Friday, 4 February 2011

Parking at the station when you have to go.

I needed to use the Ladies at Charing Cross Station this week and this station is one of the few where there are no bike parking facilities inside or outside the station. The last time I attempted to park my Brompton on a luggage rack at Charing Cross I came back after five minutes to find it padlocked and I had to charm my way out of it in time to catch my train. This time I carried my bike up and down the stairs to the Ladies. The attendant offered to watch the bike but wanted me to leave it outside which I wasn’t happy about so I took it with me.

The London Cycling Campaign have produced an article in the latest issue of the London Cyclist on bike parking at main stations in London and it seems that National Rail are committed to providing more parking spaces. I have used the trolley system at Liverpool Street Station to park the Trek. You pull the bike park trolley down slide your bike on and lock it and then push the bike up. Not as easy as it looks and someone had to help me. As a Brompton user we don’t have to park we carry but I still value lots of bike parking particularly outside stations because it can be a tipping point to get someone on their bike again. A quick ride to the station and then jump on the train. Unless it is raining or I am using the Brompton I always cycle on my Trek to the station, park and get on the train. I am embarrassed to admit that I used to do this journey by car and sit in traffic and then hunt for a parking space in an adjacent road because you can’t park out side the station. Once I cursed at the reduction of decent car parking outside a rail station and now I see it as blessing because you either walk or get on your bike.

Brompton at Charing Cross Station Ladies
The Trek (the one with wicker basket) at Liverpool Street Station Cycle Park


Sparky said...

I can imagine this would be awkward with the pay toilet facilities at London stations - the barriers are quite narrow. At least on my commute transit station, the toilets are free (but smelly) and I have managed to squeeze my Brompton into the cubicle with me ... ;)

Gareth said...

One thing I have noticed about the racks at Liverpool Street Station, is that many of the bikes had saddles missing. This could either mean it's a thieves paradise for saddles, or owner's being careful. If there is CCTV, it's probably the later.