Secure cycle parking

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.

Cycle Hub at Waltham Forest
Cycle Hub at Waltham Forest

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

About Wilf Forrow

I'm a retired IT consultant, and a touring and utility cyclist. I'm particularly interested in campaigning for better cycle infrastructure, and a member of Sustrans and Cycle Hayling, amongst others. I am fascinated by cycle technology, and especially folders.

7 thoughts on “Secure cycle parking

  1. A good idea I would have thought. Bike theft is a constant worry for people with decent bikes. It should enable any bike to use.

  2. The best bit of secure cycle parking for the visiting public, that I'm aware of in Havant Borough, is the covered cycle parking at the east end of the Hambledon Road shopping Centre in Waterlooville. (By the tunnel to go to the Old Centre.) It's in an elevation position so it's visible from a large part of the shopping centre, has good quality cycle securing points, and bikes usually stay dry. I'm not aware of any security monitoring, but I just don't know.

  3. A difficult one, but in order I think I need 1/something strong to which to lock my bike, 2/ideally somewhere under cover, 3/somewhere easy to access, 4/it must be free of charge. If yours is an e-bike take the computer with you. There's no point in someone trying to steal it if you do that. Roger.

  4. A brilliant idea. There is absolutely no secure bike parking in Havant. We have lost 2 locked bikes in Havant, one of which was left in the station 'cage'. The proposition that the room would have a 'Paid for' secured access would limit entry to genuine users. An annual fee of £30-40 sounds reasonable. I would imagine that it would be a win-win for the Meridian centre, which might gain from the passing footfall.
    David suggested that application for a space should include a photograph. The very act of sending a photo is another filter.

  5. I regularly use Havant for shopping and currently lock to one of the many Sheffield stands in the shopping precinct area. A cycle store on the north side of the Meridian is not the easiest of places to access, on the south side better but I would probably prefer the shop location and take a chance, especially if any substantial charge was involved..

  6. Not sure I would use it, as with most cycle shopping trips into Havant, I like to lock up my bike as close as possible to the shop I am visiting and usually I am there for only a short time minimising the theft risk. On some occasions if I have more than one shop to visit I move the bike to each location (even between Halfords and Tesco which both have Sheffield Stands). If HBC have money to spend on cycle lockups then I suggest more Sheffield stands at the Meridian Centre south entrance where there is only 2, both being in regular use. If HBC want to get more cyclists visiting Havant then the money would be better spent improving cycle routes such as the non existent one going past the Langstone Technology Park.
    As far as cycle commuters working in or near Havant, who need all day secure cycle lock ups, then I should be up to the employer to provide facilities at the workplace.

  7. 1) Have they worked well elsewhere?
    2) Can't comment on fob versus phone for others, but would prefer phone
    3) Agreed £30 doesn't seem much but to some people it is. Perhaps a quarterly charge would buffer it a bit. Pay as you go better.

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