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Millions of cyclists to benefit from free app

Cyclists will be able to plan their rail journeys much more easily after today, with the launch of an innovative addition to the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) information app.

The Association of Train Operating Companies’ (ATOC) Integrated Transport team has worked with NRE to upgrade its app – available free for iPhone and Android - so that people planning to cycle to a rail station or take their bike on a train can get all the information they need in a couple of clicks.

The new function will allow people to easily and quickly find out about: cycling facilities at stations (such as cycle parking); the rules for taking bikes on their journey; the number of cycle spaces on the train; and whether they need to reserve a space for their bike.

The app upgrade is a joint project by the Cycle Rail Working Group and has been funded by ATOC, the Enabling Innovation Team, the Department for Transport and the Bicycle Association of Great Britain (BAGB). The app has been developed and tested in partnership with key cycle groups including CTC and Sustrans.

Train operators have varying levels of demand and capacity for carrying bikes and so have different regulations and restrictions. The new function will make it easier for people to check cycle carriage rules and plan their journey and will encourage more people to cycle to and from rail stations.

The app upgrade will be launched at the ATOC Interchange and Integrated Transport Conference, which aims to help operators simplify the “door to door” journey and make it easier for passengers at stations when making onward journeys, especially by bus or bicycle.

Conrad Haigh, Head of Integrated Transport at ATOC, said: “Cycling in Britain is booming and the rail industry is playing a key role in its success, as more people than ever want to cycle to the station. Bike facilities on the rail network are improving all the time and it is important that cycle-rail passengers know what facilities are available. By putting all the information a cyclist might need in one easily accessible place, the new upgrade to the NRE app will encourage more people to travel by bike to their station, benefiting their health and the environment.”