Key views and themes
Some cycle parking racks have been placed around the area over the years. More recently this has included the on road type. There is a demand for more cycle parking in some streets and those which have been installed are generally well used in that they are full of bikes. However, there remains a problem of bike abandonment on our streets, and the suggestion that bike parking provision can become a ‘graveyard’ of unused machines.
Demand for bike parking: If you would like bike parking on your street you can fill out a form on the council website. With the council committing to place 80 new Sheffield stands per year – a figure which does not keep up with population growth, let alone meet current shortfall – there is clearly demand which outstrips supply citywide, but demand is not uniform across the city or different streets.
A benefit of the residents parking scheme currently being progressed is the likelihood that additional cycle parking will be provided for the area, and the scheme information has some locations identified.
Fly- parking: On streets with narrow pavements – especially in areas where a number of properties have entered HMO use – fly-parking or bikes on lamp-posts etc.. can be a particular problem for pedestrians, wheelchair users and those with buggies. Bikes obstructing the highway can be reported to the council in the same way as any other highway obstruction. High levels of fly-parking of bikes in regular use suggests a need for better public cycle parking.
Abandoned Cycles: This is a big problem everywhere – not just in Brighton or Hanover. If you think a bike has been abandoned it can be reported to the council, who will aim to look at it within three days and – if appropriate – will place 14 day notice or removal on it. The council cannot remove a properly parked bike – whatever its condition – unless a notice has been served, and if an owner comes forward to contest the notice, the bike cannot be removed by the council whatever its condition might be. If the council removes a bike which has not been abandoned, they may be liable to compensate the owner for loss of lock and any other damage caused.
Not all bikes which have been left for a while or look a bit ropey are abandoned. Many people reduce cycling during winter for example but will want to pick up their bike again in the spring.
Some initiatives and ideas
Bike parking: The Hanover Community Association operates three secure cycle parking areas but these are substantially oversubscribed. Any other off road sites which can be found would be welcomed. Residents in Ditchling Rise have seen secure on street ‘Bike Hangars’ installed, which reduce street clutter and offer better management of spaces, and this is something people are keen to explore here .
Bike repair: If bikes in your street seem in a state of disrepair, Simon Hickmott – BHCC Travel Planning Officer – has offered to assist in arranging street-by-street Dr Bike sessions, helping residents to get their bikes going again. If this might be helpful for your street, leave the street name in the comments below.
For other repair options, we also have Cranks workshop in Kemptown and the Brighton BikeHub at The Field (former Preston Barracks site on Lewes Road) as well as the Groundwork community bikeshop Changing Gears, also on Lewes Road. All three projects offer supported self-help workshops where you can get help to fix your own bike.
Disposing of your bike: Getting rid of a bike which you don’t want, and has little value is not that easy, but Brighton BikeHub (above) will happily take donated bikes which can then be refurbished by volunteers and sold at affordable prices for community re-use.
Community involvement: The issue of abandoned bikes clogging up bike racks is a problem locally, and whilst the council do all they can to keep racks clear and usable they have limited resources for this task. It may be that more can be done around resident s ‘adopting’ bike racks in their street, or developing a stronger partnership with BikeHub to make it easier to donate bikes, and this would be a helpful future discussion for the LAT
This topic will be picked up at future LAT meetings, and in the meantime, do leave thoughts and comments in the box below.