London Midland cycles off with national award win.(London Midland)

London Midland sponsored this year’s Vélo Birmingham.(London Midland Image)

London Midland’s partnership with Vélo Birmingham has been recognised with a win at the National Cycle-Rail Awards 2017.

The awards, organised annually by the Rail Delivery Group, recognise the steps made by the rail industry to encourage integrated cycle-rail travel.

The train operator’s partnership with Vélo Birmingham, which saw 15,000 cyclists travel into the city centre for the start of the closed-road race, was highly commended in the ‘Innovation’ category.

London Midland’s sponsorship of the event formed part of a company-wide push to promote health and wellbeing throughout the business and wider community. Part of this support included sponsoring a team of 60 London Midland riders, who took part in the race.

The number of spectators and participants attending the Vélo meant that the train operator had to take an innovative approach to service operation on the day. Under normal conditions, no more than two bicycles are allowed on the train, unless at the discretion of the Senior Conductor. This policy was relaxed on the day, allowing passengers to fully utilise the train services for travel to and from the event.

Ian McLaren, finance and contracts director at London Midland, said:

“It’s really been a great year for cycling at London Midland, with the Vélo, over £300,000 invested in new cycling infrastructure and now this award win.

“Improving facilities and integration with the rail network for cyclists is an industry priority and one we are proud to be driving within our business. Passengers are increasingly choosing bikes as their mode of transport to and from the station, so any move to improve the bike/train interface is extremely positive.

“The Vélo was a landmark event for the Midlands and for our network and it’s extremely encouraging to see that the hard work of all of our colleagues is paying off.”