The bike hub at Sheffield railway station is set to be expanded - a move that is being viewed as a sign of a continued upswing in cycling’s popularity across the city.
The £850,000 cycling facility was opened by East Midlands Trains in 2014, and currently offers storage space for 400 bikes, along with changing rooms, toilets, bicycle hire and a repair shop, Russell’s Bike Shed.
Now permission is being sought from Sheffield Council to carry out the second phase of the project, which would provide space for another 140 bikes on a new mezzanine floor within the current building.
The cycle hub is in the south wing of the main station building - facing the taxi rank - and was formed from bays formerly used for a parcel office and storage.
Russell Cutts, who runs the Bike Shed shop, said: “The hub has not been full yet, but we’ve got in the region of 1,300 members and, currently, 380 spaces. So if we get a day when everyone wants to come and use it at once, it’s going to be difficult. The increase is required, really. When summer comes, and more people come in by bike, it’s going to get full very quickly.”
He added: “It’s been welcomed with such open arms, this facility. People have really taken to it and understand what it’s about. In the very near future it’ll get full to overflowing.”
Russell said ‘occasional users’ have been storing their bikes at the hub, such as passengers heading to meetings in London, York or Manchester by train.
“Instead of driving, and paying to park, they’re getting on their bikes and riding down to the station. It proves that it’s working - they wouldn’t be expanding it if it didn’t.”
Demand for hire bikes is increasing, too, said Russell, who is also expanding his own business with a second-hand shop in a unit on Burton Road, Neepsend.
“A lot of people buy bikes off the internet for a few quid but then it takes hundreds of pounds of work to make it rideable. We will be selling bikes that are fully functional but second-hand.”