London Cycle Parking Survey 2021 results

Over 250 London cyclists, who actively use publicly accessible cycle parking facilities, took part in a flash 24 hour survey via the @StolenRide Instagram account.

The survey results paint a powerful picture. One that shows there needs to be an awful lot of work done to make cyclists feel safe parking their bikes in London. Safe against bicycle theft, but also safe on a personal level.

In a similar way to the Cycle Theft Survey of 2016, cyclists are shouting out for more cycle parking, especially with security and convenience in mind.

The results also make it clear that cyclists are not hearing about plans for new parking. At Stolen Ride we would welcome TfL and others to share details with us to directly communicate to the cycling community.

At the bottom of this page are anonymised quotes from some of the survey respondents, providing their thought-provoking views on cycle parking in London.

The survey results

The respondents were asked to think about the cycle parking (publicly accessible) they use most often, in London, when answering the following five questions:

1. Can you always find a parking space for your bike?

  • Yes 35% 35%
  • No 65% 65%

2. Do you feel the cycle parking has considered security?

Further explanation text was provided: This question considers the setup of the parking, for example if it has CCTV. 

  • Yes 9% 9%
  • No 91% 91%

3. How would you rate the security?

  • Good 5% 5%
  • Poor 95% 95%

4. Do you feel safe parking and collecting your bike? 

Further explanation text was provided: This question is focused towards your personal security/safety and how you feel.

  • Yes 23% 23%
  • No 77% 77%

5. Do you feel your bike is protected from damage?

Further explanation text was provided: This question is focused towards damage to your bike by other users, or the facility. 

  • Yes 5% 5%
  • No 95% 95%

The following two questions focused on their general experience to do with cycle parking in London:

6. Is cycle parking in London adequate for your needs? 

  • Yes 9% 9%
  • No 91% 91%

7. Do you feel informed about upcoming parking plans?

Further explanation text was provided: This question refers to seeing published (online/print) plans regarding new cycle parking.

  • Yes 4% 4%
  • No 96% 96%

8. Finally, the last question asked if the respondents wanted to share any comments about cycle parking in London. Some of the comments received are displayed below:

More please. Especially in Central London. Westminster & Chelsea are very lacking.

Too few and too dark, poorly lit, very few visible cameras. Always feel like I’ll be mugged.

Soho particularly bad. Cycle parking still feels like a council afterthought.

Theft of a bike locked up outside is an eventual inevitability.

Secure lockups are required.

More locations essential. Should be able to stop and park bike near destination.

It’s high risk unless you can access a lockable and restricted bike store.

We need more in more prominent locations and be hooked into local CCTV.

I genuinely have a ‘bad’ bike that I use if I have to leave it locked up. If that bike gets stolen, I won’t be sad.

You have CCTV in car parks, right? These bikes cost more and are worth more to the owner than cars.

I often don’t cycle/go to places if there isn’t anywhere to lock my bike and it isn’t outside longer than 5 min.

Those cycle stores on roads may as well not exist, you can never get a slot.

Cycling to work where they don’t offer safe bike storage leads to higher change of bike theft.

Not enough of it, not well thought out where it does exist, and nowhere near secure enough.

It’s only incrementally safer than just leaving your bike unlocked. It’s still a huge gamble.

I have given up on locking my bike. If I can’t take it inside, I don’t bring it.

Remove abandoned bikes promptly. Better lighting/ensure bicycle parking has good passive observation.

I personally avoid locking my bike up outside in London. Which limits my journeys by bike.

I would be willing to pay for secure parking similar to a secure car park.

More secure parking needed. Cost needs to be paid by local councils.

Once you get a bike that is above a certain value threshold you CANNOT lock it outside.

Needs to be more secure (for residential overnight parking).

Insecure structures.., easy target, no CCTV, theft is rife police don’t care.

Bike theft is rife. I’ve witnessed bikes being stripped of parts in broad daylight, but no one cares.

Parking is often in hidden areas – corners etc. So actually, gives thieves a better chance to steal.

A bin lorry reversed onto my bike chained to a bike rail. Had to replace a wheel.

Soho and city centre the worst for parking, you could walk for hours to find one.

It urgently needs to be looked into.

I got my bike stolen in Victoria station and I work for Deliveroo since then I’m scared.

More places like Peckham Rye parking. There needs to be more deterrent for thieves.

It’s not always the parking that’s the problem, but the lack of attention they get from the police.

It’s all well and good having cycle racks. But not if there’s no cameras pointing at them.

More lockers!

There is nowhere I would ever park/lock my rig and feel safe, nowhere!! There is nowhere.

Westminster is awful. If you ride to Soho, there is almost nowhere to park up.

Unless I have to, never do I leave my bike locked outside, or unattended in any way.

Make use of Santander Bikes vs taking your own bike. Safety > speed and comfort.

There needs to be much more dedicated, staffed parking facilities like in the Netherlands.

I never leave my bike unattended in London anymore.

It should just be safer.

I never leave my bike unattended for fear of theft which prevents me from doing certain things.

Cameras usually point at them, but then police don’t bother checking cameras anyway.

I never ever feel safe parking my bike outside. And I’m a community NHS worker so have to park on streets. Unless it’s inside a secured building, I’m never sure it’ll be there when I return.

I will not leave my main bike parked outside ever as bike theft is just too common. If I know I’m going to need to park my bike I will choose to take my other bike that is worth less.

Cycle parking needs to be taken to a new level with secure, free cycle parking in hubs in every borough. This could be subsidised by allowing companies to have space offering cycle repairs and maintenance, shops for bike parts and clothing etc. They need CCTV and staff at the entrances and exits to watch out for thieves.

I never park my bike outside – not worth the hundreds of pounds for a new bike. Secured lockers required for cycle parking – more protection from parked bikes being stolen.

Until recently I worked in/around Wandsworth southside shopping centre. It has three car parks – each in excess of 100 spaces, one is 7 levels. The comparison to bike parking, there may be 60 spaces for bikes… The gym I worked in asked me not to store (during the day) my bike on the premises.