Virgin Trains today opened its new Bike Hub at Coventry Station, one of four schemes that has delivered an additional 574 secure spaces for cyclists on the West Coast route.
Working in partnership with the Department for Transport (DfT), Coventry City Council and the Rail Delivery Group, Virgin Trains created the Coventry Bike Hub with funding from the DfT’s Cycle Rail Fund. The scheme cost £349k, bringing the total investment in improved cycling facilities to £1.25m with Bike Hubs having also been introduced at Rugby, Birmingham International and Preston stations in the last year.
Councillor David Welsh, Deputy Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council was on hand to formally open the new 150 space facility, which cyclists can access using their own security fob. The fobs are normally priced at £5 and available from the station, but as part of the launch, the first 100 cyclists will get their fobs for free.
Paul Holland, Virgin Trains Project Manager, said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to get to and from our stations. With a growing bike community in Coventry, a city with such a proud cycling heritage, we think it’s important that people have the option to hop on or off a bike when they take the train. We’re really proud of the Bike Hub and hope it encourages more people to get on two wheels before and after they board our trains.”
Councillor Welsh, added: "I am very pleased that Coventry City Council is supporting Virgin Trains in creating more space for cycles at Coventry Station. In the last year there has been a 20% increase in cycles parked at the station, meaning the current space is almost at full capacity.
"The new Coventry Station Bike Hub will more than double the number of cycle parking spaces available. Not only will this help those commuting to and from the station, it will also support our local economy and be of benefit to the environment. This is another great improvement for the city”.
Paul Plummer, Chief Executive at the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train operators and Network Rail to enable a better railway, said: “Record numbers of people are using cycles as part of their rail journeys. Projects like the Coventry Bike Hub are helping to drive this growth, highlighting the dedication and determination of our partnership railway, both inside and outside the rail industry to improve facilities for cyclists.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “We’re committed to making our stations more accessible and better connected. This includes updating stations to ensure they can be easily accessed by rail users who are using bikes in record numbers.”
“The expansion of the Coventry Station Bike Hub, more than doubling the number of spaces available, is a step in the right direction and will improve the passenger experience on this important route.”
About Virgin Trains:
Stagecoach and Virgin are working in partnership to operate the East Coast and West Coast inter-city routes under the Virgin Trains brand. Together, they are on track to revolutionise rail travel across the UK.
The combined network connects some of the nation’s most iconic destinations including Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, York and London.
Virgin Trains is committed to delivering a high speed, high frequency service, offering shorter journey times, more comfortable travel and excellent customer service. Customers consistently rate Virgin Trains as one of the top long-distance rail franchise operators in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) commissioned by industry watchdog, Transport Focus.
On the East Coast route, £140m is being invested to create a more personalised travel experience. We have already invested over £40m in our existing fleet, including £21m refurbishing the interiors and £16m towards improving the engines of our trains. Customers can now benefit from 42 additional services between Edinburgh and London every week, and an extra 22 Saturday services between Leeds and London – a total of 1.74 million additional seats since May 2016. 2018 will see the introduction of completely new Azuma trains being built in the UK by Hitachi.
The West Coast route has a proud record of challenging the status quo - from introducing tilting Pendolino trains, to a pioneering automated delay repay scheme and becoming the first franchised rail operator to offer m-Tickets for all ticket types.
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