Harborough rail users
Improving the quality of Market Harborough's rail service
The long-awaited new cycle hub at Market Harborough station finally opened on Monday 16th November. It was jointly funded by the Department for Transport, East Midlands Railway and Harborough District Council through a programme managed by cycling promotion group Sustrans. It provides secure, weather-proof parking space for up to 140 bicycles. Users need a fob ‘key’, application forms for which are obtainable from the booking office at the station; there is a £10 deposit which is returnable when the fob is returned. The keys are time-limited to one year, though can be renewed. This is to prevent unused keys remaining in circulation indefinitely.
The location of the cycle hub building in the station forecourt has attracted some local controversy and HRU were involved in discussions about this. Other suggested locations in the new or old car park areas were ruled out, either for road safety reasons or because the land in question was not available. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the new facility is a major improvement on the rather ramshackle arrangements previously available, which were also vulnerable to cycle theft. Indeed, a man recently pleaded guilty to stealing four bicycles from the station in 2019.
A few cycle parking ‘pods’ remain in place outside the cycle hub building to provide bike parking for occasional users who may not wish to obtain a fob key.