Millions of cyclists to benefit from free app

Cyclists will be able to plan their rail journeys much more easily after today, with the launch of an innovative addition to the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) app.

The Association of Train Operating Companies’ (ATOC) Integrated Transport team has worked with NRE to upgrade its app – available free for iPhone and Android - so that people planning to cycle to a rail station or take their bike on a train can get all the information they need in a couple of clicks.

The new function will allow people to easily and quickly find out about cycling facilities at stations (such as cycle parking), and the rules for taking bikes on trains including the number of cycle spaces available and whether they need to reserve a space for their bike.

The app upgrade is a joint project by the Cycle Rail Working Group and has been funded by ATOC, the Enabling Innovation Team, the Department for Transport and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain (BAGB). The app has been developed and tested in partnership with key cycle groups including CTC and Sustrans.

Train operators have varying levels of demand and capacity for carrying bikes and so have different policies and restrictions. The new function will make it easier for people to check cycle carriage rules and plan their journey and will encourage more people to cycle to and from rail stations.

Conrad Haigh, Head of Integrated Transport at ATOC, said: “Cycling in Britain is booming and the rail industry is playing a key role in its success, as more people than ever want to cycle to the station. Bike facilities on the rail network are improving all the time and it is important that cycle-rail passengers know what facilities are available. By putting all the information a cyclist might need in one easily accessible place, the new upgrade to the NRE app will encourage more people to travel by bike to their station, benefiting their health and the environment.”

ENDS


Notes to editors

1. Since 2009, the number of cycle parking spaces at rail stations has more than doubled to over 53,000, with plans to add almost 16,000 further spaces by the end of 2015. Over the same period, the number of cycle-rail journeys made has increased by 14 million to a record 39 million a year.

2. National Rail Enquiries (www.nationalrail.co.uk) is the most popular sources of rail information with almost 17million people using the service last year. The equivalent of at least one train journey is being searched for every two seconds using the NRE app and since their launch last year, passengers have used NRE’s Android and iPhone apps to make more than 53.4million enquiries.

3. The Cycle Rail Working Group (CRWG) is a cross-industry working group that encourages implementation and best practise development of strategic policy in relation to the delivery of cycle-rail integration. Chaired by Phillip Darnton of BAGB, ATOC acts as secretariat and other members include Network Rail, Transport for London, Department for Transport, Passenger Transport Executive Group, Passenger Focus, Rail Safety Standards Board and English Heritage.

4. The BAGB is a trade partnership of manufacturers, importers and distributors of bikes, parts and accessories in the UK. It represents all the main companies involved in the UK cycle industry, and through its Bike Hub voluntary levy scheme raises funds to safeguard the future of cycling.

5. The Enabling Innovation team forms part of the delivery of activities under the Future Railway umbrella, on behalf of the cross-industry Technical Strategy Leadership Group. The team is hosted by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) and is supported by the Rail Delivery Group and the Department for Transport.

6. The app upgrade is being launched at the ATOC Interchange and Integrated Transport Conference, which aims to help operators simplify the “door to door” journey and make it easier for passengers at stations when making onward journeys, especially by bus or bicycle.