Where will all the bikes go? – Catering for the increasing numbers of cyclists at work and in town

Where will all the bikes go? – Catering for the increasing numbers of cyclists at work and in town

The explosion in people taking up cycling for commuting and pleasure in the UK has put pressure on the need for more bike storage in towns, cities and at business premises.

Cycle racks and stands in most town centres are already being overused as people search for places to secure their bikes safely. As a result, this has meant many private fences, railings, property, public seating and other street furniture have become unofficial places for locking bikes to.

“Demand for cycle stores in public and private areas is set to grow significantly,” according to Robert Hawgood, Managing Director of Landmark Street Furniture, a major supplier and installer of street furniture and cycle storage in the UK.

“Figures released in Scotland this week have shown a fivefold increase in cycling, with 3.44 per cent of all journeys made by bicycle in the country – up from 0.67 per cent,” said Robert.

“This is mirrored in the rest of the UK and while official figures haven’t yet been released for England, Wales or Northern Ireland, we do know that since lockdown began in March there has been a 192 per cent jump in bicycle sales. This means more journeys by bike and the need for places to safely lock and secure these bikes.”

Cycle storage and rack

Cycle storage and rack

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.

“It has become easier to cycle safely with these temporary measures,” said Robert. “But the infrastructure for locking or storing a bike has remained the same as pre-Coronavirus pandemic.”

Many workers are expected to take up the government’s Cycle to Work Scheme that allows them to purchase a bike with a discount and to pay through their wages. In May the existing £1,000 cap on purchases through the scheme was abolished.

“With the advice not to use public transport where possible continuing, people are looking to cycle to work or the shops. The temporary cycle lanes and expected investment in permanent cycle routes means more people will take up the scheme,” said Robert.

“This means employers will have to consider creating cycle storage areas, whether they’re in the town centre or on business or industrial parks.”

Local authorities and councils are also under pressure to create more secure storage in town centres.

“The more cycle lanes and cycle to work routes set up will result in the need for more cycle storage. Currently, there are not enough places to secure bikes to and this means many private property owners are having bikes attached to their property without permission.”

Cycle racks and cycle storage can be retrofitted as well as integrated into new streetscape and building schemes.

Landmark Street Furniture has seen a rise in enquiries and sales, particularly in cities like London, for such systems.

They have introduced cycle stands, shelters and racks to private and public areas, including railway stations, town centres, business offices and other locations in recent months.

They are also anticipating growth in demand for e-scooter racks after the government announced trials for allowing electric scooters to be used in some areas where they can be hired out.

“The message is quite clear. Cycling is growing as people turn to it for commuting and recreation.

“This is resulting in competition for places to secure bikes and unless more racks and storage are introduced the number of complaints about bikes being locked to private property and other buildings or street furniture is set to increase, including possible damage to such property as a result.”

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 sales@landmarkstreetfurniture.com or telephone 01686 689 198.