Bicycle facilities across six Southern stations are to be improved after Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) was awarded funding from the Department for Transport.
Bexhill, Normans Bay, Collington, Winchelsea and Three Oaks will all benefit from cycle scheme funding, which has been boosted by a contribution from East Sussex County Council and Rother District Council.
At Bexhill, £190,000 will be spent on refurbishing an existing unit within the station to create more than 70 cycle spaces in a two-tier system, along with a maintenance/repair area. There will be free key card access, plus CCTV and LED lighting. Cyclists will also benefit from lockers and a changing area. Members of the local community will be running cycle hire from the hub as well.
The Bexhill Wheelers and Classic Cycle Group has welcomed the plans, hailing it as an important step towards creating a cycle network.
Club spokesman Ian Hollidge said: “It has always been Bexhill Wheelers’ ambition to create a Bexhill Cycle Network and when the Bexhill Cycle Hub is open, it will form an important part of that.”
The cycle club sees the investment in cycle facilities as ‘a great opportunity for cycle tourism to develop in Bexhill and the surrounding area, attracting tourists visiting 1066 Country’.
Normans Bay, Collington, Winchelsea, Three Oaks and Appledore will each gain six cycle spaces at a total cost of nearly £30,000. At present, none of the stations have cycle parking.
Construction for these schemes and the Bexhill scheme is expected to be completed by spring.
GTR’s head of environment Jason Brooker said: “By improving cycle facilities at these Southern stations, we hope to encourage more rail users to use pedal power as part of their commute. Getting to the station by bike is not only good for the environment, but it has multiple health benefits for the cyclist.
“We also hope that people will feel more confident leaving their bikes at Bexhill station thanks to the new well-lit cycle storage area and CCTV.”
“We would like to thank the Department for Transport and the councils for their support in funding this project.”
Councillor Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Environment, added: “We were really pleased to team up with GTR to provide these new cycle facilities, which will enable more people to use sustainable transport for their daily journeys and help reduce congestion and carbon emissions. The new hub at Bexhill station will provide a secure ‘one-stop shop’ for cyclists including cycle parking, storage lockers, bike maintenance facilities and charging points for electric bikes.”