The City of Edinburgh Council, in partnership with Cyclehoop and Sustrans, is providing 1,080 Bikehangar parking spaces for residents to store their bikes.
180 Bikehangars are being installed on residential streets where bicycle storage space is otherwise limited. Work began this month and the first of the two project phases is expected to conclude mid-October with close to 110 Bikehangars installed.
Upon completion, Edinburgh will have the “largest network of on-street cycle sheds in the UK”, outside of London. This announcement comes as local authorities around the UK undertake plans to reallocate road space from cars to cyclists and pedestrians.
“We’re delighted to be introducing secure bike parking, which will be particularly beneficial for Edinburgh’s tenement areas,” said transport and environment vice convener councillor Karen Doran. “It addresses the significant problem of limited space for bikes as more people choose cycling as their preferred way to get around the city. Overcrowded stairwells are not only inconvenient for residents, it makes them key targets for bike theft.”
The Bikehangars are being designed, installed and managed by Cyclehoop. Each Bikehangar provides six cycle parking spaces in half the space of a parked car, relieving pressure on roads and public transport networks and freeing up pavement space for physical distancing.
“Cycling creates a more liveable neighbourhood, by lowering car dependency to make streets quieter, safer and healthier places,” said Cyclehoop’s managing director Anthony Lau. “Making secure cycle parking accessible is key to encouraging more people to take up cycling. We designed the Bikehangar to help those who aren’t able to keep their bicycles at home, to store them accessibly on the street, safely locked and protected from the weather.”
Bikehangars are a secure way to store bikes on the street but people using them should still insure, register and lock their bikes correctly, said Lau. “Secure storage facilities offer greater protection by lowering the risk of theft. Homes, garages, sheds or Bikehangars, although secure, are not impenetrable to a determined and well-equipped thief, so it is best to lock, register and insure your bicycle for peace of mind.”
Support for the Edinburgh scheme through public consultation has been high, added Doran. “Over 70% of those who responded to our consultation strongly supported the scheme, so it’s fantastic to now see Bikehangars being installed in many locations across the capital. Working with Cyclehoop means we now have accessible, well-maintained, safe places to store bikes for only £6 a month.”
Residents can apply for a space through the Cyclehoop Rentals website for a small monthly fee, which covers the management and maintenance of the units. Cyclehoop has partnered with Scottish cycling charity Bike For Good to carry out maintenance of the units and provide five free Dr Bike sessions annually.
High demand is expected in Edinburgh and the council said it would like to see further cycle sheds provided in the future. Residents can suggest new locations for Bikehangars on the Cyclehoop Rentals website and this data could be used to inform council plans. “We would like to see this scheme extended to other areas in the future, providing more support for the increasing numbers of residents we’re seeing who choose to cycle and helping us meet our longer-term goal of being a carbon neutral city,” said Doran.
Senior project officer of Sustrans and City of Edinburgh Council Joseph Taylor said public consultation showed that the provision of Bikehangars in Edinburgh is likely to increase bicycle ownership. “20% of people who responded didn’t own a bicycle, but of those, 43% of said access to secure cycle storage would encourage them to own a bicycle in the future.”
Tierney Lovell, Sustrans infrastructure manager, added: “Providing secure, well-located cycle parking is essential to encourage more people across the capital to cycle around the city for everyday journeys and exercise. We look forward to seeing this scheme rolled out across the city making it easier and safer for more people to start cycling in the future.”
Read the August issue of BikeBiz below: