Cycle superhighways are creating an urgent need for safe bike storage
Thousands of people living in urban areas of the UK who are turning to cycling following the coronavirus lockdown are facing nowhere to secure their bicycles securely due to a lack of cycle storage.
In London alone, more than 450kms of the capital’s cycle superhighways are being built with the aim of completing them by 2024.
Hundreds of towns and cities throughout the UK have also committed to creating more cycle lanes following a dramatic rise in people commuting to work and cycling for exercise and recreation.
However, the investment in such infrastructure will need to be balanced with the creation of public and privately available secure bicycle storage and racks, according to Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture, one of the leading providers and installers of bicycle storage and racking systems in the UK.
“The UK government has committed to spending £2bn on cycle infrastructure in England and this has already been kicked off with active travel initiatives across the country, including the ongoing cycle superhighway in London. It also launched an emergency active travel fund.
Lack of space at home means secure cycle storage is needed
“The commitment and investment is unprecedented. However, many people living in towns and cities do not have space in their apartments or homes for storing bikes. The same is common at most places of work, town centres and business parks. And this needs to be addressed to ensure cycling continues to grow.
“The public sector has already invested in secure cycle storage at railway stations, educational establishments and some public areas. But we believe there needs to be a network of secure bike storage systems that are accessible for the public to use near their home and work.”
He added: “Without such systems in place, people will not want to cycle anywhere without knowing they can safely park and store their bike.”
Developers and employers are retrofitting systems into premises
Mr Hawgood said many developers and employers were already retrofitting cycle storage systems into commercial and residential buildings, as well as specifying them in new developments.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently said the investment in cycling would also support the health of people, getting them fit and lowering the risk of illness.
Last month it emerged that 20 per cent of Britain’s would take up cycling to work. But the same number was concerned at their bikes being stolen because they worried about where they would leave them.
Many cyclists are worried about bike theft
“Environmental, health and social distancing benefits are encouraging more and more people to cycle. But research is also showing that while many will take up cycling, they are also put off by potential theft,” said Mr Hawgood.
Landmark Street Furniture based near Newtown, Powys, has installed a range of bicycle storage systems in railway stations, retail parks, shopping centres, schools, colleges, private offices and residential developments.
It offers a range of secure cycle storage systems for indoor and outdoor areas, including the ability to retrofit them.
These include cycle racks, cycle shelters, cycle stands and scooter racks.
Secure cycle storage at Bromsgrove Railway Station
One such project was at Bromsgrove Railway Station in the West Midlands. The system was integrated architecturally into the building.
“We followed the architect’s concept by creating a curved screen in 316 stainless steel around a series of cycle stands. The screen incorporated laser-cut images of cyclists to enhance the shelter and allow users to identify it from a distance,” said Mr Hawgood.
Panels were made off-site and hoisted into position with the whole structure tied into the roof of the main building. As part of the overall security required for a transport hub, we also provided a series of concrete benches that were strategically placed around the entrance to deter any potential vehicle attacks.
“The completed project created an attractive central feature for the entrance to the station with provision for travellers to secure their bikes helping the client meet their sustainability strategy.”
More details about Landmark Street Furniture and its range of street furniture products and services, including bicycle storage, can be found at www.landmarkstreetfurniture.com.
The company offers a one-stop shop for the planning, design and installation of bespoke street furniture throughout the UK.