Bristol Cycling Campaign has published a report proposing that Bristol City Council should install 1,000 bike hangars by May 2024.
Bike hangars are lockable steel pods for up to six bikes and provide secure, on-street bike parking for people who don’t have any outside space to store a bike at home.
The report said that Bristol currently only has 15 bike hangars but local survey data shows that demand for residential bike parking spaces is likely to be in the tens of thousands. The report has also proposed ways to simplify installation and cut costs by at least £1,500 per hangar. It has also suggested a system for the council to reach out to offer hangars instead of relying on residents to realise that they exist.
“If you can’t securely store a bike at home, you can’t have a bike,” said Eveline Hall from Bristol Cycling Campaign. “And many people in Bristol live in flats and terraces with no outside space for bike storage. The council has received Emergency Active Travel funding for up to 20 more hangars but just to match a bike-friendly borough like Waltham Forest in London, Bristol needs over 800 hangars. And Waltham Forest still has a waiting list of over 5,000 people.
“There’s huge unmet demand in Bristol, and we’re in a pandemic and a climate crisis where we urgently need people to switch to active travel. But lack of secure bike storage at home is a huge problem and it’s the less well-off people who are hit hardest by it. They’re less likely to have storage space and less able to replace a stolen bike. This is a social justice issue.”
A spokesperson for Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol said: “The council has said it’s interested in providing liveable neighbourhoods but that means making it easy for those people who want to go by bike instead of car to do so. Bike hangars are absolutely vital for that.”
The council’s waiting list for bike hangars was closed in April 2019. The report has proposed that councillors should put forward suitable sites for hangars in their wards, based on their knowledge of the area and of who wants one.
“If someone wants a bike hangar,” Bristol Cycling Campaign said, “they should write to their councillor and to tell them that they do – and ask them to tell the cabinet member for transport. We need a fair, and efficient system of delivering bike hangars on a scale and at a speed fit for an emergency, because we’re in one. And public pressure will help to get it.”
The report is available at www.BristolCycling.org.uk.
Read the March issue of BikeBiz below: