CRA 2012 winner - Summer of Cycling
South West Trains
On selecting South West Trains as the winner of the Summer of Cycling Award, the judges were impressed with the Train Operating Company’s work to promote and increase cycling and deemed it a very positive move for the future.
The key element of its strategy was to tie in to the whole host of events taking place around Britain – and the South West – over the course of the summer of 2012. This would give passengers and the public the opportunity to use rail – wherever possible – in conjunction with major cycling events. Where spectacles like the Tour of Britain and the Olympic and Paralympic Games directly touched destinations on the South West Trains network, the company worked to boost local cycling provision and increase awareness of cycling for all of its customers.
The Tour of Britain terminated in Guildford and, as such, South West Trains anticipated a considerable number of cyclists choosing to use the rail service. The standard Sunday service was deemed insufficient, and therefore all Waterloo to Guildford services (via Woking, Leatherhead and Cobham) were strengthened from four to eight cars and Waterloo to Portsmouth from five to ten cars.
The Guildford Station management team worked closely with Guildford Borough Council to ensure the provision of appropriate signage, dedicated cycle lanes and specific cycle loading areas on station platforms to facilitate a steady flow of traffic.
On the day, SWT transported approximately 400 cyclists, everyone associated with the event was moved within three hours with no delays, and up to 20 bikes were carried on each train using the additional carriages.
By linking up with world-class events, South West Trains has harnessed its momentum to create a legacy of successfully managing heavy volumes of its Cycle-Rail traffic.
The Paralympic Games was a second opportunity for South West Trains to hone its major events strategy around the London-to-Windsor bike ride. Again, the TOC provided extra trains, carriages and staff and transported approximately 450 bikes with minimal inconvenience to other passengers.