WINCHESTER and Chandler’s Ford’s MP is backing new measures to reduce bicycle thefts at Winchester Railway Station.

South Western Railway (SWR) has, in discussion with Steve Brine, councillors, local campaign groups, Hampshire Police and the British Transport Police (BTP), announced a new approach to identify bike thieves, prevent further thefts and help customers keep their cycles safe.

Residents have labelled the station’s £400,000 bike hub as a crime “hot spot”, with more than 100 bikes stolen from around the station area in the past two years.

BTP confirmed that 27 crimes have been recorded at the station this year, 23 investigations have been completed and four are ongoing. Many of these relate to bicycle theft.

READ MORE: Cyclists advised not to park at station with more than 100 bike thefts in two years

Hampshire Chronicle: The bike hubThe bike hub (Image: Adele Bouchard)

Mr Brine opened the bike hub in 2016, with 100 spaces for commuter’s bikes but the facility has been shunned due to fears about theft.

The SWR Crime and Security Team and the BTP will visit the station to review short and long-term options.

Plans include an AI security camera that can identify vulnerable areas that could be crime hotspots.

SWR is also relocating some cycle stands to the front of the station and moving the temporary fencing around the forecourt trees to allow access to those stands.

SWR and BTP are considering a joint operation at Winchester Railway Station as a longer-term solution.

The rail company has also announced it will be running a programme of cycle surgeries, which are being promoted at stations and on social media channels.

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Rail community officers and police community support officers will be on hand to advise customers on how to secure their bikes, including advice on the best locks to buy.

SWR is funding more marking kits, provided by BTP, to allow customers to apply a security marking to their bikes as a visible deterrent and to trace thieves.

Mr Brine said: “I strongly welcome the approach by South Western Railway, Hampshire Police and the British Transport Police. It is clear they are taking my constituents' concerns seriously and are working to find a successful solution to this unacceptable rise in bike thefts.

“Passengers at Winchester station must be able to store their bikes securely and safely with peace of mind that their property will still be there on their return. I am meeting with the managing director of SWR in the coming weeks and will continue this discussion.”