New awards for cycle-friendly railways
In a promising indication that cyclists have not been wholly forgotten by the rail industry, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is launching an award scheme to recognise the best stations, people, services and facilities for cyclists at or around railway stations in Britain.
Supported by the CTC, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the National Cycling Strategy Board, the Connections 2004 Awards give cyclists around the country the chance to nominate the best examples of integrated rail and cycling 'initiatives' - which is one of those catch-all words to cover the five categories of awards. The SRA's judges will be looking to give awards for: the station of the year, the best on-train experience, top customer service, the most outstanding individual service and the best integrated rail and cycling innovation.
CTC Director, Kevin Mayne, said: “CTC has a great deal of experience dealing with cyclists’ concerns over public transport issues - recent projects include a survey of all railway stations on behalf of the Department of Transport and the Benchmarking project in conjunction with Local Authorities. We are happy to put this experience towards making these awards a success and are committed to ensuring the best possible provision for cyclists on public transport."
At a time when it seems fewer services than ever allow bikes on trains, a cynic might be forgiven for thinking that the best integrated rail and cycling innovation might be allowing bikes on trains in the first place... But perhaps it's just at times like these that those who are making an effort to accommodate cyclists on trains should get a bit more recognition and incentivising rail services to consider cyclists can surely be no bad thing.
So if you've got good experiences to report then nominate them for an award, and let us know your rail praises and rants on the forum.
More information and a nomination form can be found at the SRA website.