European Parliament builds cycling into future rail planning with deal

The European Parliament has secured an informal deal with rail operators that will see greater provision for multi-modal travel, including cycling, as part of new developments and carriage upgrades.

Developed in the spirit of aligning the railways with the Green Deal, rail companies will now need to deliver an “adequate number of bicycle carriage spaces on board their trains.”

The agreement, pending the Brexit outcome, is unlikely to bind UK rail operators to make such changes. Initially projects such as the flagship HS2 train line were expected to have perks for bicycle riders, among others, but the mood has since changed and a proposed adjoining cycle route has now been scrapped despite offering a five-fold value proposition over the rail line itself.

The provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council. The presidency will brief the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) on the outcome of the trilogue meeting on 7 October. It intends to submit the agreement for endorsement by Coreper in the coming weeks.

Multi-modal travel is seen as a crucial cog in the transport system if reduction in private motoring journeys is to be achieved, thus meeting climate targets. At present transport accounts for more than a firth of greenhouse emissions in Europe.

Photo: @Emile Holba (taken aboard one of Norway’s generous cycle rail carriages)