Cycle Hub at Teddington Station

cyclehub….was opened by the Deputy Mayor who arrived by bike (although it later transpired that it had been borrowed from her son. )  She talked about encouraging commuters to leave their cars at home ..but the remark about this leaving space for parents returning from driving their children to school suggests that the message has not fully got through. The Network Rail person’s emphasis on planning for future increase in demand was more welcome.

We get : lots of decent cycle parking – and there is space between the double decker racks to pull down the upper and load your bike from the end-  , a pump which doubles as a maintenance stand and a chained set of tools all overlooked by a security camera with info on trains and weather on a monitor.

Now all we need is good routes to cycle to the station !

Bike Marking – from Fulwell Police SNG.

Please be advised and make aware as many residents as possible about future bike marking events on Fulwell and Hampton Hill beat:

14/01/2015 16:00-17:00 – Fulwell Rail Station

17/01/2015 14:30-15:30 – Bushy Park gate (end of the High Street Hampton Hill – opposite to The Rising Sun Pub)

26/02/2015 17:00-18:00 – Fulwell Rail Station

As you may know theft of bikes from sheds is a concern across the London; often expensive bikes are left unsecure or locked with very cheap lock in poorly secured sheds.

These events will give the opportunity to mark & register your bikes, and learn how to secure your property.

Bike thefts – update from Richmond upon Thames Community Safety Partnership.

Bicycle thefts continue Over the last 4 weeks 105 individual bicycles have been stolen, worth a total value of £63,820. The peak area for thefts is Teddington with a mixture of bikes stolen from the street and the garden (mainly sheds overnight) with other locations including Twickenham town centre, Sandycoombe Road, St Margaret’s, Kew Road, Richmond and Second Avenue to Barnes High Street. Suspects include white males between 15-20 either alone or with 1 other. 55% offences took place overnight with offences during the day mainly being from the street between 12:00 to 19:59. Specialized was the most popular type of bike stolen. Tracker bikes have been deployed to various locations.

Review of Cycle Parking at Railway Stations

Unbelievably, it is now three years since our last audit of cycle parking provision at the 14 railway stations in the borough. These two quotes from the DfT’s 2009 Better Rail Stations report (PDF) are as applicable now as then:

“Although half the nation owns a bicycle and 60% live within a 15-minute ride of a station, only 2% of passengers currently use their cycle to access the local station.”
Source – Dft

Compare this to the Netherlands where:

“All major stations in Holland provide extensive cycle parking, usually based around a cycle hub which also offers additional secure storage for a fee of about £1 a day, together with repairs and cycle hire for as little as £3 a day. A typical Dutch intercity station would store 4,000 cycles, but at Leiden this rises to 9,000 and the plan is to more than double this to 22,000 in the near future.” Source – Dft

Although a lot has changed since 2010, we are a long way from meeting the aspirations from that report (in fact, when you look at the National Rail website cycle section, it’s more about telling you what you can’t do – cycling and parking isn’t even mentioned under ‘Getting to and from the Station’ – see Kew Gardens example). South West Trains have been rolling out secure compounds with swipe card access at a number of stations and changes to Richmond railway station have removed the railings that were previously used by many. It is therefore a good time to carry out a new audit to update the information we have and to identify where changes are needed. Two recent examples illustrate this:

Lack of cycle parking space at Kew Gardens railway station

At Kew Gardens station, we were recently alerted by a local resident that cycle parking demand continues to outstrip supply and it is often impossible to find a space, leading to missed trains. Even two years ago we found this to be the case, with demand outstripping supply by nearly 50%. With parking provision for only 34 bikes, it is well short of the 250 spaces that would be needed to meet the DfT’s only target of 5% of passengers arriving by bicycle. Kew Gardens station is managed by London Underground – we’re asking everyone to raise it via their online form and to contact London Assembly Members – Tony Arbour (GLA Member for the area ) and Caroline Pidgeon (GLA Member for Transport – and also the Council’s Cycling Champion, Cllr Harborne (, to make the push for additional parking at this and other stations where needed (cc us in so we have a record)

New secure parking at Hampton station

Existing cycle parking marked for removal at Hampton Station

Narrow access along platform to Hampton secure compound

At Hampton station we were notified by a regular user of the station that South West Trains are taking out all existing parking provision and replacing it with a single secure parking compound on one platform only.

The secure parking is welcome and it is great to see SWT extend it to more stations but not everyone wants to use it (particularly if their bike is of low value), nor is it convenient if it is only on one platform and you’re rushing to catch a train on the other one.

Additionally, since the new enclosed racks at the west end of Platform 1 are to be the only racks, then ALL cyclists, on entering the station, will be forced along about 3 or 4 metres of the very narrowest part of the platform, conflicting with passengers standing there and cyclists coming the other way, creating safety problems that currently do not occur.

Cycle parking at Hampton station is currently at over 100% capacity – there is no reason why the existing provision can’t be kept to supplement the secure compound – as is the case at many stations with secure compounds e.g. Twickenham.

We have raised this issue with SWT and we encourage all of you who use this station to email their Customer Relations team:

We know there are many more issues out there, so we’re asking for volunteers to review each of the 14 borough stations – counting up current racks and how many are occupied, and noting down any issues, such as poorly installed stands (e.g. too close), poor lighting, poor access. If you would like to join in, email us at with which station you’re interested in and we’ll pass on some guidance and a simple one pager to fill in when you carry out your audit (like this example). We plan to complete this by end of June.

Is that how you lock your bike??

Have you had your bike tea leafed yet? Because the downside of being a borough where lots of people cycle is that there’s lots of bikes being stolen.

So here’s some key tips from the Police who attended the Cycling Liaison Group. You’ve probably heard a lot of these before, but we were surprised at how some obvious ones are still being ignored by locals.

  • Lock it to something solid 
  • Lock it through the frame
  • Spend some money on your lock. You don’t need to spend the earth on it, but you can be fairly sure that if you spend less than £20 on it, it probably won’t do a very good job for you
  • Lock it to a proper stand – British Transport Police told us that more bikes are stolen from ‘ad-hoc’ locking places like railings, than proper stands.

And, ideally, use two locks. This might be a bit of a pain, but putting two locks on a bike and following the above rules is really the best way to go about making sure no-one nicks your wheels. We’ve collated lots of advice on trying to avoid becoming another theft statistic on our bike security page.

Here’s Carlton Reid (from BikeBiz) with a video outlining all the key tips.

And finally, don’t give up hope! London Cyclist has some tips on looking for a lost bike

Now it’s “Are you one of the 4,181?”

How not to lock your bike!

When we last looked into the cycle theft stats in the borough back in 2010, the post was ‘Are you one of the 2,296’. This time around 4,181 bikes have been reported stolen between the start of 2010 and the end of July 2012. This comes after we were told that 1 in every 5 theft in the borough is of a bike. We obtained the numbers via a Freedom of Information request and we’ve uploaded both the FoI response from the Met and an analysis of the numbers so you can look at them for yourself. For comparison, this is the previous FoI response from 2010. Some of the main points:

  • On average, across the borough, 4.5 bikes are reported stolen every day (that’s a lot of unicycles..)
  • There has been an 152% increase in the number of reported thefts between 2007 and 2012, with a step change in 2010. Either the Mr Big of cycle theft has moved into the area in 2010, or perhaps there is better reporting and we are seeing a truer picture?
  • In the first 7 months of this year there have already been 938 thefts, an increase of 3% over 2011
  • Several wards have shown an improvement – Barnes;  Ham, Petersham & Richmond Riverside; Hampton and Hampton Wick wards are on track this year to nearly halve the number of bikes stolen in 2011
  • Thefts have increased significantly in several wards this year, particularly Fulwell and Hampton Hill, North Richmond and West Twickenham
  • While a greater number of bikes are recovered, due to the increase in thefts it amounts to only 5% of bicycles reported stolen

The chart below shows where the thefts have occurred since 2010 (click on the chart to see a larger version).

We asked the police in Richmond what they were doing to tackle cycle theft in the Borough and they provided the following statement:

“Richmond upon Thames SNT’s regularly perform cycle marking at a variety of community events and locations. SNT’s also operate an ‘on demand’ system to mark cycles for the public. Since inception, the total number of cycles security marked across the borough is just approaching 12500 (as of 15/08/2012). They also plan their patrols around the locations of reported crime and the feedback received from Police Liaison Group meetings with local residents. The Richmond Borough Safer Transport Team do a lot of work around the borough’s transport hubs to deter and prevent thefts. They have run and continue to do so, pro active operations targeted at bicycle thieves and their uniformed presence at rail stations is a key deterrent. Richmond Borough Police also work closely with the Richmond Local Authority as part of the Community Safety Partnership. They post cycle crime prevention advice via both the Council and Police websites as well as through Twitter. Communication on cycle crime prevention advice is provided by Operation Lockout at regular events in collaboration with SNT’s. Pan London the Metropolitan Police Service has The Cycle Task Force which is a dedicated unit to tackle cycle theft and improve cycle security across London.”

Here at RCC, earlier this year we contacted Richmond Police, with the offer to promote their cycle marking events on our website and in our monthly email newsletter – so far North Richmond, South Richmond and Kew Safer Neighbourhood Teams have taken us up on our offer and we hope others will too. We’ve also produced an updated Bike Security page, with advice on how to lock your bike securely, getting it marked and minimising your chances of becoming a statistic in our next round up in two years time. As a local cyclist shared with us, it’s not fun losing your pride and joy.

Community and Police Partnership meeting report

A few items of cycling interest.

Bike Theft. – the police reported 506 bikes stolen (from street ?) and 683 “non-residential burglaries (mainly bikes stolen from sheds) for the year so far. The latter is a 7% increase. I did ask whether this usually unlocked sheds – apparently not always.  Expensive bikes are being targeted. One decoy bike was stolen and quickly taken to Westminster. The Borough Commander – CSI Chalk who is himself a regular cyclist – will send on more details and I will add them here.

Sgt Boulton of  Richmond Park Safer Parks Team told me that they had a problem with cyclists not wanting to mar their lightweight bikes with a lock and then leaving them outside a cafe. They will tag bikes on request.

Usual complaints from an individual about cyclists on the footway in Broad Street , Teddington. Why on earth would anyone do that when congestion traffic-calms the road pretty effectively ?