City station worst in Britain for bike thefts

Cambridge North StationImage source, Alex Harris/BBC
Image caption,

In 2023 there were 143 reported bike thefts at Cambridge North station

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A city's railway station has been deemed the least secure in Britain after more than 100 bikes were stolen from it last year.

According to figures from the British Transport Police via a Freedom of Information request, 143 bike thefts were reported at Cambridge North station in 2023, which is more than anywhere else in Britain.

Peterborough Station has twice made the top 20 worst stations for bike thefts in the last three years. In 2021 it came in 20th place with 26 reported thefts and in 2022 it was in the top 15 with 54 thefts.

Greater Anglia, which runs Cambridge North station, said cycle storage facilities were being upgraded.

“We take cycle security very seriously and we want to make sure cyclists are able to leave their bikes at the station safely while they travel," a Greater Anglia spokeswoman said.

“This is why Cambridge North railway station is currently undergoing a £600k upgrade to its cycle storage facilities.

“The project will be completed very soon and will improve cycle security, to help prevent thefts and cycle crime at the station.

"Secure fencing has been installed around part of the existing cycle parking area, with entry only available via a key fob.

"The area is also covered by enhanced lighting and CCTV."

She added: "Cyclists are also advised to use a good quality lock when securing their cycles, to help improve cycle security even further, and to look out for future free cycle marking events.”

The British Transport Police has been approached for comment.

Image source, Alex Harris/BBC
Image caption,

The number of bikes stolen at Cambridge North has more than doubled since 2021

Omar Terywall set up a Facebook page called Official Stolen Bikes in Cambridge to combat bike theft in the city. He said that the recent addition of a cycle park at the Cambridge North station had given cyclists "a false sense of security".

The figures showed that in 2021 Cambridge North station had 61 reported bike thefts, which was the second highest number in the UK.

In 2022 the number had risen to 78, yet the station had moved to third place in terms of stolen bikes, with St Albans City Station the worst reported thefts with 95, followed by Chelmsford railway station reporting 79.

Image source, Omar Terywell
Image caption,

Since Omar Terywall set up his Facebook page members have recovered about 700 stolen bikes

Mr Terywall said the Facebook page had been responsible for recovering nearly 700 bikes across the city over the past four years.

He said the reason why so many bikes had been stolen from Cambridge North Station was because of its location.

"It is a notorious hotspot for cycle thefts... The cycle park gives commuters a false sense of security with CCTV cameras.

"The bike stands are unmanned and out of the view of station staff, who, despite their efforts, cannot prevent bike thefts."

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