05 October 2009

Bike Monopoly 20: Free Parking

A non-square, and a bit of a non-issue: bike parking is free anyway, isn't it? If there are no stands, there's usually some railing or drainpipe or silly art installation (right) that you can use...

So, perversely, we'll look at paid-for bike parking. For example, the London Bridge Cycle Park (right) is a secure bike parking facility under the arches by London Bridge station, next to (and fronted by) the laudable On Your Bike.

You can leave your bike in their locked, attended compound for £1.50 a day or £5 a week; there are changing facilities too, though no showers. One drawback is that it closes at 7.30pm, so you can't spend a spontaneous evening on the town without recovering your bike first - though that may change positively in the future.

Business is whelming rather than overwhelming so far, but the concept of paid-for, top-end bike parking with facilities (and showers...) is something we may well see more of.

Indeed, at the recent City Cycling Forum in the Guildhall, we learned about the Shower Club. This is a scheme in preparation to create kind of health-club-style bike facilities in the City, with showers and secure parking.

The future for such things may depend on commercial input. For both the Shower Club and the LBCP, the funding may depend on income from local businesses who buy up a slice of the facilities for the use of their employees. LBCP has a whole upper floor dedicated to local-company use, and that's looking a promising source of subsidy.

It would be great to see secure cycle parking and shower rooms (as well as onsite bike maintenance) becoming a recognised perk offered by the workplace. But then it'd be great to see that tenner I'm sure I had this morning, too.

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