South West Trains, the UK’s biggest commuter rail operator, is pioneering a new bike and ride initiative that will allow travellers to make greener integrated journeys.
The new trial scheme at Richmond Station will give commuters and leisure travellers the chance to hire a traditional or folding bike from just £10 a day.
Customers can use the bikes to explore the local Richmond upon Thames area or take them on peak or off-peak trains to complete their trip.
Some 50 traditional bikes and 20 folding bikes are available for hire as part of the project, which is a partnership between South West Trains, Cycling England, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Evans cycles.
It follows the success of a similar South West trains scheme at London Waterloo Station, offering the UK rail network’s first green cycle hire initiative. If the initiative is successful, it may be extended to other stations within the South West Trains network.
The new scheme is part of a £14 million DfT initiative to improve facilities for cyclists at rail stations and encourage healthier, greener travel.
Welcoming the launch of South West Trains bike hire scheme at Richmond Station Transport Minister Norman Baker said “I am delighted to see this very innovative approach by South West Trains to increasing the number of bike and rail journeys around London. The scheme offers opportunities for both commuters and leisure visitors to Richmond and offers a real alternative to car use in the area.”
People wanting to hire a bike can either approach a member of Evans Cycles staff at the new visitor information stand located at the main ticketing area of Richmond Station or they can reserve a bike online by emailing [email protected] The bike hire will be available from 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week. It also includes a lock, helmet, lights, high visibility jacket and a map of local cycle routes, making it easy and convenient for cyclists.
Cyclists can rent a bike for a day or a weekend with prices starting from £10 a day. There is no pre-registration or annual fee, and only a refundable £50 deposit is required.
Phil Dominey, South West Trains’ Stakeholder Manager, said: “As one of the DfT/Cycling England Bike ‘n Ride Train Operating Companies, South West Trains is amongst the first rail companies to develop a cycle hire scheme to meet the needs of the residents and visitors at a station such as Richmond. South West Trains commuters and leisure travellers alike will soon see the benefit of this new Bike ‘n Ride facility. There isn’t a complicated registration or annual fee, we provide folding bikes and traditional ones with a full range of accessories and we also have an attendant to answer any questions. We’re certain that passengers will welcome the launch of this quick and easy hire scheme.”
Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said: “Cycling England has found that giving people an opportunity to try out cycling, particularly as a leisure activity is an excellent way to encourage them to adopt cycling more regularly for short, everyday trips. South West Train’s cycle hire scheme has all the right ingredients to make this happen offering a convenient, easy option for people to enjoy cycling along the River Thames or through Richmond Park.’
South West Trains has also worked in partnership with Transport for London to deliver an additional 108 cycle parking spaces at Richmond station.