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Supporting sustainable travel: GTR have boosted cycle parking spaces at stations by over 1,000 in the past year
Supporting sustainable travel: GTR have boosted cycle parking spaces at stations by over 1,000 in the past year

Press release -

Making stations sustainable – GTR supports local wheelers, wildlife and workforces

  • over 1,000 new cycle parking spaces for GTR passengers – enough for every competitor in five Tours de France!
  • 90 landscaping projects include 19 bee gardens and nine wildflower areas
  • young local people gain horticulture training and qualifications at 18 stations

Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern passengers returning to rail are now using more sustainable and environment-friendly stations, with new features such as cycle parking, electric vehicle charging points, water management systems, and even bee gardens.

The train operators’ parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is encouraging more passengers to get on their bikes between home and station by installing over 1,000 new cycle parking spaces. A further 250 spaces have been replaced with upgraded modern facilities.

Customers at more than 50 stations, from Littleport in Cambridgeshire to Bognor Regis in West Sussex and Appledore in Kent, can take advantage of the new cyclists' amenities as they resume rail travel.

The additional provision at these stations varies widely according to demand. While some quieter stations have just four or six new spaces, Bexhill’s new bike hub has storage for 70 bikes, CCTV, a maintenance area and free access using Thameslink’s ‘Key’ smartcard.

[A full list of stations with new and upgraded cycle parking facilities is included in Notes to editors below.]

GTR has funded most of the projects through its network-wide, multimillion-pound improvement programme. Facilities at ten stations were funded by the Department for Transport’s Cycle-Rail fund, managed by the sustainable transport charity Sustrans. These include the schemes at Bexhill and four other East Sussex stations, which were further supported by the County and District Councils. At Denmark Hill's 85-bike hub in South London, two nearby NHS hospitals topped up the Government funding. In return, a tenth of the spaces will be reserved for hospital employees.

The government fund aims to improve cycling facilities at stations, promote economic growth, improve journeys, and encourage environmentally-friendly ‘active travel’ to cut carbon and improve health.

Sarah Leeming, Interim Director for south of England at Sustrans, said: “Combining walking and cycling with rail helps people reduce their reliance on the car and makes for healthy journeys. The shift towards more sustainable modes of transport can also go a long way to alleviating congestion and air pollution in our towns and cities.”

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Great Northern and Thameslink, said: “We’re making stations more sustainable, valuable assets for the communities they serve, with improvements local people have told us they want.

"We’ve added over 1,000 secure spaces for bikes - enough for every competitor in five Tours de France! We’re confident that this will encourage even more customers to take up healthy travel that’s good for the environment.

"We’re proud to be working across our network with charities, local authorities, the NHS and many other partners, to support the post-lockdown recovery – building back better and greener.”

To support sustainable transport combinations further, GTR have installed 39 new electric vehicle charging points, including 12 at Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

All 235 GTR stations now have a smart water meter. Constant monitoring and leak alerts could save an estimated 40 million litres a year – enough to fill 130,000 baths or make 174 million cups of tea!

Among more than 90 landscaping projects in GTR’s programme are the ‘re-wilding’ of nine areas using wildflower turf - another water-saving measure - and 19 ‘bee gardens’, with plants chosen to attract pollinating insects. Most have been created by the Eastern and London regional branches of the community and environmental charity Groundwork Trust.

For its 18 station projects in the Capital, Groundwork London have recruited young local unemployed people to form a “Green Team” who undertake formal training to gain a City & Guilds horticulture and employability qualifications, and get dedicated job-search support.

[A full list of stations with bee gardens and/or re-wilding schemes is included in Notes to editors below.]

Ends

Notes to editors

Stations with new cycle parking facilities (with total additional spaces + upgraded spaces where applicable)

Cambridgeshire: Ashwell & Morden (5 additional spaces + 12 upgraded spaces), Littleport (24), Meldreth (16), Waterbeach (0 + 24)

Hertfordshire: Barford (9 + 5), Elstree & Borehamwood (50 + 50), Harpenden (20), Knebworth (4 + 14), Letchworth (tbc), St Albans (223), Stevenage (48), Watton-at-Stone (18)

Bedfordshire: Biggleswade (52), Leagrave (32), Luton (74), Luton Airport Parkway (28)

North London: Drayton Park (10 + 6), Grange Park (9), Hendon (48), New Southgate (18), Palmers Green (20)

South London: Carshalton (8 + 8), Carshalton Beeches (8 + 8), Cheam (12 + 10), Coulsdon South (security improvements only), Denmark Hill (85), Deptford (20 planned), Morden South (4 + 6), Norbury (4 + 4), Reedham (4), Shortlands (to be confirmed), Wandsworth Common (12 + 6)

Surrey: Ashtead (8), Holmwood (4), Ockley (10), Warnham (4)

West Sussex: Balcombe (10), Bognor Regis (20), Durrington-on-Sea (20), Horsham (4 + 16), Littlehaven (8 + 22 planned)

East Sussex: Bexhill (70), Collington (6), Cooksbridge (8 + 8), Cowden (8), Dormans (4 + 4), Falmer (2), Normans Bay (6), Rye (24), Three Oaks (6), Winchelsea (6)

Kent: Appledore (6), Penshurst (4)

Bee gardens and re-wilding

Pollinator-friendly planting at the following stations, by Groundwork East or Groundwork London unless otherwise stated.

Norfolk: Downham Market

Bedfordshire: Harlington, Flitwick (Bee Friendly Trust), Sandy

Hertfordshire: Elstree & Borehamwood, Royston, Welwyn North

North London: Alexandra Palace, Bowes Park, Gordon Hill, Mill Hill Broadway, New Barnet, New Southgate, Palmers Green

South London: Bellingham, Loughborough Junction, Ravensbourne, Wimbledon Chase

East Sussex: Newhaven Harbour (Bee Friendly Trust)

The plants selected all have flowers that are especially attractive to bees and other pollinators. They include lavender, sage, echinacea, verbena and sedums.

Wildflower areas at:

Hertfordshire: Bayford, Welwyn North

South London: Sutton Common, St Helier, South Merton, Haydons Road, Tooting, West Sutton, Morden South

About GTR’s wider station improvement programme

GTR’s network-wide, multimillion-pound improvement programme involves over 1,000 projects, many suggested by local passenger and community groups, at more than 250 stations. While we’re working hard to achieve the punctuality and reliability our passengers rightly expect, we want them to know we are with them all the way and making their stations better places to pass through.

The vast number and range of improvements can be described under three themes:

1. Giving many stations a better ambience by redecorating, planting and installing artwork, often with substantial input from the local community; we’ve commissioned over 200 pieces of community art

2. Making stations work better for passengers, improving comfort and safety with new waiting rooms and shelters, seating, lighting, information screens, defibrillators for public use, and accessibility schemes; we’ve installed nearly 3,000 new seats and over 100 information screens

3. Making stations more sustainable, with schemes such as electric vehicle charging points, secure facilities for cyclists, rainwater retention systems, and even bee gardens; we’re providing around 1,300 new cycle parking spaces

We’ve created dedicated web pages where passengers and local communities can get updates on what’s happening at their station. They can be found at:

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For more information, contact the press office on 0203 750 2031.

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria (currently suspended during the pandemic)

www.southernrailway.comwww.thameslinkrailway.comwww.gatwickexpress.comwww.greatnorthernrail.com

Govia Thameslink Railway
United Kingdom