As part of a Translink initiative to encourage more motorists to leave their cars at home and use trains and buses for their journeys, cyclists across Northern Ireland can now benefit from 38 new bike shelter/storage facilities at local stations.

The brand name of Northern Ireland’s integrated bus and rail public transport company, Translink is a public corporation which provides public transport in the region. Northern Ireland Railways, Ulsterbus and Metro are also part of Translink.

Keys as a Service technology

The first two secure cycle compounds have just opened at Belfast’s Holywood and Lisburn railway stations, while other more traditional shelters have been rolled out across the province. It’s a welcome move and will hopefully encourage many more people to cycle. Up to now, the lack of secure cycle parking has been something of a barrier to some people, and Translink have recognised that investing in the latest secure access control technology could help overcome this for the benefit of passengers and staff alike.

Martin Nixon from Ambar Systems, the local SALTO authorised dealer in Northern Ireland, says “This is the first time access control via the cloud has been used in a project of this kind. Using SALTO’s new KS ‘Keys as a Service’ technology, access to the secure bicycle shelter which can accommodate up to 30 bicycles at Holywood and is internally lit at night, is via a secure tag available from Translink.”Cycling offers a healthy, flexible, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to travel for people of all ages"

When cyclists present their tags to the wall reader located on the outside of the shelter, it communicates via the cloud with a SALTO IQ unit located nearby. This instantly verifies the identity of the cyclists and whether they have access rights to that shelter. If valid, the wall reader releases electro-magnetic locks on the door of the shelter and the cyclist is able to gain access. At the same time, Translink receives a notification that that particular tag, at that time and day, has accessed the shelter. If the cyclist loses their tag at any time it can be instantly blocked and a new one assigned,” says Martin.

Promoting active lifestyle

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said, “This is good news for all our customers who want to enjoy an active lifestyle enabling them to easily integrate both cycling and public transport into their regular journeys.”

Cycling offers a healthy, flexible, inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to travel for people of all ages. 65% of everyday journeys in NI are less than five miles – perfect distances for leisurely cycling. Existing cycle facilities are popular with many at capacity, so this significant development will provide our customers with convenient parking for easy transfer onto the bus or train.”

2018 is also the year of infrastructure and we will monitor the success of this pilot scheme with a view to ensure our passenger facilities are as attractive and accessible as possible. We’re now encouraging our customers to use these new bike shelter facilities as part of their daily active travel routine,” said Chris.

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