Kent Community Rail Partnership (Kent CRP) has worked with Southeastern to lay cycle rails on 6 of the station bridge steps along the Medway Valley Railway Line (Strood to Tonbridge). These stations are: Halling, Aylesford, Maidstone Barracks, Maidstone West, East Farleigh and Yalding.
Cycle rails allow cyclists to push their cycles along channels up and down stairs removing the need for the cycles to be carried. They have been fitted to promote active travel, end to end journeys via ‘cycle, rail, cycle’ journeys.
On Thursday 21 Sept Kent CRP launched cycle rails at Yalding station together with members of the Rail Partnership, Southeastern and members of San Fairy Ann cycle club. The event began at 10am with a ribbon cutting followed by a celebration at the local Tea Pot Island café.
All other stations on the Medway Valley Line have a step free route to both platforms without the need to carry cycles over a railway bridge, only Wateringbury has not had rails fitted due to the bridge steps not being stable enough.
There are also long term plans to place cycle rails along the stations on the Kent Downs line (Ashford to Otford) where cyclists would otherwise need to carry their cycles over the platform bridges.
“Cycle Rails allow cyclists to use trains as part of their ‘cycle, rail, cycle’ journey. It’s difficult carrying a cycle over railway bridges at the best of times however, when commuting with laptops etc and the growing popularity of heavier e-bikes, the thought of carrying your cycle over a railway footbridge is off putting for many in our community. Thank you Southeastern for funding the cycle rails and helping the Partnership promote active travel.”