There has been a spike in bike thefts from the railway station in recent weeks. These have mainly been from the covered racks in the rear car park also known as the “Hub”. Possibly as many as 7 were taken on one day. We have known for a while the covered bike racks in the Hub are targeted by thieves. SWR staff also know it is a hot spot.
The Police don’t, as a rule, investigate bike thefts or review CCTV recording even when asked. At times it has the characteristics of a undercover bike showroom for thieves with little chance of being caught. The CCTV warning signs might be more accurate if they said “We are probably NOT watching you”. Our advice is not to the use the Hub but if you must park there – take an old bike and use a D-Lock. The bike parking (as recommended by SWR customer relations) in the underground car park looks equally unsafe.
Parking in front of the station is probably safer, however this hasn’t been an option recently as the temporary racks have not been reinstated.
Our advice is that in this type of location a Gold rated lock or better is required; generally these will be D-locks. Read our bike security guidance for more information.
The theft rate at the station has been high for a while; so far our lobbying for improvements has not been productive. In the meantime please alert your friends and family to this issue.
If you have further information or experiences, please contact Cycle Winchester as it will help make our case. The rate of theft from the Winchester station is 2.5 times higher than that at Southampton Station with 46 bikes recorded as being taken in the last 12 months – the total could be twice this. Without a bike you can’t cycle to the station! We met with South Western Railways last year to discuss some easy improvements at the station, however this has not resulted in any proposals from SWR.
In the meantime we are waiting for the racks in front of the station to be reinstated – they are currently cordoned off due to broken paving. Safe cycling parking at Winchester Station clearly has a low priority.