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Published: 8th MAY 2024

Improving cycle storage for people on a low income

ߣߣƵ is delivering research, generously supported by Cyclehoop, to better understand home cycle storage for people on a low income or not in employment across the UK.

Bike stored on apartment balcony

60% of residents on a low income or not in employment think access to secure cycle storage at or near their home would help them to cycle more.

The ߣߣƵ , the biggest UK survey of walking, wheeling and cycling, found only 40% of residents on low incomes had access to a cycle.

This compared to 59% in professional occupations.

Importantly the Index found in 2021 that 70% of residents on a low income would find access to a cycle useful to start cycling.

While people on a low income are less likely to be able to afford the cost of a new cycle, it's not just cost that has been found to put people off getting a cycle.

Long-term considerations for people who want to cycle

Our research found that people do not just consider the upfront cost of a cycle but also have concerns over security and insurance in the long term.

60% of residents on a low income or not in employment think access to secure cycle storage at or near their home would help them to cycle more.

Recent research from found a third of Scottish households were likely to have no safe place to store their bikes.

46% of Scottish social housing residents have nowhere suitable to store a cycle.

The research suggested people living in high-rise buildings, tenement flats and apartment blocks were most likely to be affected.

Cycling Scotland also found that very few Scottish authorities were retrofitting cycle storage, with no requirement to provide residential cycle storage in national planning and transport policies.

Everyone should have access to safe and convenient cycle storage

ߣߣƵ believes all people should have access to cycle storage that is convenient, secure, safe, weatherproof and accessible.

However, people on a low income or not in employment are more likely to live in smaller homes, including flats.

A lack of space inside homes, no access to private outside space, and living in blocks of flats without step-free access from the street, all make cycle parking harder.

People on low incomes are also more likely to live in areas of multiple deprivation where crime is often higher.

This means that secure cycle storage access is vital.

New research to understand the barriers people face to safely storing their bikes

Overcoming cycle storage barriers is critical to increasing cycling levels amongst people on low incomes.

ߣߣƵ is therefore proud to be delivering research, supported by Cyclehoop, to better understand cycle storage provisions in the UK and the barriers that people face to safely storing their bikes.

This will include a UK-wide representative survey and focus groups to understand the scale of the problem, barriers to home cycle storage and potential solutions.

ߣߣƵ hopes to launch this research in July 2024.

Bike hangar cycle storage on a residential road in Dundee, Scotland.

Dundee City Council partnered with Cyclehoop to deliver a trial of 40 “Bikehangar” units. Photo: Brian Sweeney

Transforming cycle storage in Dundee

ٰܲԲ’ Walking and Cycling Index in 2021 found 53% of people in Dundee said secure cycle storage at home would help them cycle more.

This is especially pronounced for people in flats with little room to store a cycle, or who may not be able to use stairs.

Since then, Dundee City Council partnered with Cyclehoop to deliver a trial of 40 “Bikehangar” units, each capable of storing six cycles securely on the street nearby.

The Council also secured funding from Cycling Scotland to subsidise renting a space in the units down from £72 a year to £11.

Units are now located throughout Dundee with a focus on more deprived areas and housing types less likely to have good quality storage options.

The units have proven extremely popular, with several of them now at full capacity and requiring a waiting list for a space.

Read our blog on why secure cycle parking is vital to getting more people on bikes.

Take a look at our list of some of the best bike storage solutions.

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create innovative cycle parking and infrastructure. Their team cares about green mobility and is dedicated to making all kinds of places more cycle-friendly.

Their award-winning products are designed by cyclists, to encourage everyday people to make the switch and experience the health, social and environmental benefits of riding a bike.

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