Houten municipal council has established the preliminary design for the bicycle park & ride under the railway station planned for the town centre. A location has also been found for the temporary guarded bicycle parking facility at the station in the period up to 2011.
In 2004 the municipal council granted permission for ProRail to create an area for a bicycle park & ride under the raised railway viaduct in the centre of Houten. The municipality will use this area to construct a large, high-quality bicycle parking facility. This bicycle park & ride will be attractively designed, providing space for 2,200 guarded parking places and the option of expanding to 4,000 places. These are initially for train travellers, but can also be used by visitors to the refurbished centre. The planned construction should resolve all problems related to bicycles parked in public places in one go. There will be long opening hours (from the first to the last train) and security personnel will be permanently on site. These personnel will be recruited through job opportunity schemes aimed at specific target groups.
Bicycle parking will be free of charge, but if necessary part of the transferium will provide paid places with extra security. The parking facility will cover the whole width of the railway track, between the Onderdoor (underpass) and the south tunnel planned near De Slinger. There are two direct platform accesses and space for a bicycle shop. There will also be two commercial areas between the Onderdoor and the future north tunnel.
The park & ride is central in the action programme "Houten demarreert" [Houten breaks away]. It will be financed by Houten municipality with financial contributions from ProRail, Bestuur Regio Utrecht and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W). The bicycle park & ride will have extra facilities, such as luggage safes, toilets, bike rental and information for passengers and cyclists, making it even more attractive.
In the autumn of 2008, ProRail will start work on the eastern side of the railway track. The existing bicycle parking facilities on the Spoorhaag will then have to make way for the new railway track. The municipality has therefore decided to create a temporary guarded bicycle park on the ground floor of its multi-storey car park on the Randhoeve. This bicycle parking area will at least provide the same facilities as the current parking area in terms of opening hours, number of places (over 400), limited service facilities, good accessibility and the availability of bike rental and OV bicycles. Travellers can park their bicycles here for a fee until the opening of the bicycle park & ride. The bicycle park & ride is expected to open at the start of 2011.