Rail passengers using Canterbury West station will soon benefit from improved cycle parking facilities as part of a £6.8 million investment by Government to fund extra bike spaces at railway stations across the country and incorporate cycling into their journeys.
As part of the scheme, which will be delivered by Southeastern, 96 existing spaces will be removed and replaced entirely with a secure hub with two-tier racks for 196 spaces – doubling the amount of capacity and massively improving cycle security. The facility will include a cycle repair stand, pump, and extra lighting, constantly monitored by CCTV.
Of the £104,000 which is being spent on Canterbury West, £74,000 has come from the Department for Transport, while £30,000 has been provided by Canterbury City Council.
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director for Canterbury West, said:
“The opportunity to use a sustainable transport mode to get to and from the station is very important to our passengers, who not only want to be reassured that their bike has a space available, but that it will be safe and secure while they undertake their journeys, and that other facilities will be on hand to maintain and repair their bike when they need it.
“I’m delighted for both our passengers and our partners at Canterbury City Council that Southeastern’s bid for these funds from the Government has been successful.”
Chairman of Canterbury City Council's Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Rachel Carnac, said: "This doubling of the number of secure cycle spaces at Canterbury West is great news for passengers and cyclists. Improving these facilities is a key part of our plans to create an integrated transport hub in Station Road West, which we know a lot of local residents support.
"More people would leave the car at home and cycle to the station if they know they will have a guaranteed place to leave their bike and it's still going to be there when they get back. This project solves both of these concerns, so it could be the difference needed to change behaviour.
"As well as being good for health, cycling also has an important role to play in improving air quality and increasing the number of people who travel on two wheels is a priority for us."
The scheme at Canterbury West complements recent investment by Canterbury City Council in a new multi-storey car park adjacent to the station, set to open in 2020.
The latest round of funding from the Cycle Rail Programme will install 2,300 spaces at 48 stations across England, enabling commuters to cycle directly to the station and lock their bike securely. The programme has now been backed by more than £40 million from the Department for Transport, tripling the number of cycle parking spaces at more than 500 stations and taking the total to some 80,000. It is part of a Government initiative to ensure that people are more aware of their transport choices, and that commuter journeys are as sustainable as possible.