Parking your bike securely and comfortably

Parking your bike securely and comfortably

In mid-August the largest bicycle parking in the world opened at the Utrecht train station, providing for an additional 12,500 spaces. The parking looks attractive, is secure and comfortable to use. What is the situation in our country? The state of play.
Measurement is the key to knowledge 
In the Netherlands half of the commuters rides their bike to the station, whilst in Flanders this holds for only a third of commuters. ‘Wout Baert from Fietsberaad Vlaanderen (Reflection on cycling in Flanders) explains that this is ‘a consequence of the on-going investments in the size and quality of cycle parkings that have taken place in the Netherlands’. ‘Those have paid off. In order to catch up with this, Flanders will also have to make those investments.’ ‘For today’, Bert says ‘many stations are suffering from a shortage of cycle parking spaces.’

Large is not enough 

By 2025 the NMBS wants to increase the number of cycle parking spaces from 100,000 to 150,000 spaces. Wout Baert from Fietsberaad and Wies Callens from the Fietsersbond indicate that the NMBS also needs to pay attention to secure parking and maintenance of the parking. ‘Otherwise those additional spaces will not pay off.’ 

The top 5 of the train stations with the most cycle parking places
Noord 356 Luik-Guillemins 300 Gent-Sint-Pieters 10.200
Centraal 292 Ottignies 329 Leuven 7.000
Luxemburg 270 Gembloux 237 Brugge 4.700
Zuid 246 Tournai 190 Antwerpen-Berchm 3.500
Schuman 141 Mons 165 Mechelen 2.900

Gent Sint-Pieters has the ambition to evolve to 13,500 spaces for cycle parking ‘in the future’. They do not have a specific timing. The present 10,200 spaces, 600 of which are secure are insufficient, as the local volunteers of the Fietsersbond who visit the location almost daily know all too well. 
Bike to Work
At the train station of Leuven, which at present offers around 7,000 spaces, many commuters have to search hard every day to find a parking space. The Fietsersbond is aware that ‘there is hardly any space on busy days.’ Recently the construction of a new bicycle parking has started which should increase the total number of spaces to 10,500. ‘That will ease things for a while, but be insufficient in the long term.’

Comfort please

The cycle parkings (adding up to 22,000 places) in the surroundings of the Utrecht train station are being monitored at all times. From apps you may find out where places are still available. The parking is also being cleaned throughout the day. This comfort comes with a price. The first 24 hours are free and afterwards you pay 1.23 euro per day. The NMBS is also considering (partially) paying cycle parkings at the moment. 

At present Fietsberaad is developing a digital platform that just like it is in the Netherlands, will allow you to discover cycle parkings in your area on the basis of open data. Moreover, the app will also provide information about facilities, opening hours etc. 
Bike to Work is the cycling motivational programme of the Fietsersbond