Transport Minister launches new guidance to boost access to rail travel

Transport Minister Norman Baker MP has launched new guidance aimed at improving access to and from rail stations by bus, bike or foot.

Mr Baker visited Brighton Station to unveil the revised guidance on the implementation of Station Travel Plans.

Designed in collaboration with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), the Transport Research Laboratory and RSSB, the updated guidance will be used by train operators and local authorities to help improve access to the rail network for people who choose to travel to stations by foot, bike or bus.

The guidance builds on an assessment of a successful pilot carried out at 30 stations across the UK. It looked at lessons learnt from successful improvements to bus, cycle, motorcycle and pedestrian access to and from rail stations.

Aimed at local authorities, transport professionals and train operators, the guidance updates the methodology for assessing current travel patterns around stations and the techniques used for surveying current users.

In a further boost for cycle-rail users, Mr Baker also welcomed news that planning permission has been granted for a new cycle ‘hub’ at Brighton Station where passengers are already set to benefit from a pioneering Station Travel Plan managed by Southern. The new ‘hub’ facility will allow people to leave their bike securely in a staffed facility, have it expertly serviced and also offer a convenient cycle shop selling spare parts and accessories.

The popularity of combining cycling with rail journeys has surged in recent years. Journeys accessing stations by bike have increased by over a third in recent years, up from 27.6 million journeys in 2009 to around 38.4 million last year.
It is hoped the new guidance will help train companies continue to encourage growth in cycling and other forms of sustainable modes of transport to and from stations.

Transport Minister Norman Baker MP said: “Making door-to-door journeys easier is important to the Coalition Government – people do not just want to know what times their train will run, they want to know how they are going to get to and from the station. This new guidance follows a successful pilot scheme instigated by the Department and will bring the needs of passengers walking, cycling or taking the bus to stations into sharper focus. It will help train companies and Network Rail to make important progress on station improvements up and down the country.

“I am delighted to come to Brighton to launch this guidance as we have just heard that Brighton station has been granted planning permission to go ahead with their cycle hub. This new facility which has been part-funded by DfT will offer people even more greener options for travelling to and from the station.”

David Mapp, Commercial Director for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said: “The updated guidance is good news for passengers as it will allow train companies and transport planners to improve provision for passengers getting to and from their local stations, helping the railways to provide real door to door transport.

“Train companies are committed to helping people find alternative ways of getting to their local stations and want to encourage sustainable journey choices.

“After years of decline the railway is booming with people being attracted to take more journeys than at any time since the 1920s. Making train travel easier is at the heart of ensuring that growth continues and train companies are committed to creating seamless and sustainable ‘door to door’ journeys.”


Notes to editors
The updated Guidance on the implementation of Station Travel Plans can be downloaded by clicking here.

About ATOC
ATOC's mission is to work for passenger rail operators in serving customers and supporting a prosperous railway. Set up after privatisation in 1993, ATOC brings together all train companies to preserve and enhance the benefits for passengers of Britain’s national rail network.

About RSSB
RSSB builds industry-wide consensus and facilitates the resolution of difficult cross-industry issues. It provides knowledge, analysis, and a substantial level of technical expertise, powerful information and risk management tools. This delivers a unique mix to the rail industry across a whole range of subject areas.