More bikes on the commute means more demand for secure storage
With the first batch of the half a million UK government Fix Your Bike Vouchers allocated, the number of cyclists on roads and commuting to work is expected to surge over the coming months.
That’s good news for the environment and people’s health and wellbeing, but it’ll also place pressure on town and city centres, as well as business and residential premises owners, to provide more cycling storage facilities, according to Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture.
The government repair scheme, which began at the end of July, allows anyone with a bike needing a repair to receive a £50 voucher that can be used at any authorised bicycle repair shop in England. The first allocation of vouchers were issued within hours of the scheme going live. A similar scheme has also been launched by the Scottish Government.
“We’ve already seen a dramatic rise in cycling across the UK throughout lockdown as people cycle for exercise or to commute to work as an alternative to using public transport. Temporary and new permanent cycle lanes have been opened on roads and public areas throughout the country to cater for this demand,” said Mr Hawgood.
New policies and measures for safe cycle storage are needed
“However, no real measures have been taken to cater for the need to secure these bikes safely at workplaces, in town centres or at recreational areas where many people will be taking them.
“And with potentially another half a million bikes being brought back to use through the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme we will see even more demand for such facilities.”
Landmark Street Furniture is a major supplier and installer of street furniture and cycle storage systems in the UK. It has seen a surge in enquiries from business property owners, developers and local authorities seeking solutions for cycle storage, including retrofitting systems into office developments, multi-occupied residential premises and town centres. These have included cycle stands, shelters and racks.
Long term investment for permanent cycling facilities
Mr Hawgood added: “Cycling as a recreational activity as well as for commuting is going to continually increase, not just because of the coronavirus situation but because more emphasis and investment is going to be made by the governments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to increase cycling generally.
“There now needs to be long-term thought and investment put into the whole chain, from cycle lanes through to safe storage. The solution is not just with governments, but the private and public agencies as well.
“Architects, developers, property management companies and local councils need to think much more about how cycle storage facilities are incorporated into new office and housing developments, educational facilities, town centres, retail parks and other destinations for cyclists. Network Rail has already committed to investing more into such facilities at railway stations.”
Bicycles could cause an anti-social issue
Concern has already been raised about the number of bikes being locked to private property and street furniture by commuters and shoppers unable to access bike stands or racks in town and city centres.
E-scooters will also add to the pressure with the government announcing areas for trialling the hire of them.
The UK government announced a £250 million emergency active travel fund in May to help create more pop-up and permanent cycle lanes in town and city centres in England to allow greater use of bikes safely and to support social distancing measures.
At the same time it announced its Cycle to Work Scheme, that allows businesses and individuals to purchase a bike with a discount and to pay through their wages, would scrap its £1,000 limit on such purchases.
These initiatives are already adding to the number of active cyclists on roads and cycle lanes in the country.
More details about Landmark Street Furniture and its range of cycle and e-scooter storage systems can be found at http://www.landmarkstreetfurniture.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01686 689 198.