August 2019

Bike Storage for Flats and Tenements

Spokes has published a new factsheet, How to be a Cycling Flat-Dweller. The factsheet covers everything from in the flat, in the stair, in gardens, or on the street – and even with a few extra hints for storing e-bikes or cargo bikes.

I would cycle, but there’s nowhere to keep my bike

That is something we hear all too often. Our factsheet aims to help.

The factsheet is available free from Spokes and can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking here.

For related information, see also our Bike Storage web pages…

Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said…

“Making sure people have somewhere to store their bikes, so they can own one in the first place, is vital to boosting active travel. Spokes’s factsheet provides extremely useful information for residents, particularly those in densely populated areas, and I urge anyone looking for advice on storing their bike to pick one up. We’ll soon be rolling out secure cycle storage around the city too and I hope that these measures to enhance bike security will lead to even more people choosing cycling as an effective, sustainable, healthy and time-saving mode of transport.”

One flat-dweller told us, “I’m on the 1st floor, with an 8 year old, so it’s a total pain to get 2 bikes up and down the stairs. Hers gets out fairly regularly, but mine hasn’t for a while. There are no bikes in the stair as buy-to-let landlord neighbours have decided it’s a fire hazard.”

Another said, “I used to have to store my bike in my bedroom in my second floor flat. I rarely could face navigating the tight corners to get it out and lugging it down 2 flights of stairs – so it definitely reduced the amount I would cycle. I would have loved one of those on street storage cages, I really think they should be rolled out across areas with tenements.”

Way back in 2005, research at Edinburgh Napier University showed that bike ownership was low in tenement areas, compared to the leafy suburbs further out, even though tenement dwellers tend to be in ideal cycling distance of shops, schools, employment, etc.

The huge demand for Edinburgh Council’s proposed secure lockers in some tenement areas shows that the problem still remains or is even worse – residents in 158 Edinburgh streets have requested lockers, even with minimal Council publicity so far.

The current Council plan is for 180 lockers (each holding 6 bikes), with a small monthly charge, probably around £5. The scheme will be managed by Cyclehoop who already run a very successful London operation, in which spaces can be booked, and new sites requested, via a map-based website. We imagine the same website will be used for Edinburgh, but possibly a new one will be developed. The first lockers are expected to be rolled out this autumn (2019).

However this solution will not suit everyone and will not be available everywhere … and the Spokes factsheet will be there to suggest alternative solutions in such cases.

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