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Stagecoach’s rail companies came out top at the annual National Cycle Rail Awards held this week, scooping three winner’s awards and four highly commended awards. East Midlands Trains and South West Trains picked up awards in six out of the ten categories in the awards, and were recognised for delivering good customer service and significantly improved cycle facilities.
South West Trains won first prize for Best Customer Service for looking after passengers during the annual Prudential Ride London event, a two day festival of cycling over the summer. With tens of thousands of spectators and cyclists coming into the city and Surrey, extra capacity on trains was needed and information had to be provided on key sites to view the race and how to get there by bike. South West Trains was proactive and well organised, keeping customers informed at all stages of their journey.
South West Trains also picked up top prize for Cycle-Rail Photo of the Year for “Flamme Rouge” (with kind permission of Ride London), an image taken during the Prudential Ride London event illustrating the importance of rail in welcoming and looking after thousands of spectators and cyclists around London and Surrey. The photo was taken in Kingston and the riders are passing an inward-bound South West Trains service. The judges said it was an excellent photo capturing a nice moment in time during a world-class festival of cycling.
In the Operator of the Year category, South West Trains was highly commended. The number of cycle-rail journeys on South West Trains is by far the largest of any train company in the UK, representing over 3% of all journeys on the network. Over the last 12 months, South West Trains has worked with partners to introduce 1000 extra cycle spaces and upgraded facilities, including the Woking Cycle Hub. The Woking Cycle Hub was also highly commended in the award for Station of the Year and Wokingham station was recognised in the category for Best Door to Door Journey.
From East Midlands Trains, Jonny Wiseman, General Manager North, was named as ‘UK Rail Cycle Champion’ for his extensive work to improve cycling facilities at stations across the East Midlands Trains network. He has been credited with revolutionising the company’s attitude and response to cycle-rail and carrying out work that will deliver benefits to users for years to come. The judges said of Jonny: “He has transformed his train company’s approach to cycling and the journeys of many rail users”. Malcolm Page, Estates Development Manager for South West Trains was also highly commended in this category. The judges praised Malcolm for working with stakeholders to successfully deliver new cycle schemes at stations.
Phil Dominey, Stakeholder & Accessibility Manager for South West Trains said: “We continue to put an increased focus on improving our cycling facilities, and supporting major events such as Ride London and these awards are great recognition of the work done by our team at South West Trains working in partnership with a number of stakeholders.
“Since the start of the South West Trains franchise, we have added around 6000 extra cycle spaces to our stations, and we have worked in partnership with local authorities and partners such as ATOC to improve the quality of our facilities for cyclists.”
Jonny Wiseman, General Manager North for East Midlands Trains, said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised as UK Rail Cycle Champion this year, but of course, the improvements we have made at East Midlands Trains have been driven by a whole team of people focused on delivering the very best for our customers. This award is also recognition of their hard work.
“Our approach has been to work closely with local authorities and cycling groups and listen to their views on how we can improve the service we offer.
“We have already invested significantly to improve our cycle facilities and have installed hundreds of additional spaces at stations. Following the recent extension of our franchise, we are committed to improving the service even further over the coming years.”
The National Cycle Rail 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 http://cycle-rail.co.uk.