A design that reconfigures train carriages to create additional space for bikes could help solve London’s future transport problems
Spotted: London’s rail networks are facing a huge challenge in re-starting services after the COVID-19 lockdowns. To allow for social distancing, services are running with severely limited passenger capacity, which increases crowding and reduces revenue. At the same time, commuters are looking for safer ways to travel. Transport design consultancy PriestmanGoode has developed a solution which makes optimal use of space on commuter trains, to ensure social distancing.
The flexible design adapts the seating to allow more people to be accommodated on commuter trains and also creates more space for bikes. By allowing more train passengers to take their bikes, the design helps to relieve pressure on roads, local trains, buses, and tube lines, for the commuters’ “final mile”.
The flexible designs use a double seat layout during off-peak hours, which transforms into a higher density configuration at peak times to increase both seating and bike storage. Other features of the seat design include aisle rests with padded backs for passengers who would otherwise be standing unsupported, footrests, wider aisle access and twin USB ports at every seat.
Designer and Chairman of PriestmanGoode, Paul Priestman, explains the rationale for the design: “As transport designers, the “first and last mile” have always been important considerations for us … People typically use their own car, buses or underground services to start and end their journey, but many would prefer to use bikes as a lower-cost and more flexible alternative. We have found a way to adapt our ‘Island Bay’ seating design so that more bikes can be easily and safely accommodated onboard commuter trains.”
Creating further transportation options will not only help get people back to work but could also create healthier cities. At Springwise, we have seen an uptick in transportation innovations, including using e-vehicles as energy storage units and a kit that turns any bike into an e-bike.