Stevenage and Hitchin stations among UK’s best for bike thieves

Hitchin and Stevenage railway stations have recorded the most bike thefts in our area since 2016. Pi

Hitchin and Stevenage railway stations have recorded the most bike thefts in our area since 2016. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Newly released data has shown that just under 300 bicycles have been reported stolen from our train stations over the last three years.

Four of our stations feature among the top 100 for bike thefts across the UK, in data released today which features more than 1,000 stations across the UK.

Hitchin station, which placed 23rd out of 1,026 stations featured in the data, recorded 86 bike thefts from April 2016 to the end of March 2019.

Stevenage station came in 41st place, with 74 recorded incidents over the same period.

Arlesey was the 53rd highest, with 64 pushbikes snatched and Letchworth station also broke the top 100 - landing at the number 86 spot - with 48 thefts over the three years.

Baldock station was 339th, with 13 bikes being reported stolen. Knebworth station ranked 376th with 12 and, last but not least, Ashwell & Morden station was 814th, with just two bike thefts recorded since 2016.

In terms of a growing issue, Letchworth station recorded the highest rate of increase in our area, with a 443 per cent increase of recorded thefts between 2018-19 (32) compared to 2017-18 (6).

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The figures, released by British Transport Police, the Office of Rail and Road and Transport for London, indicate that in total there were 299 recorded bike thefts in our area since 2016.

Looking further afield, St Albans has had the most bike thefts of all the UK stations listed - with 262 in the same three-year period, although it does have the second highest number of secure bike places - 1,160 - among all those listed.

With more and more people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint and the cost of commuting, cycling is becoming a more popular choice of travel both to and from stations.

A spokesperson for Govia Thameslink said: "As part of our commitment to boost sustainable travel, we have installed many more bike racks at our stations to encourage more people to cycle.

"Across the network, we work closely with the British Transport Police and run joint bicycle marking schemes and have in the past handed out free high-security locks. We also have notices advising cyclists how to lock their bikes securely.

"Our own rail enforcement officers work alongside the BTP and at station hotspots we have put in dedicated patrols in uniformed and plain clothes."