Havant’s Councillor Tim Pike has asked me for our views on secure bike parking in Havant town centre. And in particular, would it encourage more utility cycling, to work, to shops or for leisure and social.
Stats from London suggest that bike theft deters about a quarter of the population, and about a third of bike thefts put people off riding, temporarily or permanently. And with the growing number of expensive e-bikes, we need to do something about it.
One suggestion Havant is considering is a secure room at the Meridian Centre, accessible from outside, access controlled by a key fob or SmartPhone app.
You'd still have to lock the bike, but with controlled access and CCTV, it would be much, much more secure (and dry!). The initial target market might be workers in or near the Meridian, more than occasional shoppers, but getting regular commuters out of cars is our best hope of reducing traffic, pollution and CO2 emissions. And if it works, we can expand it.
Waltham Forest now has 7 such Cycle Hubs, and nearer here, there's also one at Worthing Cycle Hub. They currently charge around £30 a year per bike to cover the CCTV, key fobs and other admin costs, but for regular commuters, that's still peanuts beside rail fares or car commuting and parking. Havant hope to do introductory offers and/or employer sponsorship to make it even more attractive. And hopefully costs will come down over time, as it moves from relatively expensive key fobs to smartphones, and it will be possible to 'pay as you go' without the annual commitment.
So, we'd like to know what you think:
- Would people use it, especially people who currently drive?
- How much do you think people would be prepared to pay?
- Would they be prepared to pay an annual up-front cost?
- Does it matter whether it's a key fob or a smartphone app?
- How important is it to cater for trikes, cargo bikes and trailers (early ones didn't)?
- Or do you think Havant would be better to just spend the money on lots more Sheffield stands?
PLease give us your thoughts at the bottom, or email Wilf9@forrow.com.