Network Rail has partnered with charity Cycling UK on a new initiative to help novice cyclists as a fifth of UK adults said they are now considering cycling to work.
Network Rail’s survey of over 2,000 British adults said that while they have been spurred on to cycle as a result of Covid-19, half are put off by busy roads and 22% are worried their bike may be stolen.
Nearly 60% of commuters said they feel confident about travelling back to their workplace and almost a third (32%) are planning to do so within the next week if it’s safe for them.
A further 15% are worried there won't be enough available bike storage at or near their place of work.
The initiative with Cycle UK 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.
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, Network Rail Property managing director, 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: “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.”