CYCLISTS who have abandoned bicycles at Oxford train station face having them scrapped as by First Great Western.

The rail company has tagged 600 cycles parked in racks outside the station with people given one month to claim them before they are confiscated and sold for scrap or for re-use.

The move has been welcomed by cyclists in the city who say it has become increasingly difficult to park at the station despite an £80,000 investment in cycle shelters by FGW last year which provided 80 more racks.

Paul Cullen, 66, of Jericho, who uses the racks once a fortnight when catching a train to London, said: “It gets more and more difficult to park there as time goes by and more and more bikes get dumped there.

“It can be very frustrating for cyclists to turn up at the station and not be able to find a spare rack especially if you are dashing for a train.

“The’ve supplied more racks but now these are always full.

“It just goes to show the popularity of cycling in Oxford and how important it is to manage these racks.

Mr Cullen, who is also the chairman of Oxford Pedestrians’ Association, added: “A month is long enough for someone to claim their bike.

“If someone’s gone on a long holiday they shouldn’t be chaining their bikes outside at the station, the racks are not there for long-term storage.

“What’s the point of putting new bike racks in if they’re full and can’t be used?”

FGW has given owners until Wednesday, June 10, to prove a cycle has not been abandoned by removing the label.

So far, 85 cycles have still not been claimed.

James Styring, chairman of cycling campaign group Cyclox, said: “It’s definitely good news.

“One of the biggest problems in Oxford is there’s a lot of abandoned bikes around.

“At the train station it’s always a nightmare trying to find somewhere to park your bike and if students have left them and gone off forever they need getting rid of.

“The racks are always really, really heavily used so anyhing that can be done to free up some space is welcome.”

Oxford station manager Geoff Capes said: “We know how big the bike-using public in Oxford is and we want to make it is as easy and trouble-free as possible for our cycling customers who park up at the station to commute on our trains.”