Improving cycle parking is a key element in the measures needed (such as safer routes and promotion) to deliver higher levels of cycling. High quality cycle parking, particularly if it is located near the entrance of a major trip generator, such as a school, library or hospital, can help raise the profile of cycling as a means of getting about. It can also, by increasing the viability of cycling, reduce pressure on car parking spaces. Adding secure cycle parking to a rail station can, for example, increase the number of people who can use rail services and thereby help secure improved service frequencies.
Badly parked bikes attached to street furniture can cause a hazard to people walking along a pavement, particularly people with impaired sight. Well designed cycle parking that fits with the local vernacular or is at least made out of high quality materials can help enhance the appearance of streets. Some areas have even commissioned specially designed cycle parking stands and used these to help enhance the brand of an area.
Cycle stands can help reduce theft by providing that a cycle and its wheels can be secured to: cycles locked to signposts can be lifted off and then stolen, for example. For greater security it is necessary to prevent general public access to a cycle, such as by providing a locker. If people feel it is only possible to use a poor quality cycle - which may be harder to ride long distances and less road worthy - in a town because of the risk of theft, then they may be less likely to make longer journeys by cycle. There is also a greater risk of mechanical defects, which could cause a crash.