In recent years, the proportion of cyclists in the UK has increased dramatically, with the latest statistical data produced for British Cycling revealing that over two million people in the UK cycle regularly.

The spread of cycling’s popularity amongst commuters has seen bike ownership soar in recent years. Not just because it is a much cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative, but also due to the number of health-related benefits. A recent survey in the UK concluded that people cycling to work are more energetic and productive in their daily tasks, making cycling a good thing for business.

The UK is following the example set by other leading European countries in this field by embarking on a programme to make improvements to the facilities and infrastructure needed for people to combine cycling with their rail travel. Concerns over the security of their bicycle is a factor that stops many people from cycling to work, and this concern is not unfounded; a report published in September 2015 revealed that nearly 400,000 bicycles are stolen each year.

In a bid to overcome these statistics, a focus on providing secure options for bicycle security at stations has led to funding from the Department of Transport for the development of well-equipped cycle storage on behalf of train operators. This is part of an on- going scheme to promote cycle commuting across the UK, and rail sign manufacturer Merson ASG is contributing its signage expertise to this important initiative.

Local schemes, national programme

Merson ASG has, for many years, provided small-scale cycle signage as part of larger railway station developments, so the company was delighted to be awarded the contract to design, manufacture and install the signage for the new Cyclepoint at Cambridge Station on behalf of Abellio Greater Anglia. This new facility, which spans three floors, has created space for 2,850 cycles each day and is secure with CCTV and a sophisticated key system for users. Following a thorough sign planning and approval process, this project was completed in only four weeks.

Following its success at Cambridge, Merson ASG was awarded a commission from Merseyrail for the manufacture and installation of new and existing cycle storage signage to all 55 stations on the network.

Merson ASG conducted a survey of each station and, after successfully completing two pilot stations, was contracted to deliver the large-scale roll out. In addition to the original scope of work, Merson ASG enhanced the project by designing a totem sign to display both local places of interest and cycle paths that users might like to visit on their hired bicycles, which was a well- received addition to the station’s wider wayfinding scheme.

Stuart Dodds, Merson ASG’s business development director and project lead, said: “There are many keen cyclists in our own team and we are proud to endorse two Cycle to Work schemes, which have been very well-received. Merson ASG has several other cycle signage projects in the pipeline and we are pleased to be involved in such a rapidly-evolving area of signage demand.”

There is no question that these practical improvements, happening at stations across the UK, are on course to deliver a much more successful Bike-Rail integration which will, in time, undoubtedly change the way that people commute to and from work.