Call for bike hubs for Scotland
Activists from Scottish transport campaigning group Transform Scotland this morning called for a nationwide network of interchange bike hubs across Scotland.
Transform Scotland has today launched a new report, ‘Interchange’, which sets out how cycling can both increase the reach of Scotland’s public transport networks and help meet the government’s ambitions for increased levels of cycle use.
The ‘Interchange’ project analysed 19 bus stations, rail stations and ferry terminals in ten towns and cities across Scotland, from Aberdeen to Mallaig, and from Inverness to Glasgow. The final report sets out three key recommendations:
* Firstly, that ‘Active Travel Hubs’ — centres that would provide a variety of services to bike users (e.g. bike hire, bike repair, or advice on cycle routes) — be established at key transport interchanges.
* Secondly, the establishment of an ‘Active Travel Friendly’ Standard, an award given to consistent and well thought-out facilities.
* Thirdly, the appointment of an ‘Active Travel Architect’ for the design of new or redeveloped major public transport facilities to ensure best practice is met.
In the report, which has been published in partnership with Sustrans Scotland, Transform Scotland encourages groups, individuals and transport operators themselves to carry out audits of stations and terminals using the ‘Interchange Toolkit’. These results can be used to make the case for improving integration between cyclist journeys and public transport.
Scotland already features two successful Cycle Hub projects, the Stirling Cycle Hub and the facility at Pollokshaws West station in Glasgow. The Scottish Government has highlighted ‘Active Travel Hubs’ as a potential future area for investment and Transform Scotland thinks this should now form a key area of investment. In July, the UK Department for Transport announced a £15m fund for improving rail-cycle integration and Transform Scotland thinks that a similar fund should be established in Scotland in order to provide for better integration between public transport services and cycling.
Transform Scotland head of research Jolin Warren said: “Our project conducted audits of major transport interchanges across the country. This revealed the need to ensure consistent high standards across Scotland and to develop a network of Active Travel Hubs. These hubs would serve cyclists and pedestrians, providing routes, repairs, parking, and other amenities.
“Our Interchange Toolkit is available for public use, and we are urging local groups to audit their local stations or terminals, and push for improvements around the country.”
John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, welcomed the publication of the new Interchange report saying: “The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland sets a vision for 10% of trips to be by bike by 2020. In order to achieve this it is essential that we do as much as possible to encourage and enable people to cycle for more of their everyday journeys.
“One way to do this is to get more people cycling as part of longer journeys that involve another form of sustainable transport – trains, buses and ferries. Facilities for cyclists at rail stations, bus stations and ferry terminals must be convenient, safe and secure in order to encourage people to cycle to them.
“The audits conducted by Transform Scotland show that while there is a lot of good practice in terms of cycling provisions at various interchange points, there are also a number of key issues that need to be addressed.”
A number of transport operators assisted with the Interchange project. Transform Scotland was pleased to have the assistance of ScotRail, who have long been working to improve the passenger experience at its stations across Scotland through its ‘Adopt A Station’ programme. Commenting on the ‘Interchange’ report, ScotRail External Relations Manager, John Yellowlees said:
“By investing in cycle facilities at stations, ScotRail would aim to become a more cyclist friendly organisation. These facilities can range from providing better or more space on trains, limiting conflicts with other passengers, to investing in secure parking facilities.”
Transform Scotland have also launched a video illustrating the project:
Pictured at Pollokshaws West rail station – the site of an up-an-running highly successful bike station and cycle cafe.
Transform Scotland activists (from left) Morgan Reilly, Janice Fenny (correct) and Lotti Lancaster.
Colin Hattersley Photography
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