologise for the long delay in replying but the remote access that the County provides has been rather unreliable lately and so I have had to attempt this email a number of times.
    In the long term there will be a proper fully-enclosed cycle park as part of the 'CB1' development with space for many, many more cycles than are currently provided for. 
    In the meantime, we (the City Council, the County and my colleagues who are councillors in Petersfield) are trying to exert influence on National Express, who own the land, to do something helpful.
    There are CCTV cameras and, of course, there is a police station just next door, but, as you say, it doesn't seem to help.
    If there were more 'stands' then, at least, one could then be sure that the bike was locked to something substantial.
    Regards, Rupert

    Sent: 05 February 2010 17:39
    To: Moss-Eccardt Rupert Cllr
    Subject: Cycle parking at the Railway Station

    Dear Mr Moss-Eccardt,

    Are their any plans for building a covered cycle park at the railway station?

    The current park is really just a supermarket for thieves as there is no security whatsoever and I am reluctant to leave my bike there when travelling by train. I think Cambridge deserves a state of the art cycle park in keeping with it's status of "scientific innovation capital" of Britain!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you can support the request.

    Date: 28 January 2010 09:47:17 GMT
    To: Andrew Duff
    Subject: Cycling in Cambridge

    Dear Mr Duff,

    Now that Cambridge has been made a "Cycle Demonstration City", I hope that emphasis has switched from providing traffic easing measures to providing secure and covered cycle storage areas. I would like to see the current cycle storage area at the railway station turned into something that Cambridge can be proud of.

    At the moment it is a thieves shopping centre where they can roam at will searching for their next target. This must waste a huge amount of Police time, not to mention cost to both public and individual.

    Please press with maximum urgency for EC funds to be directed towards this worthwhile project which will also benefit the fight against climate change. Thank you for reading this and I look forward to positive news hopefully not to far in the future.

    Yours sincerely.

    I never did get a reply from Mr Duff.

  • 61 Richard Taylor commented close 21:54 16 Nov 2011

    A vote held by Cambridge City Councillors earlier today (Wed 16th November 2011) will almost certainly delay the provision of the planned 3,000 space cycle park at Cambridge station.

    Developers of the "CB1" station area scheme are required to provide the cycle parking as part of their agreement with the council associated with the planning permission for the development.

    Councillors approved a variation to the agreement which has the effect of changing the part of the development the cycle parking provision is linked to. It was previously linked to housing. It looks as if the developers were keen to get on with building the homes, but wanted to be let off the requirement to provide the cycle parking along with it.

    I've written an article about the decision at:

    This likely further delay to the plans means the FixMyTransport campaign calling for a quicker solution to the cycle parking problem is now needed even more than it was before.



    Richard Taylor

  • 62 Thomas Santarius commented close 01:18 17 Nov 2011

    what about organising a bicycle demo?

  • 63 Neale Upstone commented close 09:18 17 Nov 2011


    Thanks for staying on the ball with this sort of stuff.

    Do you remember when the Grand Arcade was going to have youth facilities?

    Similar things happened.

    I think it's time for a bit of Adbusting on the CB1 hoardings. I've seen this happen over and over again on developments. Officers being weak, too little capacity for enforcement and councillors worrying about legal costs of standing up to developers.



  • 64 Anna Langley commented close 09:35 17 Nov 2011

    I just sent this to my local councillors in disgust at recent developments (via Feel free to reuse any of this, if you wish to write to yours...

    [email address redacted]

    Thursday 17 November 2011

    Dear Roman Znajek, Gerri Bird and Susannah Kerr,

    I'm deeply concerned by the developments around Cambridge Station,
    having learned that the Planning Committee has let the developers off
    from providing cycle parking in the first phase of construction.
    Doubtless they'll find a way to dodge it in the next phase too, in the
    way that developers always do.

    The cycle parking situation at the station is simply dire. It is
    grubby, cramped, badly lit, and woefully insecure, making it a
    smorgasbord for bike thieves. I've not parked my bike there for at
    least six years.

    The needs of your electors, the residents of Cambridge, are obviously
    subordinate to those of developers and the part time residents that
    they are trying to woo into the station development.

    I'm frankly disgusted that via this development Cambridge is being
    turned into a London suburb.

    I expect my elected representatives to stand up for the interest of
    Cambridge residents, and to defend their interests.

    The cycle parking situation at the station is in immediate need of
    massive improvement. I expect my councillors to stand up for that
    against all comers.

    Yours sincerely,

    Anna Langley

  • 65 Dave H commented close 11:53 17 Nov 2011

    When a London Commuter station runs out of car parking space it is a near immediate move to bring in the decking system, erected in a couple of days, with integral lighting etc. There is no reason why this could not be used to provide a second level of cycle parking (even a third for some systems)

    Because the systems can be erected and removed quickly this could form an interim arrangement that can be moved or reconfigured at a later date. It can be leased or purchased, and even some ex-hire units can be obtained. If you look at the anotherlevel website they have a time lapse video of a project.

    The second level if used for cycle parking goes not need a big ramp - steps and a wheeling ramp would be better and less space-hungry. If extyended over the footway it can provide a covered route in to the station/shelter for bus stops/taxis and opportunity for a small shop or kiosk

    The upper level can also be useful for site huts etc on a site which has severe space limitations. Each unit measures 15m x 2.5m, so you'd need a minimum of 2 units to have a row of 2-tier stands, angled down each side. Alternatively a central high density detail should accommodate up to 78 bikes on a 5m x 15m footprint

    As an engineer who has designed space efficient parking its something I'd look at

    NB if there is a wall you can park bikes along this at 0.8 to 0.9m per bike, in a strip 0.8m wide, Locked to individual steel loops and with the rear wheel trapped in against the wall to make removal tricky

  • 66 Neale Upstone commented close 11:53 21 Nov 2011

    Who is up for a day of civil obedience?

    Any cyclist who has had trouble parking their bike according to station byelaws, would all on the same day take a car (those that have the option).

    For the 100 or so bikes removed recently of which it seems less than half were obstructing the disabled ramp, that would mean 50 car parking spaces not available to drivers.

    Given the further delays, I think an action to demonstrate how cyclists are helping drivers would be a good thing.

  • 67 Paul Verbinnen commented close 13:51 21 Nov 2011

    I agree with Neale. A publicised day when as many cyclists as possible took their cars to the station and thereby clogging the parking/approach roads would demonstrate to the authorities just how much benefit cycling is to the city. Our councillors are so dense and intractable that it would need broadcasting to embarrass them into action.

    I also think regular vehicle drivers should be made aware of the traffic that we remove from the streets by using our bikes, and then maybe they would be less aggressive towards us in the long term?

  • 68 Amanda Taylor commented close 14:27 21 Nov 2011

    If you want to change things, may I suggest you ascertain who is responsible before sounding off. Councillors do not provide the bike parking at the station.

    Like many other councillors, I get about by bike myself, and experience the same problems you do when I go to the station.

  • 69 Paul Verbinnen commented close 14:45 21 Nov 2011

    I am of course referring to the fact that councillors have recently allowed the developers to postpone the provision of bicycle parking. If that is sounding off, then I think the criticism is justified. As a councillor you should represent the people of Cambridge and that clearly isn't happening.

  • 70 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 15:11 21 Nov 2011

    Paul is right of course - while the station is not council land, councillors are responsible for giving planning permission etc. And historically, the existing cycle parking at the station actually *has* been provided at least in part by one or other of the councils. We (Cambridge Cycling Campaign) would be appalled if a planning decision blocked a decent cycle park proposal.

    However, contrary to the report in the News last Thursday, we actually think that the Planning Committee's decision last Wednesday
    will most likely lead to the cycle park at the station being built
    earlier than originally scheduled. And it can't come a moment too soon.

    At worst, short of the station square development being abandoned
    completely, it shouldn't delay it further beyond 2020.

    But the new agreement requires plans for the cycle park to be *brought
    forward* by maybe four years, and by no longer linking it to a big,
    expensive-to-build car park there is more likelihood of it actually
    happening faster. The existing cycle parking is physically in the way of
    potentially lucrative further development and the existing agreements do
    not allow them simply to get rid of it so there is a real incentive for
    them to provide the cycle park.

    The County Council's particular emphasis on economic growth also means
    they have every reason to push for the cycle park to be built and make
    the remaining development possible.

    So we tentatively share the City Council Head of Planning's confidence
    about the cycle park plans.

  • 71 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 15:26 21 Nov 2011


  • 72 Sue Procter commented close 09:25 28 Nov 2011

    I have lived in Cambridge for 21 years and the cycle parking situation at the station has got progressively worse and if one is not an early commuter during the week there is little or no chance of locking ones bike safely when catching a later train

  • 73 Susan Grossey commented close 11:54 28 Nov 2011

    After 25 years of using the station, I have finally had to give up on expecting to find bike parking: I either get a lift by car, or take my folding bike and hope that it is allowed on the train. And I am a Really Keen Cyclist, desperate to use the station. But ripped clothes, scratched hands, dirty shoes and so on are too high a price to pay simply to lock up and release my bike. Please help!

  • 74 Fern Hume commented close 15:23 28 Nov 2011

    @Neale Upstone- did you lock your bike to the 'outside' railings of the ramp? If so it is still casuing an obstruction to the ramp, as mobility impared people don't want to get their hands snagged on locks when using the hand rails. Of course, if the people that built it put an extra rail running along the outside edges, then people could lock through that, preventing the hand rails being impeded.

    Train station really need to consider providing cycle spaces for cyclists with disabilities, there is no way I can get into the tight spaces to unlock my bike, or drag it out when 5 other cyclists have piled them up high, and some trikes struggle to get into small places also.

  • 75 Phil Lee commented close 05:55 29 Nov 2011

    I'd be surprised if a proportion of any kind of parking didn't need to be accessible for disabled users by law.
    For some reason it never seems to be provided for disabled cyclists though.
    I suppose we just have to take our pedal powered class 3 invalid carriages on the train :)

    It wouldn't take many cyclists to circulate the roundabout in front of the station to bring things to a halt fairly effectively - as the traffic already on the roundabout, they'd have priority over all other traffic.
    It would need cameras to be prominently present to stop the taxi drivers smashing their way through regardless of risk to life though.

  • 76 Robin Forder commented close 07:45 29 Nov 2011

    I think Neale Upstone's civil obedience/drive to work day would be safer, more effective, and less likely to bring us into disrepute. If there are not enough bike spaces/facilities, it is fair that we use another mode of transport. Also, the demonstration would last all day, and not until the police asked us to move along, or we had to go to work.

  • 77 Kate Griffin commented close 14:38 29 Nov 2011

    I think Neale's idea of driving to the station is brilliant. But it will take work to co-ordinate, and won't be anywhere near as effective without press coverage. Is there anyone with Cambridge press contacts who can help to get it reported?

  • 78 Adam Reynolds commented close 18:13 29 Nov 2011

    This sounds like a very workable idea but people would need to get to the station early as it is already getting busy at 6.30am

    I assume we'd all park legally and put posters or something in the window of our cars along the lines of "this space would be free for someone else to use if this station had adequate cycle parking spaces"

    It would then be very clear to everyone just how many spaces were being taken.

  • 79 Simon Stoddart commented close 18:27 29 Nov 2011

    Name the day and time when we should park at the railway station. I would, of course, put my bike in the back of the car so that I could cycle back into town

  • 80 Amanda Taylor commented close 18:34 29 Nov 2011

    I would love to help but I don't have one of those metal things with four wheels. Happy to stand around with a banner or whatever!

  • 81 Robin Forder commented close 22:05 29 Nov 2011

    My understanding was that we would drive to where we would normally cycle to; the advantage of that is that it genuinely shows the difference we make by cycling rather than driving. If the event were well publicised, we wouldn't have to put posters up in our cars. The effect on traffic flow would be sufficient (hopefully). Would the Cambridge Cycle Campaign feel itself able to support such an event? It's media contacts might be useful, although I believe it's easy to contact Radio Cambridgeshire.

  • 82 Chris Rust commented close 23:11 29 Nov 2011

    I feel that this "drive-in" protest could be extremely effective. I don't live in Cambridge (I'm an occasional visitor with my bike) but if I did I would be very pleased to get up early and bring my car to the station for a day. Looking at the huge number of bikes there it wouldn't take a big proportion of them to bring the roads and parking to a halt.

    Instead of being seen as a whinge about privileges for cyclists it's making the very positive point that cyclists benefits all road users, something that motorists are generally oblivious to. They usually assume that because you sometimes slow them down for a few seconds you are an unnecessary nuisance, so letting them see what it would be like if you drove like them. Even the Daily Mail could not fail to get the point (OK maybe I'm just a bit too euphoric there)

    Let's have a BIke Free UK day and really show road users how much they benefit from cycling.

  • 83 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 00:41 30 Nov 2011

    I am not so sure a drive in protest would work unless it was done in conjunction with prearranged press coverage as has been suggested.

    I think it would be better to focus directly on the problem with the cycling parking rather than linking the issue to car parking. Realistically the majority of people will carry on using their cycles even with poor facilities so a demonstration based on the idea that it will affect the car parking may send out a confused message. It also risks being seen as a car verses cycle argument, even if it has the best intentions.

    Going back to the issue of the cycle parking itself, a notice put up recently says “It is a breach of railway bylaw 14 to attach your bicycle to anything other than a designated cycle rack”. Perhaps this could be the focus of a demonstration; the bylaw says only use designated racks so where are they? What are you expected to do? I think at the moment they just expect people to improvise and the cyclists muddle through, but the new notice implies National Express don’t even allow this.

    Of course any enthusiastic demonstration which brings publicity to this issue may well help so good luck, and perhaps a story involving cars would be of more interest to the press.

  • 84 Chris Rust commented close 08:24 30 Nov 2011

    I disagree with Paul, Cyclists complaining about cycling facilities is a always going to be seen as a minority arguing for themselves. Saying "OK we give up, we'll drive our cars like everybody else" can't be criticised by car drivers or pro-car press and if enough people do it to have real impact on the station's business and car drivers experience the effect of fewer people cycling then there's a real chance of impact on the station operator. Of course it requires buy-in and that needs a campaign to get cyclists to sign up, but even that might frighten the station operator enough to make a difference.

  • 85 Chris Brown commented close 08:44 30 Nov 2011

    I agree, the drive in protest could be very successful if linked with good advance publicity.

    HOWEVER, there is also going to be negative comment and protest from drivers who will feel their day is being disrupted for no good reason. These people may well arrive early too and may take photos and may be interviewed by the press. It's essential that the cyclist driving protesters behave irreproachably to avoid bad press. That means, I feel, that only commuters should park at the station. Anyone parking at the station and then cycling or walking into Cambridge could wreck the campaign.

  • 86 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 10:22 30 Nov 2011

    Just going back to the cycle parking itself, I looked as I passed through at 0850 this morning and it is clear that even at this time of the year there are a huge number of cycles which are out of necessity parked not using a "designated cycle rack”. These include ones locked to signs, the crash barrier by the bus stops, and cycles triple parked on the Sheffield stands. I suspect these are already well in excess of the extra parking which has been promised when the bus bay in front of the station is turned over to cycle parking.

    Perhaps a protest based on a highly visible and publicised cycle count would help draw attention to the problem. It could relate the number of cycles parked within 300 yards of the station entrance to the number of "designated cycle racks”. This would in itself show how valuable cycles are at keeping the roads and car park clear, and also show how they are suffering at the moment and would add useful data to that already gathered by the Cambridge Cycle Campaign.

    These count results could be made visible (for the press) and backed up by a display showing past quotes from the various organisations involved; Cambridge City Council, the CB1 developers, National Express, Network Rail and the Department for Transport showing buck passing and broken promises, and not to forget an example from Denmark or Holland showing what can be done.

  • 87 Paul Robison commented close 11:03 30 Nov 2011

    As an example of what could be done, take a look at this - it's the best I've seen, though not the biggest:

  • 88 Martin Willitts commented close 11:54 30 Nov 2011

    Ref Paul Robison's inspring video link: "Albeit at vast expense!" - who will carry the cost of implementing change seems to be a key element to progress. The people who park their cars in the car park have to pay daily. That is a common approach when demand outstrips supply. It seems impossible to charge bicycle users to park in an open access area. However, is there scope for a crowdfunded model - if local land could be provided for free pending CB1 development could we collectively pay for clearance and bicycle stands?

  • 89 Wire Donkey commented close 16:29 30 Nov 2011

    Neale Upstone's "Obedience Day" is an interesting idea. I would prefer to see volunteers who instead of taking their car to the station continue using their bike. But on one defined day pay for parking, park their bike in one car park space, afix the ticket to the bike, take a picture of it. Before leaving they report their bike to the station supervisor and by phone to the car park operator to the number on the ticket (take note of their names). If the bike has been removed they claim their money back.

    If just 20 or 30 people do this on one day it will have a knock on effect on the car spaces. It is also much more visible to people in cars.

    (The biggest risk is of course that a bike not locked to a fixed object may get stolen).

  • 90 Kate Griffin commented close 17:37 30 Nov 2011

    I still prefer the idea of everybody just driving to the station. Putting bikes in car spaces gives a visual image of bikes getting loads of room - totally the opposite from what we're trying to say - and bikes risk getting stolen, crushed by cars, "helpfully" moved to where their owners can't find them, etc, etc.

    I feel that if people who normally cycle chose to drive for just one day, that would really send the message that cyclists are normally doing a lot of unseen work easing congestion on the roads. But, like I said, it would need media attention or there's very little point doing it.

  • 91 Adam Reynolds commented close 19:57 30 Nov 2011

    forgive me if this sounds like temporary insanity but the idea of paying for a parking space and leaving a bike in it sounds like a good play but as Wire Donkey(!) said they won't be secured to anything. Could we figure out a wahy of setting up our own semi secure bike stands in parking spaces for a day and pay for them?

    If coordinated correctly I thing you could get 8 bikes in a single space. I have no idea how we'd do it (concrete blocks) and if there are any bylaws in the private parking regulations against doing this but it would certainly prove interesting.

    I imagine if we did this on the end of the parking row some of the regular drivers would just think this was an official temporary arrangement ;-)

  • 92 Martin Willitts commented close 20:25 30 Nov 2011

    A Google search for temporary bicycle stands came up first with a TFL document about stands for events. They suggest scaffolding for larger events. Perhaps we could hire a few pieces of scaffolding for a day to fit a single parking bay and attach the bicycles to that along with the ticket for the parking space.

  • 93 Amanda Taylor commented close 20:42 30 Nov 2011

    We could lock our bikes to other people's using the same combi-lock number, obtainable from a trusted body such as the Cycling Campaign. Far harder to lift more than one bike than just one.

  • 94 Robin Forder commented close 20:49 30 Nov 2011

    If common sense were the only factor, I think the rail company would have to admit that there isn't enough space. A count is a good idea, but isn't it clear to a passer-by that there are not enough spaces for the bikes there?

    I rather like the idea of installing cycle hoops in the station manager's parking space under cover of darkness, but I'm not sure it would win him or her over to our cause. Similarly, perhaps a drive to work day would create headlines, but possibly cost us supporters. What is needed is some wise advice.

    On the TV this evening (BBC1, That's Britain), Christian Wolmar, a travel commentator recommended applying pressure as individuals to MPs, councillors and the companies responsible. The context was rail carriage overcrowding, but he is cyclist-friendly: It may not be spectacular, but it might work.

  • 95 Robin Forder commented close 21:08 30 Nov 2011

    I like Martin Willitts's idea of a crowd funded model. I understand though that the CB1 developers had already been obliged to include cycle parking. The Cambridge Cycle Campaign reports some progress here:

  • 96 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 22:49 30 Nov 2011

    Robin said "A count is a good idea, but isn't it clear to a passer-by that there are not enough spaces for the bikes there?"

    It is clear to a passer-by that there are not enough spaces, but what is maybe not so clear is the scale of the problem and whether any of the proposed short term improvements would enough. It is planned to provide 200 new spaces in the near future and whilst this is unlikely to be adequate in the longer term, it may help make the situation much more tolerable for a while.

    The plans for the extra 200 cycle spaces are for the bus lay-by just in front of the station, but this is currently still being used for bus services heading for the city centre and this is blocking progress. It was expected that this stop would have already moved to the new bus stops between the Mill and the Station. The project is described by the Cambridge Cycle Campaign:

    National Express point out that they are removing cycles every month and consider this to be managing the problem. 185 have been removed in the 8 months from February, with more removed in October. I think this is more a case of keeping the problem from getting much worse rather than anything which is going to fix the problem on its own.

    The Cambridge Cycling Campaign did a cycle survey in March 2010 with the kind permission of National Express:
    This says that 1000 cycles were parked and gives some figures to arrivals and departures but admits there were limitations to the existing survey so the article suggests things they could do with a better resourced future survey.

    Having read the information about the last cycle survey and the proposed improvements I realise that if another survey was done it would be best done with the full cooperation of National Express and not as part of a protest; a survey needs people to be on railway property and so needs to be done with permission.

  • 97 Anna Langley commented close 11:27 01 Dec 2011

    A count is a good idea, but even that doesn't quantify the problem. You can't easily count the bikes that would be there if the facilities were good enough. You won't count my bike as I never park it at the station, because of the poor facilities and high level of theft there.

  • 98 Paul Verbinnen commented close 18:13 02 Dec 2011

    Just had a reply from Tim Ward (LibDem).

    Following my site visit and meeting with the CB1 developer and others today I understand that plans to provide a modest number of additional cycle parking spaces at the station on a temporary basis are still in place, with implementation still to be "within months".

    In the longer term (eighteen months to two years) the developer continues to expect to provide a cycle park with 3,000 spaces. Indeed some of their staff were in Amsterdam today looking at a facility similar to the one that they expect to build in Cambridge.

    There appear to be a number of funding, legal and land ownership issues to resolve before the cycle park can be built, on which I cannot comment in detail, but I didn't hear anything today that leads me to believe that agreement on these issues will prove impossible.


  • 99 Robin Forder commented close 22:16 02 Dec 2011

    That's great to hear. Thanks Paul.

  • 100 Dave H commented close 00:30 03 Dec 2011

    It has dawned on me that there could be a solution where 2 people use 1 bike or more accurately there are a few hundred basic, identical bikes with a wide range of adjustment, fully serviced by professionals which are available for taking home or to work as appropriate.

    To explain this we have outbound commuters (mostly heading for London) most arriving early in the morning but frustrated because there are bikes parked overnight by commuters coming in to Cambridge (for work/college/etc) filling up parking spaces, as these inbound commuters will be retrieving their bikes AFTER the outbound commuters have departed on their trains.

    At the end of the day this process will generally be reversed with departing commuters parking the bikes before those returning 'home' arrive.

    Thus we could halve the number of bikes and spaces taken for a sizable chunk of commuter churn by having a pool fleet along the lines of the OV-Fiets system already operating at around 160 sites in NL. There may be a charge for this, potentially around £1-£2 per day*, for which most of the likely audience will no longer will be riding a cheap clunker hack bike, but will enjoy a regularly serviced and near new utility bike, set up to take standard bike luggage etc, and never having to fret about coming back to find you need to fix a punctured tyre or get the lights working. At a few Dutch locations the balance of inbound and outbound commuters also allows the use of a smaller site with the heightened security of the bikes not sitting on site for long periods through the day or night.

    This parallels the similar concept of car sharing in making greater use of a transport resource, and could equally be offered with a compact folding bike like the Brompton with a slightly modified regime for the recently introduced automated bike hire units, which offer an even higher density of parking - 40 individual lockers capable of supporting substantially more than 40 bikes in circulation fitting on to a single car parking bay instead of 10-12 standard solo cycles on stands or in lockers. (a standard car park bay is 12.5 sq m, and the minimum space - including access required to put the bike in to the parking space is generally between 1 and 1.2 sq m - and that is 'tight') (a bike 'footprint' is roughly 0.7 sq m)

    *Some of this cost to users could be offset by selling the branding rights for blocks of bikes for advertising and promotional campaigns. The running costs (but not the capital costs) for the Copenhagen bike scheme, which has been running for over 16 years.

    So can anyone suggest a sponsor or two for the Cambikes idea?

  • 101 chris wilson commented close 17:43 26 Jan 2012

    you would think that in a town like cambridge ( full of clever people, movers and shakers ) they would have long sorted this basic problem out. why is there no joined up thinking on this. we are supposed to have an integrated transport policy

  • 102 John Lawton commented close 17:52 26 Jan 2012

    @chris: This is because the 'clever people' aren't in charge of these matters :)

  • 103 Hamish Burnett commented close 20:29 01 Feb 2012

    The cycle parking at the station is obviously rubbish. What's more national rail have now 'fixed' a fence to surround part of the cycle park, this has created a bottle neck for hundreds of people to access bikes when going to and coming from work, complete ignorance from national rail creating more needless chaos.

  • 104 Hamish Burnett commented close 20:38 01 Feb 2012

    Now that the fence has been "fixed" it has become even more difficult to park bikes - the bottleneck created means dragging my bike past masses of others with great difficulty in the process in order to find a space. Why ever do they need that fence? the people making decisions at the stations are totally ignorant to the basic needs of cyclists

  • 105 Louise Crow advised Martin to write to Greater Anglia. close 17:49 06 Feb 2012

    Hi Martin,

    Just to let you know that now that Abellio Greater Anglia have taken over the franchise for running the station, I've added them as a contact for you in case you want to use FixMyTransport to raise the issue of cycle parking with them.



  • 106 Neale Upstone commented close 10:23 08 Feb 2012

    Has anyone seen evidence of removals since November? I certainly know of one bike that hasn't moved in that time, and the board about removed bikes seems to have disappeared.

  • 107 Paul Harley commented close 00:01 07 Mar 2012

    It looks like something is actually going to happen! :-))

  • 108 Paul Harley commented close 00:02 07 Mar 2012

  • 109 Myf Nixon commented close 10:55 07 Mar 2012

    Great news, if it comes off! Well done to everyone who's joined the campaign.

  • 110 Peter Woodsford commented close 09:31 08 Apr 2012

    Indeed, wonderful news if it happens. I won't find myself wishing every time I use the station that I lived in Germany or Holland.
    Peter Woodsford

  • 111 Charles Martin commented close 11:30 03 Nov 2012

    I suggest that t paper tabs are placed round the wheels of bikes in specific areas of the cycle parking. When bikes move off the tabs break off. If the bike is not moved after a week the bike can then be removed and stored with cyclists being charged (maybe) for excess parking. This, at least, would get rid of the many abandoned bikes that I am sure clogg up the spaces there. Thoughts?

  • 112 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 14:34 03 Nov 2012

    Such a regime is already in place - apparently-abandoned bikes are ticketed with a notice that they will be removed within 14 days and if the notice is still present, they are removed. This is operated by OWLbikes, and there is regular clearance:
    The solution is more spaces, via a proper cycle park.

  • 113 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 14:38 03 Nov 2012

    Pictures of the proposed cycle park were released recently by the CB1 developers and we understand this is due to be submitted for planning permission soon:

  • 114 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 19:54 23 Nov 2012

    Plans for the 3,000-space cycle park at the station will be presented by the developers at Cambridge Cycling Campaign's meeting on Tuesday 4th December, 8pm at the Friends' Meeting House, Jesus Lane. All welcome - do come!

    Facebook event:

  • 115 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 11:23 06 Dec 2012

    Cambridge Evening News article on the cycle park plans now revealed:

    It looks fantastic - please do add a comment at the end of the article to encourage the developers after all their hard work!

  • 116 Myf Nixon commented close 09:53 14 Jan 2013

    News from

    "Plans for the UK’s biggest cycle park at Cambridge railway station have been submitted, and we have a video here showing the cyclist's view of the approach and the facilities that could be on offer.

    "The plans include stairs with ramps to push the bikes up, and the £2.5 million Cycle Point facility will have space for 3000 bikes, in an attempt to end the chaos that is currently the parking situation at the station. There will also be a 230-bedroom hotel located above the bike spaces.

    "One viewer of the video on Youtube was less than impressed, commenting: "You want us to ride along the pavement, slaloming trees and pedestrians, for how far? 50-100m? Or you actually think its a good idea to open a bike park only accessible on foot? Either way, thats a terrible design flaw. Fix it!

    "And then I get to the bike park and I've got to go up stairs? You've included -stairs- as part of the bike access? Sorry to ask, but what were you smoking when you came up with that?"

    "In fact the stairs in to the bike park include up and down channels - much wider than the bike gutters previously installed on a footbridge at Cambridge Station and shortly afterwards scrapped for being unusuable. The channels in these stairways look wide enough for a confident cyclist to ride (whether you will be allowed to is another matter) they are certainly wide enough for a cyclist to push their bike along as they walk up the stairs, which might be the only option during peak times anyway when weight of numbers might make riding up the channels impractical."

    "As for the need to "slalom trees and pedestrians" before getting to the entrance - the trees look to us like a method of deliniating the cycling and pedestrian parts of the pretty wide footway, although this is one of those cases where painting a big bike symbol on the cyclists's side of the path or simply painting it - light blue perhaps - would achieve exactly the same effect,. The trees no doubt do contribute to cutting the devlopment's carbon footprint though."


  • 117 Paul Verbinnen commented close 12:32 14 Jan 2013

    Having just looked at the video, I am wondering why the facility does not have a ground floor, for access by those with tricycles?

  • 118 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 12:50 14 Jan 2013

    The video is at:

    > I am wondering why the facility does not have a ground floor,
    > for access by those with tricycles?

    It does - you can see it at 0m40s as a walkway to the left of the yellow column.

    In terms of a stepped ramp (which, to be clear is *totally* different to the rubbish wheeling channel used for the bridge between platforms), this is based on a Dutch cycle park design.

    If you were to have a cycleable ramp, you would need a bigger building, meaning that you therefore end up walking more after parking the bike. The maximum time to walk to the station entrance from the very furthest bike rack in the building is timed at 1m58s, which is far better than the current messing about trying to find a space.

    In terms of access, there is also a new road to be built which is just opposite the entrance, as shown in the video. So those coming from town would probably be using that, not going across the square.

  • 119 MJ Ray commented close 15:40 14 Jan 2013

    "If you were to have a cycleable ramp, you would need a bigger building" - possibly. Why not slope the floors, like in multi-storey car parks? Then even the "ramp" becomes parking space. I remain somewhat stunned that CamCycle is happy with stairs in a bike park - but I guess any expansion is better than the current mess at the station.

  • 120 Simon Nuttall commented close 15:57 14 Jan 2013

    I too was very disappointed about having to dismount and walk up a ramp at the proposed new cycle park, but after making my thoughts felt at I have changed my view:

    My disappointment about the lack of a cyclable ramp has been softened by arguments that it was seriously considered by the desigers, but discounted for a number of reasons. Cyclable ramps need to be shallow enough (about 1 in 20) so that everyone can ride them, like this one outside Amsterdam station: and that can take up a lot of space.

    The Dutch do indeed have ramps that require a dismount, such as this one in Den Haag: which looks similar to what will be provided at Cambridge Station.

    There are clever bike parking machines that can store bikes underground, such as in Tokyo and escalators but they have their own capacity (and other) issues.

  • 121 Andrew Jones commented close 17:25 14 Jan 2013

    I think it looks pretty good. Can't think of any better in the UK.

    I think the stairs with ramps are fine. It would prevent people from cycling in the cycle park, which I think is a good thing. I can also understand the need to save space. Although I do hope the ramps are a lot better than those on the platform bridge, which are hopeless.

    Maybe its human nature to pick holes, but theres no doubt its a huge improvement on the current situation. Looking forward to its completion.

  • 122 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 13:45 02 Jul 2013

    The proposed 3,000 space cycle park at Cambridge station is set to get the green light tomorrow:

    If approved, this will be the culmination of a 15-year campaign by Cambridge Cycling Campaign to address the problem. Please do join to add your voice:

  • 123 Martin Lucas-Smith, Cambridge Cycling Campaign commented close 20:49 03 Jul 2013

    Great news!

    Councillors today approved plans for the new 3,222-space cycle park at the station. Construction to begin later this year, with opening due December 2014.

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