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"We will do everything possible to work with cycle groups"

The company taking over the franchise of ScotRail at the beginning of next month, Abellio, insist cyclists will be catered for.

They issued the following statement:

"We will do everything possible to working with cyclists and cycle groups. Going forward after we commence operations on 1st April 2015 together with train manufacturers and cycle users, we will examine innovative ways of providing better on-board cycle storage. This will be done as a priority when we refurbish High Speed Trains for the inter-city service network. We will ask manufacturers for a range of solutions offering the most efficient and user-friendly way of cycle storage and will look at best practices all over Europe to cater for cycle spaces.

"The gain for cyclists in Scotland will be that we plan to invest £1.6m to increase the number of cycle spaces at stations by 1,500 within the first three years of the franchise. We will introduce three new, fully-staffed Dutch-style Cyclepoints at the key city hubs (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling), which will provide the full range of services including cycle sales and hire, and Cycleparks+ at a further five stations and will add at least a further 2,000 cycle spaces – giving more than 3,500 over the first three years. In addition we will launch a ‘Bike&Go’ cycle hire network which will enable customers to complete their onward journeys by cycle from at least 10 specially selected stations, for only £3.80 per day.

"We will provide greater off-peak cycle capacity on trains: all new and refurbished trains will have multi-functional areas in addition to cycle spaces, creating up to six cycle spaces per three car unit. Customers will be able to reserve their cycle spaces in advance on our customer app in line with ticket purchase, and we will provide information on whether a particular train has spare capacity."

– Spokesperson for Abellio

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Cyclists disappointed by lack of bike space on Borders Railway

Cycling enthusiasts across the Scottish Borders have been left disappointed after it was confirmed that only two bikes per train will be allowed to travel on the new Borders Railway.

The region has become one of the UK's top biking destinations, and some say it's an opportunity missed:

Cumbria County Council welcomes 'major' changes

Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria County Council has welcomed today's announcement of what it calls "major changes and investment in the rail network'.

It says the tenders, which will commence in April 2016 and will last for a minimum of seven years, will affect the entire railway network within Cumbria.

Council Leader Cllr Stewart Young said that the changes were the result hard work done through years of lobbying by the council.

The rail services mapped out here will help transform the current second-class rail services Cumbria has been forced to live with through years of underfunding.

"The county council and Cumbria LEP laid out some very clear ‘asks’, and I am delighted that many of these have been answered.

"But there are still improvements we need and we will be working to influence the bidders during the bidding process so that we get the very best rail provision possible."

– Cllr Stewart Young

The man who trekked across the Namib Desert

Dr Andrew Murray has just returned from running 550 kilometres across one of the most inhospitable places on the planet.

He gave a talk about his time trekking across the Namib desert at the Peebles outdoor film festival

Organisers hoped the festival, which they have said was a success, would encourage more people to make the most of the great outdoors.

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Windermere and Furness Line to benefit

Credit: ITV Border

Windermere and the Furness Line will reportedly benefit from franchise plans announced by the Government this morning.

The new 'Northern Regional' service means that by December 2017, Windermere should have two trains per day to Manchester Airport from Monday to Friday.

It also means that the Furness line is expected to have eight trains a day to Manchester and Manchester Airport, as well as extra trains along the Cumbrian Coast that it's claimed will be timed to better serve workers' shift patterns.

Increase to train services in North West

The number of seats on trains in the North West is to increase by a third, under Government plans to reduce overcrowding on the region’s rail network.

There will also be an extra 200 services every day across the Northern and Trans Pennine rail franchises, which cover Cumbria.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says that Pacer trains will be scrapped as part of the plans.

Trains Minister visits Carlisle and Gretna

Carlisle Railway station Credit: ITV Border

The Government's Trains Minister, Claire Perry, will be visiting Carlisle railway station to discuss plans for it to be turned into a hub for all types of transport.

Local MP John Stevenson wants an underused area at the back of the station to be developed into a site for buses, taxis, and car parking.

Ms Perry will also visit Gretna as part of her trip.

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