Cycle parking at Reading station is now reasonably well provided for although most parking is at the north side, which has poor cycle links to the town centre and most of the town.
There are two general areas for cycle parking at both north and south. Note that in the following text an inverted U stand can take two bicycles, while the double level racks take one cycle each.
North: There are about 100 inverted U (Sheffield) stands, 17 are immediately outside the station entrance and the others spread around the vicinity of the multi-story car park.
The ones close to the station are well used (close to full) while the 600 new double level racks adjacent to Vastern Road are about one third full in normal week-time usage.
Mainly men’s cycles use the upper racks which need more physical effort, but are probably safer against theft.
The early issues of theft from these stands appear to have been resolved, but RCC would be interested to hear of any bike thefts.
This large cycle parking area is a welcome addition to the station parking. The designers of the north station area seem to be unaware of English weather as there are no covered ways to the cycle-parks, carpark, bus-stop, taxi stand, or drop-down/pick-up point.
South: There are about 100 inverted U stands spread around close to the station entrances, some of which are under the cover of the station cannopy. These are well used and normally close to capacity.
In the underground drop-off/pick-up park under the ticket office there are about 60 more inverted U stands which are well used, these are probably the best and most secure place to leave a bike.
In any future redevelopments it would be useful to provide more cycle parking at the south side as this is where most of the demand is.
Better cycle routes and signing to both north and south areas are necessary because of the current difficulties and danger of reaching the parking stands.
The relatively new double level stands will not provide convenient parking for other than Caversham users unless route improvements are made and cyclists to the station are also likely to use stands in the town centre.
John Lee Reading Campaigner for RCC