Wanted: bike storage ideas for tenements

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds writes:

Getting about on two wheels is becoming more and more popular in the Capital. More than half of all households (54%) in Edinburgh now own a bike and we’re on track to meet our ambitious target of 15% of all commuter trips in the city being made by bike by 2020.

Our network of family-friendly QuietRoutes and the continued, and annually increasing, investment we’re making in cycling infrastructure mean it’s never been easier to swap four wheels for two to get from A to B in Edinburgh. People are embracing the many benefits of active travel, from improved health and wellbeing to saving money and helping protect the environment and making our streets more relaxed for everyone to spend time in.

Finding somewhere to store your bike securely can still be a challenge, though. In fact, cyclists cite secure bike storage as their second top priority, after safety on the roads. Storage is especially tricky in older, tenement style properties, where limited communal space poses a logistical problem for bike-owners – particularly when there are several bikes jostling for space in one stair.

This week, the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee received a report detailing the success of a recent pilot scheme for three different types of on-street cycle storage units for residents’ use.

The scheme proved extremely popular, with 51 secure cycle spaces provided on a first come, first served basis over the five locations in Lonsdale Terrace, Warrender Park Terrace (two sites), Oxford Street and Douglas Crescent. Demand was high for the available spaces and, since the trial launched, the Council has received 92 further requests for this kind of facility at other locations.

The units themselves, which store an average of seven bikes in the space of one car (5m x 2m), are relatively low maintenance, and feedback from surveys suggests that those using the units cycled more frequently as a result of having somewhere secure and accessible to store their bike.

Secure cycle storage unit (roll-top)

Given this success, we now plan to roll this scheme out further, aiming to kick-start the necessary processes to make 10 – 15 more secure cycle storage locations available for the installation of units in 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20.

On-street secure bike storage, done properly and in the right locations, is clearly a very desirable option for bike-owners who live in tenements. It’s not the only solution, though. There are products available to store bikes securely and efficiently within stairwells (without causing a potential obstruction or fire hazard), while covered storage in back greens is another option.

We’ve been pleased to work with Spokes to look at all the various options for tenement bike storage and will continue to investigate these issues. I’ve no doubt there are lots of great ideas out there, though, so we’d love to invite members of the public to put forward their suggestions too. Send them in to lesley.hinds@edinburgh.gov.uk and help us make things even easier for Edinburgh’s growing numbers of bike users.


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