Station cycling park plan on hold
Sanchez Manning A MASTERPLAN to solve bicycle parking problems at Paddington Station has been put on ice after rail bosses admitted it would not be considered for at least a year. Plans for the �750,000 bike park – the biggest in Britain – were only unve
A MASTERPLAN to solve bicycle parking problems at Paddington Station has been put on ice after rail bosses admitted it would not be considered for at least a year.
Plans for the �750,000 bike park - the biggest in Britain - were only unveiled last week.
But already Network Rail has ruled out introducing the scheme imminently because of ongoing building work at the station.
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The revelations, discovered by the Wood&Vale this week, have angered cyclists across the borough who have campaigned tirelessly for parking improvements at the station.
The Network Rail spokesman said: "It's Brunel's landmark station and 150 years old, so any designs have to be given the go-ahead by English Heritage.
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"The other factor is we're doing some repairs on the roof at Paddington and it will probably be next summer before it's finished, so realistically we're not going to begin any works before then because it will be in the same part of the station."
The futuristic glass scheme designed by Dutch firm NedRailways is designed to hold up to 1,000 bikes.
Campaigners were keen to have it built immediately as they struggle over spaces at the station - one per 700 commuters - exacerbated in the summer months when more and more people cycle to work.
London Cycling Campaign spokesman Tom Bogdonowicz, who regularly cycles through Paddington, says cyclists now find it near impossible to extract their bikes from the hundreds crushed into the station.
He believes it is "crucial" that the new bike park get built as quickly as possible.
"London is building the Olympic stadium in the space of a year and we're putting in Crossrail across the town, yet we're still unable to provide cycle parking - it's a scandal," he said.
"If they can't provide a park then they could at least increase the number of bike stands for people in the interim. People who cycle to and from Paddington Station are Network Rail's customers.
"They don't only deserve a place on the train, they deserve a place to leave their bicycles."
The new cycle park would be fully manned until late in the evening, thereby improving security for bike users. The scheme would also include a shop where people can buy, repair or even hire bikes.
NedRailways has already built 40 similar developments in Holland and is currently erecting one in Leeds.
The park has provisionally been named Cyclepoint - a direct translation of the existing Dutch scheme called Fietspoint.
A Transport for London (TfL) spokeswoman said: "TfL is investing �3.5million this year in new cycle parking facilities in the capital and will be installing new facilities at 60 Tube stations during the next few years.
"We are always looking for innovative ways of providing more cycle parking facilities. These proposals would be an excellent addition to the available facilities in London and would be an ideal candidate for funding from the Government.