TRAIN operator GWR has opened a new bicycle hub at Newbury station capable of housing 230 bikes, with capacity for another 100 due by the end of the year.

The £1.2million facilities funded with the support of the Department for Transport and the Local Enterprise Partnership, will increase bike parking at the station by over 300 per cent, significantly improving access once travel restrictions are eased.

The new cycle hub on Platform 1 will provide 180 new spaces in two-tier racks, with additional cycle stands adjacent to the pavement providing a further 50 spaces.

The cycle hub is fitted with CCTV for added security; environmentally friendly motion-sensor LED lighting and a bike repair stand.

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A second cycle hub is proposed for Platform 2, providing an extra 176 spaces, and is due to be available to station users towards the end of the year – providing a total of more than 300 extra bike spaces.

GWR Station Manager for Newbury, Kevin King, said: “We know that more people are now walking and cycling to our station and this is likely to continue in future.

"As more people have the confidence to return to rail travel it is important that we provide the facilities they need at the station.

“We are delighted to have worked with our industry partners to get the new cycle storage in place.

"Newbury is an important station on our network and it is great to see investment being made here to support sustainable transport by bike and by train.”

It is hoped that the new facility will allow even more people to choose a sustainable way of getting to and from the station, reducing road traffic congestion in the area, and improving access to the full benefits that the railway has to offer.

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The train operator has been providing rail services throughout the pandemic and has worked to ensure these are as safe as possible.

This includes increased cleaning regimes and the use of a virucidal spray; extra staff at key stations to offer help and guidance; and processes in place to help customers maintain a safe distance where possible, such as restricting the number of reservations available.