Access to Stations: better cycle-rail integration

The Access to Stations programme is a portfolio of specifically tailored projects to increase walking and cycling to 20 stations in eight locations across England. The lead authority is Bedford Borough Council, with project activities managed by Sustrans. The programme combines infrastructure measures with behaviour change work.
The challenge

Although half the UK population owns a bicycle and 60% live within a 15 minute ride of a station, only 2% of passengers use their bike to access the rail network.[1]

Nearly a third of UK rail users, and nearly half of those who drive and park at their local station, would like to use an alternative means of travel to or from the station. Over 11% of UK rail users would like to cycle to and from the station.[2]

Dependence on driving to local stations impacts on local congestion, carbon emissions and journey time reliability. The potential for change through investing in infrastructure such as cycle routes, parking, signage and travel advice is significant.

There is also the potential to attract new rail passengers. Cycle parking on crowded forecourts, for example, uses around one tenth the space per rail user as car parking.

The Solution

Infrastructure improvements include forecourt redesigns, new bridges and walking and cycling routes. Behaviour change measures currently underway include workplace activities, pop-up travel hubs, community events and personalised travel planning.

Access to Stations will support economic growth by reducing congestion around the stations. By improving end-to-end journeys an overall shift from car travel to rail journeys is also anticipated.

The difference

The expected impact of the package of measures includes:

  • Million fewer car trips to/from the stations by the third year
  • 1,150 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions by the third year
  • £7.7 million in decongestion benefits over 10 years
  • Project funder: Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

1 Green/Hall, 2009 Better Rail Stations
2 Passenger Focus, 2010 National Station Improvement Programme final report
3 Surveyor, 2009 Bicycle’s link in the chain

Find out more

For more information on our work in and around stations.