- John Whitelegg wrote:
> Good point about rail and catchment areas. I would like to see an articleA good background article is at www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm2.htm.
> on this. the situation in the Uk is still poor on the bike/train front:
> many train services ban bikes
> cycle parking and cycle facilities (e.g. repair at stations) are poor
> bikes are banned on the Manchester tram system
> cycle track links to and from stations are poor
> It would be good to see a collation of international best practice and some
> recommendations for clear standards.
Often mentioned as leaders in bike/transit are Germany, Denmark and
Nederlands. Japan also has a highly developed bicycle/train system for
commuters, with multi level automated bicycle parking at stations. North
America surprisingly (to me at least) has many buses with bike racks on
the front, allowing cyclists to greatly increase their range. A
reference is given to a case study of a project in Nottingham, UK, on
integrating bikes and trams.
In Sydney, Australia, bicycles are carried free on trains out of peak
hours (which are rather long, thus negating some of the benefits) on
suburban trains. On intercity trains, there is limited space and
carriage is sometimes at the whim of the guards. Express country trains
have strict rules and generally carry only 2 bikes per train, making
bicycle tourism difficult. Ferries carry bikes for free and have fewer
capacity problems. Sydney's limited light rail network is bicycle
friendly and allows bicycles for free.
Brisbane is considered the best Australian example of rail/bike
integration with the rail authority providing free and plentiful bicycle
lockers at most stations. Sydney has a limited locker system at stations
that has been hampered by slow implementation and a hefty rental fee for
use, compared to free parking for cars at many stations. Papers by Alan
Parker have examined the different approaches to bicycle parking at
stations in Australian cities and have pointed out the synergies between
bikes and trains.
It seems to me that the argument between BRT and RT could be swung
towards rail if bicycle catchment areas (up to about 10 times bigger for
a 10 minute trip) were used instead of walking catchments. The bicycle
adds the missing flexibility to rail travel and is suited to less dense
suburban areas. It must be cost effective in the sense that you need
fewer rail lines to service a given area, as well as the benefits if car
travel to stations could be reduced. Of course good cycle networks on
road or off road are needed to get cyclists to the stations.
Leichhardt Bicycle Advocacy Group