If you want to encourage people to cycle to work, school, train stations or to make journeys and leave behind the car then having safe and secure places to leave their bikes is essential.
When planning what facilities you need and where to put them, make sure you don’t fall into any of these common pitfalls.
1 POOR POSITIONING
It might be tempting to ‘stick the cycle shelter round the back’ where it will be out of the way but if you can’t see it, you can’t see thieves either! Make sure it is positioned where it can be seen or install CCTV
2 STRENGTH OF FRAME
Cycle shelters are made from steel frames. Check that the shelter you have selected is 60mm x 60mm rather than 50mm x 50mm as this 10mm makes all the difference in the rigidity and strength of the shelter
3 NON GALVANISED
Make sure that every part of the shelter’s steel parts is galvanised. All steel parts need to be galvanised or you will be seriously compromising the lifespan of the shelter
4 POWDER COATING WILL PROTECT IT AGAINST RUST
The short answer is ‘no it won’t’. The base steel will need to be galvanised underneath any powder coating or the metal will rust underneath. It offers an additional layer of protection on top of galvanising. Without galvanising, however, any chip to the powder coating with expose metal that will rust.
5 FLIMSY CLADDING
For shelters and compounds there are many cladding options. You should be looking to specify at least a 5mm thickness of PETG cladding. Some cheaper options are only 3mm but this is flimsy and a shorter lifespan
6 UV PROTECTION
In this country we think about shelters protecting from the rain, but there also needs to be protection from the sun so PET G cladding should also have UV protection (which also adds strength to the cladding)
7 INADEQUATE INSTALLATION
Having the correct installation will ensure the shelter stays put, is not a danger and has a decent lifespan. Simply bolting a shelter onto tarmac will just create huge wind sail with disastrous consequences. Shelters and compounds should be set in concrete to ensure robust anchoring to the floor
8 MAINTENANCE COMMITMENT
There are lots of options on materials and finishes but you need to think about what maintenance you are willing or able to do. Wood cladding looks very contemporary and fits in well with specific environments but requires a high degree of maintenance and will start to weather almost immediately.
9 BESPOKE IS MORE EXPENSIVE
Don’t assume a bespoke design will be more expensive than an ‘off the shelf’ product. Getting something that fits your needs (and space) is important and it may not be more expensive#10
10 FUTURE PROOFING
We can’t predict all the changes the future will bring, but do consider what may be needed in the future. Are you planning to move premises or expand? What will initiatives to encourage cycling do to the number of bike parking spaces you will need? If you work with a cycle parking provider and let them know some of your future plans, they can make recommendations that can be extended, added to or even moved at a future date.
You can also future proof your shelters for additions such as lighting, CCTV or lockers. For example cable runs and draw cables can be installed making future lighting , CCTV or access control installations easier as there is already space build in for the necessary cabling.