By Mr. Ed LANCASTER 17 Mar, 2016
To extend the range of bicycles it is useful to be able to combine them with other forms of transportation and for this reason it is important to have good connections to public transportation. This has benefits for public transport operators too because it can widen the catchment areas of their stations.
For example, the marriage between bike and train can be a good solution but in order for significant numbers of people to combine these modes it is necessary to have the infrastructure in place. One of the most important forms of infrastructure, particularly commuters, is safe and secure parking at either end of their journey.
Focusing purely on numbers of bicycle parking spaces, the amount of available spaces can tell us a lot about a country or region’s approach to promoting both intermodality as well as cycling generally. Levels of parking spaces at stations varies from country to country and there is no uniformity on the European level. Perhaps inevitably, the good examples come from the leading nations of the Netherlands and Denmark as shown in the graph below.
The ratio of bike parking spaces per 1000 inhabitants is much higher in these countries than it is in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, the UK or France (see graph). In the Netherlands, there are almost 25 bike parking spaces per 1,000 inhabitants (412,000 bike parking spaces for a total population of 16.8 million). The result is that 40% of all train users come to the train station by bike and 16% of users leave the train station by bike. In Denmark, the numbers are similarly high with 17 spaces per 1,000 inhabitants (95,118 bike parking spaces for a total population of 5.6 million) and 27% of users who come to the train station by bike.
For comparison, in Switzerland, it is 11 bike parking spaces per 1,000 inhabitants, 8 per 1,000 in Belgium, 5 per 1,000 in Austria, 0.98 per 1,000 in the UK and only 0.46 per 1,000 in France (31,000 bike parking spots for a total population of 66 million). The negative outcome in France for example, is that only 4.3% of users go to the train station by bike and only 3.5% leave the station by bike.
Amongst the afore-mentioned countries, the Netherlands and Denmark emerge as the uncontested champions. It is little wonders that the numbers of cyclists are much higher in these countries, as they have the infrastructure in place to support it – cycle parking being one such example. This is one of the reasons why the Netherlands and Denmark are the leading EU-countries for cycling, as highlighted in the ECF Cycling Barometer.
If you want to know more about the ECF Cycling Barometer, you can click here.