In times gone by you could simply prop a cycle up on the edge of the pavement. Increases in levels of theft and motor traffic mean that is rarely practical these days. Cycle parking is increasingly common in towns and cities but in the UK it can be poorly located and designed.
Improving cycle parking is crucial if cycling is to be a viable means of travel for many more journeys. For those who own a cycle, theft has become a serious deterrent to making everyday journeys using it. For those who don’t, such as people living in flats, there is often nowhere for them to keep a cycle safely in the first place. There will be different requirements depending on how long a cycle is likely to be left:
- for an hour or two, such as popping into a shop or a visitor attraction, it’s important that cycle parking is easy to find and is near (less than 50m) to the destination
- for a day, such as for commuters, cycle parking should be secure (i.e. no public access to the cycle) and covered from the weather but still reasonably accessible
- for overnight or longer, security will become even more important but users may be prepared to walk a little to reach a better quality location.
In addition it’s important to design for different types of cycles. Consider the different requirements of a child cycle, tricycles and adapted cycles for disabled people or cycle trailers. Cycle parking will become increasingly important with the growing use of heavier and more expensive electric bikes.