Today marks the opening of Haywards Heath Cycle Hub, a bit of rail station cycling infrastructure that points a positive way forward to how integrated transport should work in this country.
Southern Railway, which runs routes that stops at the station, has invested £200,000 to £300,000 in refurbishing and fitting-out of the old car valeting building next to the Haywards Heath station to provide two-tier parking for 160 bicycles, secure lockers, a changing room and toilets for cyclists.
For an annual subscription, cyclists will get all these facilities plus a key-card which will allow them exclusive entry. The new facility will also be covered by CCTV which is beamed back to a 24-hour Southern Trains CCTV control centre at Croydon.
In addition, the facility will provide cyclists with a Help Point for information and assistance and will also be able to view train departures from a flat-screen monitor.
The new hub marks the 1,500th additional bicycle parking space created by Southern Railways since it began the South East rail franchise.
Let’s hope other rail companies take note and particularly the Cycle Rail Working Group, which has just been awarded £7m funding by the government to help improve cycling facilities across the rail station network.
The money is part of £15m worth of funding that the government announced yesterday for cycling projects in addition to the £560m that it provides for sustainable transport projects via the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. The rest of the money from the £15m award will go to UK sustainable transport charity Sustrans.