Cycle parking is a key element of a cycle network

By Tony Russell,
someone locking up their bike

In recent years there have been a wide range of new designs for cycle parking available on the market. Many of these are well designed and allow cycle parking provision that suits its surroundings rather than a “one size fits all” approach.

However, others may compromise on ease of use or the degree of security offered. Nevertheless the standard “Sheffield” design of cycle stand remains the staple cost-effective recommendation.

Cycle parking is a key element of a cycle network and the provision of secure, well located cycle parking is essential if people are to be encouraged to cycle as a means of transport. By indicating to the public that cyclists are welcome, cycle parking facilities demonstrate to non-cyclists that cycling is a viable option.

Cycle parking should be prominent on the ground and the locations shown in any local information material.

Chapter 12: Cycle parking, from Sustrans' new Cycle Friendly Design Manual provides guidance on a number of important factors that must be taken into account:

  • location
  • design
  • installation
  • maintenance 
  • amount needed, including future growth
  • costs

Secure cycle storage at home is a major issue in many existing residential developments, and there are a range of innovative approaches for this, both within buildings and on the carriageway.

This is not an issue confined to the UK and there are established designs for example in The Netherlands that provide secure on street cycle parking in residential areas. Recently designs based on these have been made available in the UK and are proving very popular.

Where cycle parking is provided on the footway it should be located where it is unlikely to cause obstruction to pedestrians. An increasing number of local authorities are giving over road space to provide cycle parking, for example by the removal of parking bays.

This chapter also signposts more detailed guidance available for the design of cycle parking at workplaces, in residential developments and at stations.

Our guidance on cycle parking is part of a suite of technical design guidance being developed by Sustrans, which will be released on the website over the next few months. This and other chapters complement the Handbook for cycle-friendly design, which contains a concise illustrated compendium of technical guidance.

The first five chapters of Sustrans Cycle Friendly Design Manual are draft. We welcome feedback prior to updating them later in 2015. Please send any comments by the end of May 2015 to [email protected].

Find Sustrans’ Handbook for cycle friendly design and the five new chapters of our Design Manual.

Learn more about the accredited Technical Design courses Sustrans delivers, endorsed by The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.