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Stagecoach’s rail franchises – East Midlands Trains and South West Trains – have scooped three top honours at this year’s National Cycling Awards.
South West Trains won first prize for Best Customer Service. The judges were impressed with the train operator’s service during the London 2012 Games and noted ongoing improvements that South West Trains had made for cyclists at Waterloo and Richmond. The judges also praised the introduction of cyclist-focused measures including clear signage, promotion of initiatives and links with local routes and attractions, and said the company’s cyclist-specific customer service provision was “exemplary”.
South West Trains, which has recently formed the UK’s first joint Alliance with Network Rail, also picked up the top honour in the category of ‘Summer of Cycling’. On selecting South West Trains as the winner, the judges said they were impressed with the train operator’s work to promote and increase cycling and support the major cycling events taking place during the summer.
Richmond station was highly commended in the category of best London Cycle Parking Award. This South West Trains' station was deemed to be a popular cycle station facility with good links to cycle routes beyond the station, clear signage and an effective link-up with Visit Richmond.
East Midlands Trains won the top award in the category of Partnership Working. This award recognised the cycling improvements East Midlands Trains had made in partnership with local authorities on its route. The judges commented that various schemes with local authorities of the cities served by East Midlands Trains were evidence that the train operator understood the merit of collaboration in developing better facilities and improved integration. Examples include working with Derby City Council to double the level of cycle provision at Derby station, as well as key improvement schemes at Leicester and Nottingham stations working in partnership with Leicester City Council and Nottingham City Council.
Phil Dominey, Stakeholder & Accessibility Manager for the South West Trains and Network Rail Alliance, said: “We strive to make our services as accessible as possible for all of our passengers, and we recognise the important role that good cycle facilities can play in achieving this goal.
“It’s a great honour to receive two top prizes for our cycling initiatives, which is a positive demonstration of the successful partnerships we have in place across the route and the support of our own employees.”
Jonny Wiseman, Route Manager for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’ve made significant investment to improve our cycle facilities over the last two years. We have installed hundreds of additional cycle spaces and improved the quality of our facilities for cyclists using our network. We’re also committed to making further improvements over the coming year.
“We’re extremely pleased to have been recognised in this year’s awards for our partnership working and would like to thank Derby, Leicester and Nottingham City Councils for their support in helping us to develop enhanced cycling facilities.”
The National Cycle Awards were created to recognise the progress that has been made by the rail industry, associated organisations and all those who work and use the network to integrate cycle-rail travel. For further information, visit www.cycle-rail.co.uk