How to Meet Varying Bike Parking Needs in the UK

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Who are “they” you ask?

“They” are 52.4% of the respondents to a recent survey conducted by Five At Heart in London whereby we asked what aspects are currently not featuring in developments/portfolios that would be a great inclusion. Over half of the respondents (52.4%) identified “different styles of parking to suit varying tenants needs” as one of the key aspects not currently featuring in their developments.

Cycling is an inclusive activity, not an exclusive sport. You ride a bike, I ride a bike and we all ride bikes in different ways and want different things from the activity.

We all have different bikes with different accessories, from mudguards to child seats to oversized tyres. The requirement for bike parking that can handle a wide variety of bikes has never been as great as it is today. But for some reason, very few developments are taking this into consideration. Even though we know that no bicycle is the same, no user is the same and all have different wants, needs and expectations from bicycle parking, locker and shower facilities.

Variety in cycle parking is key to creating a successful space; one that will be used by everybody and meets their needs. It also helps to optimise space utilisation (a double rack is not always the most space-efficient parker) and a variety of racks can lead to a lower average cost per parking unit. In London, for example, this variety of parking is in part supported by TFL and the Boroughs via requirements and allowances in cycle parking guidelines.

So how do you go about deciding what bike parking is needed?

1. Horizontal Bike Parking

As a starting point, we recommend that all developments try to achieve at least 20% horizontal bike parking. This is a bike parking solution that can be used by everybody and doesn’t require users to lift or bear any weight when parking their bikes. We recommend at least one recumbent position and a proportion of accessible (1.5m spacing) parking. A couple of Five At Heart’s horizontal bike parking solutions are the Wishbone and Arc.

2. Folding Bike Parking

To meet the needs of mixed-mode share commuters, we recommend 10% folding bike parking as a general rule, which is in line with the London Plan allowance. This number will vary depending on the location of the parking relative to major transport hubs and the demographic. For example, most commuters in Shoreditch wouldn’t be caught dead on a Brompton. Our Flexible Locker is specifically designed to meet the needs of mixed-mode share commuters.

3. Vertical and Double-tier Bike Parking

For the remaining 70% of the space, we recommend a mixture of high quality vertical and/or double-tier parking to achieve the recommended number of bike spaces. Amongst our most specced vertical and double-tier bike parking solutions are the Arc, Cradle and Virgil.

Working on a project? Contact us today if you need assistance in creating a facility that has a wide variety of bike parking solutions and great user experience.

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