The project to offer residents on street secure parking for bikes is to expand. This scheme is provided by The City of Edinburgh Council at no cost owing to the involvement of Sustrans and the contractors.

There will be an additional 1200 spaces over the next two years, subject to funding, in response to increasing demand. Contractors Cyclehoop Ltd began installing covered bike storage containers around the city in January 2019, with the intention of providing and maintaining 180 units – equalling 1080 bike parking spaces – over their five-year contract.

By creating safe, accessible ground-level storage for bikes, particularly in tenemental areas, the scheme aims to encourage people to take up cycling as a convenient form of transport.

So far 108 units have been installed, which have an occupancy rate of around 91% (591 users) and 476 people on the waiting list for a space.

Requests have also been received for units at 206 new locations, with around 14 requests received every week.

Cllr Karen Doran at the “opening” of the first cycle storage by the Meadows in August 2020 PHOTO ©2021 The Edinburgh Reporter

As a result, the Transport and Environment Committee approved proposals to increase the scope of the contract with Cyclehoop to add an additional 50 locations (100 units) per year over the next two years to the programme, subject to match-funding by Sustrans. This would provide 1200 extra spaces – more than double the number currently being introduced.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said:“The demand for bike parking in Edinburgh demonstrates the increasing popularity of cycling, and the positive impact it can have on health, travel costs and the environment. I’m delighted that we’re now going to be able to double the secure cycle storage units being installed across the city, subject to funding.

“When this project was first approved, it aimed to resolve issues around theft and the storage of bikes in stairwells, in turn making cycling a more attractive, convenient way to travel. Over the past year we’ve seen so many people realising the benefits of cycling, and I hope this decision will encourage even more people to take it up.”

Cllr Karen Doran, Transport and Environment Vice Convener, said:“We know that living in a flat or small house can be a barrier to owning and storing a bike, which is why we began installing secure cycle storage in 2019. The take-up so far has been fantastic, and we’re constantly hearing from people who would like a unit in their neighbourhood. So it’s great that we’ll now be able to roll the scheme out further, in a fair and inclusive way.”

All new requests for bike parking are being recorded in a system set up to cross reference their locations against the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

This allows us to pay extra attention to requests for units in areas lower down the SIMD, helping to balance these with requests from more affluent areas of the city, where residents tend to be more engaged with Council projects.

Transport and Environment Committee first approved the introduction of secure cycle parking in 10 to 15 locations (20 to 30 units) per year, over a three-year period, in 2016, following a successful trial.

The scope of the scheme was doubled and accelerated to be completed over a two-year period in 2018. A five-year contract was subsequently awarded to Cyclehoop Ltd to supply, install and maintain the units. Cycle storage costs users £6 a month, in addition to an initial deposit and each container holds six spaces. 

Find out more about bike parking on the Council website.