60,000 are waiting for a cycle hangar space

All cyclists deserve a safe place to store their bike. Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to secure personal or shared bike storage within the perimeter of their home or on their doorstep.

When there are no other options, cycle hangars play a vital role in providing a secure parking solution in a convenient on-street location outside homes.

But what happens when there are no cycle hangars or spaces available? Cyclists then risk stolen bikes, safety and comfort by placing bikes in hallways, balconies and in rooms, or giving up on cycling altogether.

In a collaboration between Clean Cities and Stolen Ride cycle theft victims have highlighted the impact of theft, alongside a lack of secure cycle parking. With some stolen bikes from the @StolenRide community being seen on billboards around London in targeted locations.

Stolen bike billboard at Parsons Green in London.

Billboard at Parsons Green. Featuring a stolen bike from the @StolenRide community.

Research into cycle hangar spaces

New research led by the campaign group Clean Cities has highlighted that 60,200 individuals are waiting for a space in a cycle hangar across London. The provision of just 8,500 places since May 2022 leaves a shocking seven-person fight for each available space.

The failure to provide spaces is not equal across all London boroughs. In fact, Wandsworth, for example, plans to address less than one quarter of the existing waiting by 2026. Frustratingly, the research shows that Harrow, Bexley and Hillingdon have yet to provide any cycle parking.

On the positive side, Lambeth is leading the way with low cycle hangar costs for users and multi-million pound investment with 4,000 spaces on the way by 2026. Even coming up with innovative solutions, including converting old car garages into secure cycle parking on estates.
Stolen Ride supports this move, as all boroughs and planners need to ensure the most appropriate cycle parking plans are placed, noting that cycle hangars might not always be the best and most secure option.

Joe Twinn, a Lambeth resident, said: “I’m a long time cyclist and use my bike for work. I’ve had a lot of bikes stolen over the years, so right now I keep mine in my flat. I looked into some bike parking they had on my estate a few years ago – but I remember at the time they never seemed to have spaces free. Good to hear that Lambeth is stepping up now though!”

The new Clean Cities report was placed in front of the Mayor of London in November 2023. Responding to questions, Sadiq Khan said:

“There is nothing that is going to put off a cyclist/a new cyclist more than not having somewhere to store their bike” and that “TfL’s research suggests that nearly half of Londoners actively considering taking up cycling have nowhere secure to store a cycle at home.”

Clean Cities are urging the Mayor of London to allocate £35 million to support London boroughs in ending waiting lists.

Cycling numbers continue to grow in London, with Carlton Reid stating in Forbes that “the number of motorists has fallen by 64% since 1999, while the number of cyclists has increased by 386%.”

A lack of secure cycle parking and stolen bikes can and will quickly derail positive cycling numbers. Whilst £35 million might appear like a high request to the Mayor of London, it’s a very small amount compared to the widely documented health and economic benefits of cycling.

Stolen Ride is pleased to support Clean Cities and the campaign for more secure cycle parking. You can read the full report and recommendations on the Clean Cities website.