Planning your cycle parking – Part 2: Who will use it?

Planning your cycle parking – Part 2: Who will use it?

When considering installing cycle parking it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option you find without doing much research. However no matter how cheap your shelter is, if no one uses it or it is too small to help everyone who needs it this can turn out to be a costly mistake.

In this blog series we have already looked at how the location can affect the success of your cycle parking initiative. Here are our tips on how to evaluate the potential users of your shelter and how this can affect what you will need to budget for.

Who will use the facilities?

Cycle Shelter Installed at Hanley Castle School in WorcesterWhen it comes to planning for your shelter it is important to involve everybody who wants to use the facilities in order to make sure the shelter caters to everyone’s needed.

A school assembly which has a quick show of hands may suffice, or a survey/questionnaire sent home with students can be an effective way to gauge how many will want to use a school cycle area. Or if you already have a School travel Plan this will have the information you need.

Similarly if it is for an office an email round to all staff with a shot questionnaire can work well, or a consultation with your employee representative committee (if you have one) is a good idea.

For more public areas you may be able to work out the amount of users from how many bikes are currently being left in that area. Or again a questionnaire left in the reception of the building that requires the parking can work, or perhaps try engaging with users via social media.

Evaluating how many people will use your shelter, helps you to create the exact size you need – like Hanley Castle School did, shown in the image above.

The important points to find out are:

  • How many people will use the cycle parking – this information may already exist if you have recently completed a School Travel Plan. Also check if your local authority has a minimum parking standard, if not it is a good idea to provide enough space for at least 10% of your pupils.
  • What age will the majority of users be – for youngsters “kiddy” racks which are smaller than the standard size are a good idea.
  • What time of day is it in use – this will help you find out if lighting would be needed
  • The location – Is a higher level of security needed (for example if it is situated in an open place which is frequented by members of the public, or an area where thefts of bikes have been reported before then a solution with higher security such as a lockable cycle compound may be the best option)
  • What level of access will they need, is it just in set times such as school times or will they require 24 hour access – if you are considering a lockable solution this will tell you whether a multi-access system such as a keypad or keycard entry system is needed to allow 24 hour unmonitored access. It may also be an idea t have a few stands outside a shelter for latecomers or visitors.

Once you have all this detail you should start to get an idea of what sort of cycle parking is needed. Other important points to consider are you budget, whether you can receive funding and the design, look and finish of the parking solution.

I shall be discussing how to assess these areas in future posts so check back soon!

Next week: Funding and your budget

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Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install commercial grade canopies, shade sails,
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healthcare and retail sectors and have extensive experience working with
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