03:00PM, Friday 09 August 2019
Figures which showed Maidenhead station as one of the worst in England for stolen bikes have been disputed by Great Western Railway.
The number of bikes stolen from Maidenhead station over the past four years is the fourth highest among those under the British Transport Police’s remit in England, statistics compiled by the BBC Shared Data Unit show.
The BBC figures show 141 bicycles have been taken from the station since 2016. In the 2016-17 financial year, just 14 bicycles were stolen, but 63 were pinched in 2017-2018 and 64 were taken during 2018-19.
The information comes from the British Transport Police.
But GWR, which runs Maidenhead station, has disputed the numbers, with a GWR spokesman suggesting many of the bikes were not taken from ‘station property, but near it’.
GWR figures, also provided by the British Transport Police, show 21 thefts in 2018-19.
The station has a bike rack in the forecourt.
Council leader Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), who has cabinet responsibility for Maidenhead, said he believed part of the solution to bike thefts would be ‘prevention’ in terms of cyclists taking steps to protect bikes, and ‘also what the local authority can do around secure bike storage areas’.
The station forecourt is being redesigned in anticipation of Crossrail’s completion and the new 300-space bike storage will have CCTV present.
“I have actually asked that this comes to the Maidenhead Town Forum,” Cllr Dudley added, referring to the council committee which can help influence responses to issues in the town.
A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Unfortunately, bicycles remain a popular target for opportunistic thieves and British Transport Police works closely with train operating companies to improve security at cycle storage facilities throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
“To help prevent crime, we urge cyclists to invest in good quality D-locks and ensure their bikes are securely marked and registered at www.bikeregister.com”
GWR’s spokesman said there have been 21 bike thefts from the station in the past year, and 12 this calendar year.
He added that bike storage at the station has CCTV coverage and is well-lit.
“While the number of thefts is low, we continue to work with the British Transport Police to maintain and improve the security of our station environments; and encourage cyclists to follow their advice in helping to deter crime by investing in good quality D-locks and registering their bike,” he said.
Some 16,725 bikes have been taken across 1,245 railway stations in the last three years, with St Albans topping the list at 262 thefts.
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