Sir George met up again with Brian Souter, Chief Executive of the Stagecoach Group, when South West Trains -part of the Stagecoach Group - launched a pilot bicycle hire scheme at Waterloo Station.
"The last time I met Brian was over ten years ago, on the first journey of the newly privatised railway. We both got on a train at about 5 am at Twickenham, to mark a new chapter in the history of the railways. It was good to see him again - at a reasonable hour - and witness the launch of this new scheme. I hope some of those who take the train to Waterloo might try it out in due course."
For details, see South West Trains Press release below.
Sir George is a fan of the Brompton Bicycle, owning two of them.
11 February 2009
LONDONERS GET ON THEIR BIKES WITH UK RAIL NETWORK’S FIRST GREEN CYCLE HIRE INITIATIVE
• South West Trains’ innovation boosts drive to integrated transport
• Brompton folding bike scheme backed by national cycle group
• Research shows consumer switch to greener healthier lifestyles
Londoners were today (11 February 2009) urged to get on their bikes as South West Trains launched the UK rail network’s first green cycle hire initiative.
South West Trains, part of Stagecoach Group, has joined forces with Brompton Bicycle in a bid to encourage passengers to cycle as part of a fully integrated low carbon journey combining bike and train.
The company has invited some of its season ticket holders to take part in a free three-month trial of the scheme, which will use Brompton’s iconic folding bikes.
CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation – has given the thumbs up to the scheme, which follows extensive research by Stagecoach Group that has identified growing consumer support for healthier and greener lifestyles.
The number of people cycling on London’s major roads has nearly doubled since 2000 and Transport for London (TfL) is targeting a 5% mode share for cycling by 2025.
Stagecoach Group Chief Executive Brian Souter today launched the new initiative at London Waterloo station along with Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle, passengers taking part in the trial and Dave Holladay of CTC.
Cycle hire schemes are popular elsewhere in Europe, with initiatives launched in major cities such as Paris, Brussels, Barcelona and Berlin.
The idea for the South West Trains scheme followed research involving 13,000 people across the UK, including consumers in the South West Trail rail franchise area, focusing on public attitudes to green issues.
Health emerged as a significant factor in convincing people to ditch the car and switch to public transport. With growing interest in cycling, the bike hire initiative is designed to make it easier for travellers to make a greener, integrated journey.
Brian Souter said: “Our extensive consumer research around the UK has found that environmental concerns are growing. People are looking for travel choices that will help reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
“Cycling is growing in popularity and many people are now looking to get on their bikes as part of an integrated trip that also involves using trains or buses. We hope this innovative initiative will make it easier for people to take the greener smarter travel option, stay healthy and help save the planet.”
Passengers will be able to hire the South West Trains’ branded Brompton bicycles from the Lost Property Office at Waterloo station.
Mr Butler-Adams said: “Integrating a folding bicycle into established transport makes sense. It gives the customer increased journey time certainty, with no traffic jams or delays, and it is the quickest mode of transport over short urban trips.
“Any user will get fitter, healthier and have more energy when they get to work. They will know they are helping to reduce global warming and, above all else, will have fun!”
Dave Holladay, CTC’s Public Transport Adviser, added: “It’s quicker and cheaper to combine cycling with commuting by train.
“Cycling delivers a reliable and consistent connection and you can cycle to most destinations in Central London within around 15 minutes of your train arriving at Waterloo. It also saves you money as you no longer have the costs of fuel, car parking or a zone 1 Travelcard.”
On Your Bike is carrying out some of the logistics and maintenance of the scheme.
Founder and MD of On Your Bike Robert Chappell said:
“This is an innovative scheme that brings about a fully integrated transport system combining cycling and rail travel. It is a further expansion of OYB’s cycle maintenance and repair services from our London Bridge state-of-the-art workshop.
“We are delighted to be part of this scheme and look forward to On Your Bike’s involvement in assisting that the cycles will be maintained to the highest standards.”
South West Trains’ press office
Tel: 0207 620 5229
Steve Stewart, Director of Corporate Communications,
T: 01738 442111 (office) or 07764 774680 (mobile)
For more information contact 020 8232 3551
NOTES TO EDITORS
Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport company with bus and rail operations in the UK and North America. The Group employs around 30,000 people and runs around 12,000 buses and trains.
South West Trains, the UK's biggest commuter rail network, runs nearly 1700 trains a day in the south-west of England out of London Waterloo. South West Trains has previously won awards for its innovative approach to cycle-rail integration, such as a partnership with the British Transport Police to deter cycle theft.
It has also been commended for a policy of upgrading the cycle parking
facilities at many of its busy stations in partnership with other agencies
to provide cycle racks and shelters, often covered by CCTV.
CTC - the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, with 70,000 members and affiliates in 250 clubs across the UK - is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK, established in 1878. It provides a comprehensive range of services, advice, events, and protection for members and works to promote cycling by raising public and political awareness of its health, social and environmental benefits. For more information, see www.ctc.org.uk.
CTC National Office is based in Guildford where many members of staff are regular users of South West Trains’ services. Dave Holladay and CTC Campaigns department work closely with Stagecoach on integrating cycling with their bus and rail operations.
On Your Bike – One of Britain’s leading independent bicycle retailer has for 25 years provided London commuters with cycle retail and workshop services. With state of the art workshop facilities OYB is well equipped and already maintains cycle fleets and this is an addition to its expanding maintenance business.
In a prime location and with a passion for providing excellent customer service On Your Bike has secured a loyal commuter customer base and forged strong and long lasting relationships with suppliers and local organisations and authorities.