31 July 2009
Taking the cross out of Kings Cross
Cycle parking provision at London stations generally is poor. Charing Cross, like Fenchurch St and Cannon St, has none at all. Even Network Rail's PR dept can't put a positive spin on zero.
St Pancras International has a measly 60, which were only installed at the last minute in response to a Camden Cyclists bike demo scheduled for their opening day celebration.
More cycle parking is coming, slowly, in to London's stations. For example, the fairground-ride racks recently installed at Euston. Well, according to the recent 2009 report on cycle parking, Stand and Deliver (PDF), anyway. And up in Waltham Forest, Freewheeler can report some exciting improvements to station parking there.
According to that report, there are 418 bike spaces at Kings Cross. Which means there must be 418 people who get up at 5am every morning to come and occupy them, because whatever time you arrive they're always full. If you're rushing for a train that can clearly be inconvenient, especially if you had to book yourself on a specific service six months in advance to be able to afford it.
But here's a tip. There are some racks recently installed on the traffic island outside the front of Kings Cross at the head of Argyle St (picture). It's very convenient for the station. There always seems to be space there. They're not under cover, so the day you use them it'll cascade with rain, but you can't have everything.
The odd thing about these island racks is that there's no marked pedestrian access. The only way of getting to or from them, without dashing through busy traffic, is by bike. Which defeats the point somehow.