Lewes station’s cycle hub was officially opened on Thursday 4th June by pupils from the bike club at Priory School, Lewes. The hub includes 104 new secure parking spaces and a bike maintenance area, increasing cycle parking at the station to over 200 spaces.
Supported by the Department for Transport (the cycle-rail scheme), Southern, East Sussex County Council and Network Rail, the hub complements other work around the station including the strengthening works to Lewes bridge to allow town buses at the station, and the Lewes station interchange scheme which will improve access to the station.
Chris Filkins from Priory School said: “We’ve been working with the charity Sustrans to promote sustainable travel at our school, especially through our bike club, and we’re delighted that our students have officially opened the Lewes bike hub. It’s a great facility for the whole community.”
Southern’s project manager Paul Best said: “We’ve been able to put together an attractive cycle hub that significantly increases cycling parking at Lewes where the existing spaces are very well used. We’ve worked very closely with East Sussex County Council, as well as including local community groups on the project, and we believe the hub will help encourage even more people to combine cycling with taking the train.”
Cllr Rupert Simmons, East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, said: “The new cycle hub fits perfectly with our vision of making cycling a more attractive travel option for people in East Sussex.
“This is a particularly important hub for cycling access to the South Downs National Park one of many attractive tourist locations in East Sussex. This scheme is an excellent example of the value of organisations working together to bring about benefits for the economy, as well as the health and wellbeing of people in the county.”
Southern and East Sussex County Council are also working with the Seaford to Brighton line of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership and the South Downs National Park to reconnect the community to its railway, encourage rail travel and to contribute to reduced emission targets. The projects, supported by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, have included organised cycle events from stations within the National Park such as Lewes.
The cycle hub at Lewes follows other bike hubs at Southern stations already open at Haywards Heath, Peckham Rye, Worthing, Brighton and Hassocks. Work is also underway on a hub at Horsham station. In March 2015, the Department for Transport announced that Southern will receive funding for further cycling improvements at 15 stations, 10 of which are in East Sussex – Rye, Bexhill, Hampden Park, Polegate, Glynde, Newhaven Town, Bishopstone, Seaford, Uckfield and Crowborough.
The parking is secure with 24 hour access to cyclists using Southern’s free smartcard – the key.