Thanks to our FB correspondent, Monique Olivier for giving us the link to this story published in the Dutch News last Thursday.
Record number of bicycles removed from stations
Bike parks around the main railway stations cannot cope and councils removed 126,958 wrongly parked bikes in 2013, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday. In Rotterdam, 11,462 bikes were removed, in Utrecht 25,063 and in The Hague 16,688. Amsterdam, which began the policy of removing wrongly parked bikes, took away 73,745 bikes, double the number of four years ago. The Netherlands has 22.3 million cyclists and around 40% of them use their bike to get to the station. That is a 30% increase on 2000, the paper says.
In 2011, transport minister Melanie Schulz-van Haegen wrote to parliament to say that ‘the bike is becoming an increasingly important transport link in getting to the station’. She calculated that by 2020 an extra 140,000 to 260,000 parking spaces would be needed for bikes.
The main cities are all trying to find space for extra bike parks. Utrecht is currently building what will be the biggest bike park in the world, with room for 12,500 cycles.
I’m not sure what the Dutch authorities regard to be ‘wrongly parked bikes’ but imagine only some of them will be those broken and rusted bikes that we find tied up at ferry terminals around the city from time to time.
The real message of this article for me is the awareness that cycling is vital for public transport to work efficiently. All our readers will know the struggles we have had over the last year to achieve this. The good news is that our close contacts in AT now know how important it is, and are committed to working with us to put new bike parking in place by July next year. We are about to form a small working group with our AT colleagues plus people from Gen Zero and Cycle Action who frequently combine cycling and public transport. Our goal is to develop templates to simplify and speed up delivery, as well as achieve economies in design and construction costs.
Surveys and blogs we’ve done in the past year have consistently identified fit for purpose bike parking is not gold plated, but has these key features –
- Direct, convenient, fast access to the bus, train and ferry loading points
- Effective weather shelter from wind driven rain and sea spray
- Good coverage by CCTV
- High standard of direct lighting to ensure bike locks are easily read in winter and assist security
- Located to ensure good passive public surveillance
- Easy- use racks for males and females, providing effective bike support and to avoid bike frame scratching/twising
- Scope to expand for future increased demand
- Clear way- finding signs
- Supplemented by wheel ramps on stairs at terminals – stations etc
- Supplemented by easy safe access from adjacent road system. This will include protected bike lanes wherever possible
- Lastly – if locked doors are included, they must be accessed via a HOP card. No one wants to have to carry another transport related card.
Have we missed any obvious items?