Provision for electric scooters, bikes and other personal transport vehicles should be incorporated into railway stations and transport interchanges, according to a joint research project by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and integrated transport consultancy Momentum.

The research says — not entirely unsurprisingly — more bike racks and similar facilities at stations could give passengers more options to complete their journeys without necessarily using buses to complete their “last mile” journey. Improved cycling provision in the suburbs could also make it a more realistic option to use stations that may not be quite as close, but are quieter and hence reducing crowding on other lines.

Alan Mace, associate professor of urban planning studies at LSE said: “Making public transport a positive choice over the private car depends on reducing the friction of the ‘last mile’, that inconvenient part between alighting from public transport and arriving at your destination.”

The report also suggests that improved connectivity could also increase the opportunity to develop at density in outer London and enable more new housing to come to market sooner. How that would get over the issue of local objections to developments of blocks of flats in the suburbs, even when right next to railway stations is however unclear.

That aside, the main issue is that the report seems to be focused on central London, Zones 1 & 2, where cycle hire options already exist in abundance, whereas the biggest opportunity for transport shifting from car to bike is in the suburbs where the “last mile” is quite often a literal mile, or more.

The full report is available to download here.

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2 comments
  1. SteveP says:

    I can only speak for the stations I frequent, but for the most part, cycling “access” seems to be almost non-existent to London railway stations. No doubt it is Someone Else’s problem.

    And let’s not forget the operators discourage taking bikes on trains for the most part with their reservation requirements. So – can’t get to the station safely, can’t leave the bike there safely and not allowed on the train unless you knew last week you’d be travelling today. Why even bother?

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