Commuters who chose to take the option of pedal power to then catch the train at Twyford this morning between 7:00am and 10:00am were treated to a free breakfast, all thanks to an initiative from a Cycle Chilterns project which was supported by First Great Western and Wokingham Borough Council.
Aimed at increasing awareness of the new and improved cycle parking at the train station (improvements which were also funded by Cycle Chilterns and First Great Western), the launch is being used to also help promote a new pop-up bike shop from Station Cycle Solutions which will be operating at Twyford Station every Tuesday starting next week and will run throughout the summer.
In May 2014, Twyford Station completed the expansion of its cycle parking, converting all existing Sheffield-type Stands on platforms 4 and 5 into double-tier parking. As a result Twyford Station now offers cycle parking for up to 120 bicycles.
First Great Western have increased their cycle parking facilities at a number of stations across their network over the last year years, as well as opening a Brompton Dock at Oxford Station. Station Cycle Solutions already run a similar project at Oxford Station as well as a busy bicycle hire shop and bike hire business in Oxford.
At first, the bike pop-up shop at Twyford Station will be available every Tuesday from 7:30am until late, offering bicycle repairs, new and used bicycle sales, accessories and bike hire. They then aim to increase their opening times to twice weekly and then every other weekday.
GS Henley Cycling Club member James Woosnam heard about the initiative via the e-magazine distributed by the CTC Charity. He usually commutes from Henley to Bracknell, but decided to stop by this morning to have his bike checked over. Brunel University External Relations Officer Mark Howard also made use of the bike pop-up shop, having found out through a poster campaign which had been previously advertised at the Station.
Today’s initiative was spearheaded by CTC Charity Senior Development Officer Sara Randle and First Great Western’s Andy Saunders, who is their Integrated Transport and Partnership Manager.
Cyclist Brian Carminke commented: “It’s great – anything to encourage cycling is great!” Another commuter using the new Sheffield-type bicycle stands was Zuber Mitchla, who often cycles from Wokingham to West Drayton, and intermittently leaves his bike in the racks at Twyford Station to opt for the journey by train. He said: “It’s a great idea. More needs to be done to help and encourage cycling.”
Bikers heartily tucked into their complimentary breakfast of either a pastry, hot croissant or a hot butty and a drink. The offer wasn’t just open to train cycling commuters too – cyclists out on a local club run or taking a special detour en-route to work were also welcome to get their free breakfast to start their day.
Drinks and morning pastries were available for those who didn’t wish to take the hot butty option, and these were provided by Jas Sohal, who owns the Whistlestop Express kiosk at Twyford Station. Aided by his wife Simmi Sohal and assistant Kim Concepcion, Jas handed out teas, coffees and lattes during the course of the morning to the thirsty trekkers.
The initiative was delivered by Station Cycle Solutions and supported by First Great Western, Cycle Chilterns, CTC the national cycling charity, Wokingham Borough Council, Walton Street Cycles and Bainton Bikes.
Pictures: Lynda Bowyer