Cycle storage facilities at Solihull Railway Station have been doubled in size offering more people the chance to cycle on their daily commute.
The new secure facility has spaces for 60 bikes and has been installed to meet growing demand as more commuters switch from cars to avoid traffic congestion and parking fees.
The new upgraded facility was installed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), in partnership with Chiltern Railways and Solihull Council and demonstrates the local commitment to investment in cycling.
Encouraging more people to cycle instead of drive can help contribute to easing traffic congestion, improving air quality and improve health and wellbeing.
Alongside this Chiltern Railways have undertaken a £280,000 refurbishment of Solihull Station upgrading the booking hall, waiting areas and toilets. The station’s CCTV system covers the bikes.
Solihull Council has also improved the paths leading to the station under its Town Centre Approach Scheme to make it easier for people to walk and cycle.
Earlier this year TfWM set aside £23 million from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund grant to pay for cycling and walking infrastructure, including dedicated cycle routes.
Sandeep Shingadia, director of development and delivery for TfWM, who officially opened the new facility, said: “By providing this facility we are making it easier for Solihull Railway Station users to cycle and leave their bike in a secure location. I would encourage them to make use of it.
“We need to change the way people travel in the West Midlands and cycling, as part of the wider transport network, can play a key part in reducing congestion, tackling pollution and improving our health.”
Chair of the Friends of Solihull Station Ian Henson said: “This is a good idea to help lessen the amount of the traffic and ease congestion around the town centre.
“Not only can it help with congestion, but its healthy for people to cycle, so we are very pleased to support this.”
David Heathfield, head of corporate affairs for Chiltern Railways said: “Chiltern Railways is delighted that the cycle facilities have been upgraded at Solihull station. We encourage our customers to travel by sustainable means wherever possible and welcome this investment from TfWM.
“This is part of a package of improvements that have made a real difference to the station and surrounding area, all delivered alongside our partners in Solihull Council and Transport for West Midlands.”
A Solihull Council spokesman added: “We are thrilled that both our rail partners and our community volunteers continue to deliver projects and investment in Solihull Station, supporting the borough’s sustainable transport strategies. It is great to see the new parking facilities being well used - even in December.”
The Transforming Cities Fund money for cycling was awarded in November 2018 and February 2019 and will be used to deliver on the region’s long term Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy.