Denmark joins up the dots when it comes to cycling. Not only are there cycle lanes almost everywhere but they integrate with the rail network. There is a lot for the UK to learn.
On a recent trip to Copenhagen I witnessed it for myself. Denmark’s capital has a determined strategy to reduce congestion and carbon pollution by cutting the number of cars using its streets. They have targeted commuters from the outlying suburbs, to persuade them to use their bikes and the train to reach their work. Certainly, walking along Copenhagen’s streets, it seems to be working.
So what have they done? Every train going into the capital and other cities has a dedicated cycle carriage. You can’t miss it. It has huge bicycle logos on the side! In the carriage most of the seats are removed to make way for cycle racks, with a line of seats opposite so that owners can ensure their bikes are secure. Remember the old Guard’s Vans on British trains? Well it’s the same idea but more luxurious.
Britain’s rail companies would be horrified. All that lost revenue from converting a carriage. But if Britain is serious about reducing carbon emissions it needs to help cyclists make their journeys. Cycling facilities on our Southeastern trains are laughable. During off peak cyclists are forced to stand with their bikes by the sliding doors and continually move in and out of the way, much to the aggravation of other passengers. On commuter trains if you don’t have a folding bike you cannot travel in or out of London at peak hours. We have a long way to go in the UK.