Azara Blog: Cyclists might have to pay a whole pound to park at Cambridge train station

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Date published: 2012/03/11

The Cambridge News says:

A debate has broken out over whether cyclists should pay to use a new £2.5 million bike park at Cambridge station.

Rail operator Greater Anglia yesterday confirmed a 3,000-space bike park would be modelled on the CyclePoint in Leeds, where cyclists pay £1 a day for storage in CCTV-monitored racks.

Monthly and annual tickets are also available for £15 and £120 respectively at the Yorkshire facility, which is run by Greater Anglia's Dutch parent company, Abellio.

Many cyclists predict a similar payment scheme will come into force in Cambridge - although a spokeswoman told the News yesterday that there were "no current plans to charge for cycling parking" here.

Shaun Noble, of St Matthew's Gardens, Petersfield, said introducing any charges would be "outrageous".

Mr Noble, who rides to the station three or four times a week, said: "It's greedy developers hitting eco-friendly travellers.

"The people who park at the station are hard-pressed commuters who are already paying fares way above inflation to travel to London and other places.

Gee whiz, a whole pound.

Cyclists unfortunately believe that the rest of society should subsidise their life style. Cyclists should of course pay for being able to park in this new very expensive special purpose bike park, it would be "outrageous" if anything else happened.

Although travelling the short distance to the train station by cycle can be deemed to be "eco-friendly", travelling by train (or by car) to London is not eco-friendly, and the latter dominates the calculation of the environmental damage that the overall journey represents, no matter how one gets to the train station. Living near where you work is "eco-friendly", living over fifty miles from where you work is not.

The first law of environmentalism is that you should pay for a service you are using, otherwise you are externalising costs onto the rest of society. This should apply not only to cycle parking but also to the (hugely subsidised) train journey.

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