SOUTH Western Railway (SWR) has announced the completion of six cycle parking schemes at stations across the BCP and Dorset council areas.

As travellers return to the railway, and the weekly commute is reintroduced, customers using Weymouth, Dorchester South, Wareham, Parkstone, Bournemouth and Gillingham railway stations will now have access to new and improved facilities.

As part of the projects, which were funded by the Department for Transport as well as Dorset Council and BCP Council, cyclists will notice increased parking for their bicycles as well as upgraded CCTV to improve security.

This comes after a similar scheme was completed at Sherborne station last year.

Cllr Mike Greene, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Sustainability at BCP Council said: "I am delighted that BCP Council has been able to assist South Western Railway in introducing these CCTV-monitored cycle racks in Bournemouth and Parkstone Stations. It is a relatively minor start but helps address a real need.

“Not only does this make it more accessible for those who cycle on their commute, but it is very much in line with the Council’s effort to encourage people to choose more sustainable ways to get about ways to get about.

"Hopefully this will convince more people that they can cycle to the station and know their bike will be safe and ready for them when they return.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Parkstone bike park

Alan Penlington, Customer Experience Director at South Western Railway said: “We are delighted to be announcing the completion and introduction of new cycle facilities at our stations in Dorset.

"We know that our customers’ journeys do not start and end at our stations, and it is projects like these which help to make our network more connected and integrated with other forms of transport.

“We have exciting plans to roll out further cycle schemes across the SWR network, making journeys with us as smooth and convenient as possible”.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "Cycling is a green, healthy and low-cost way for passengers to travel to the station, and cycle parking schemes are a brilliant way to facilitate this.

“As people continue to return to the network, it is brilliant that better facilities are being made available across South Western Railway stations.”

Cllr Ray Bryan, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment at Dorset Council added: "We are pleased to be working in partnership with SWR to improve opportunities for rail users so that they have more active travel and sustainable transport choices in how they get to and from Dorset stations”.

The investment seen in Dorset forms part of a wider investment plan across the SWR network where it is working with local authorities and partners to introduce other cycle schemes and e-bike facilities.