Last week I was invited by East Midlands Trains to attend the National Cycle Rail Awards in London. We had been put up for an award with East Midlands Trains, in fact we had been put up for a couple of awards. So off I went down to the big smoke dressed in my finery to the Central Methodist Hall in Westminster, just down the road from Parliament.
Chris Boardman was one of the keynote speakers along with the Minister for Cycling Robert Goodwill MP. Both made speeches about the need to get people cycling and the need for the railways to assist this by providing good quality facilities and secure storage. It had been a massive year for cycling and the rail industry and everyone agreed that events had been successfully managed.
After the speeches came the prize giving and we didn't have to wait long before East Midlands Trains were picking up highly comended awards for their work not only in Sheffield but also Leicester. Station of the Year was presented towards the end of the night and this was our opportunity to shine. We were comended on the quality and 'joined-up' thinking for the new facilities provided here at the station including my shop. So I joined managers from East Midlands Trains with Chris Boardman and Robert Goodwill MP on stage to accept our glass trophy.
Yorkshire featured heavily at the awards Northern Rail winning best customer service and operator of the year for their incredible work during the Tour de France.
So after a few pints at the local tavern it was back to the hotel for a goodnights sleep.
The National Cycle Rail Awards are organised every year by ATOC and are closely linked to the All Party Parliamentry Cycling Group. The awards are designed to highlight excellence in promoting cycling in the rail industry.