The promotion of bicycle access to the rail network as a way of making better use of the existing network and reducing car dependence
Sherwin, H. and Parkhurst, G. (2010) The promotion of bicycle access to the rail network as a way of making better use of the existing network and reducing car dependence. In: European Transport Conference, Glasgow, UK, October 2010. [Unpublished]
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The level of bike-rail integration (combining cycling with rail) in the UK presents an unrealised sustainable mobility potential: two per cent of rail passengers access the rail network by bicycle, contrasting with 40% in the Netherlands. Cycling on its own has distance limitations but in combination with rail it can substitute for longer car journeys and is one means of reducing car dependence. This paper reports on the exploratory phase of a research project to understand existing bike-rail integration behaviour in the UK to inform the design, development and implementation of initiatives to increase its incidence. The data collection sites were the two busiest stations in the South West of England: Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway. The exploratory phase included a face-to-face survey of 135 bike-rail integrators, which led to the findings that their main motivations were saving time and getting exercise. Two thirds were male, 40% in their thirties, 62% owned a car, and nearly all were employed and living in households with incomes of between £17,000 and £50,000. They had cycled on average 3.7 km to or from the station. The 44% who had a car available for that journey reported making an explicit choice to bike-rail integrate rather than use their cars for the whole journey. The implications of these findings and the different types of interventions that could be implemented are discussed in the context of the current UK transport and rail policy context.
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