New on-street bike storage is set to be trialled in up to six Edinburgh streets to see if it helps encourage more people to use their bikes.

Residents groups and cyclists have already expressed an interest in working with the Council to improve cycle storage across the city. Talks will now take place to identify the best locations and types of storage for the pilot project.

Transport Convenor Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, who also chairs the Council’s Cycle Forum, said: “We already have a great track record in promoting cycling but this is one of the areas where we particularly want to do more. Making it easier for people to use bikes is important for reducing congestion, but it’s also a great way to keep fit and see the city from a different perspective.”

People living in tenements and other flats can sometimes find it difficult to store cycles because of issues to do with shared access and building or planning regulations. While householders may have options in their stairwell or garden, the Council’s support is required for on-street storage.

The storage will cost around £50,000 to install, with maintenance being managed by the Council’s neighbourhood teams, although residents will be asked to help with their operation. Councillors will discuss the proposal at the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment committee on Tuesday 21 February.

If approved, the Council expects that the work is likely to be completed in late 2012 and early 2013.

The Council has taken various steps to improve the city’s environment for cyclists:-

Surfaced and lit off-road paths

Built signal-controlled cycle crossings

Introduced 20mph limits on more than 50% of the city’s residential streets

Developed two major cycle schemes that are due to open in spring 2012: a ‘Quality Bike Corridor’ scheme between King’s Buildings and the city centre; and, a new ‘Family Network’ cycle route between Leith Links and Portobello Promenade

Bought safety mirrors which are to be given free to HGV drivers

Monitoring all serious accidents to help identify priorities for road safety works.

The capital funding for the project has been provided from this year’s budget. The Council has also made a commitment to spend a minimum of 5% of its transport budget on cycling for 2012/13, an increase of around 70% on 2011/12. This will help to develop a ‘Family Network’ of safe, signed, cycle routes across the city along with other improvements for cyclists.

Here is the report being produced to the meeting next Tuesday:-

Item 5.15 – 93496 on Street Residential Bike Parking – Final