Signing up to Cyclescheme is a key first step in being a cycle-friendly employer. Staff need bikes to ride to work; Cyclescheme makes them much more affordable. But it doesn’t end there. If your employees are to ride to work, they need somewhere safe to lock up their bikes when they get there. Railings and drainpipes aren’t good enough. Proper cycle parking is required. Quite apart from its practical use, it makes a statement: cyclists are welcome here
Installing cycle parking isn’t simply about altruism. Cycle commuting employees save you money. They don’t need expensive car parking spaces, which can cost over £2,000 per year each. Cycle commuters are healthier and take less time off sick – an average of two days a year fewer, saving you that much sick pay. Cycle commuters are also less likely to be late for work and tend to be more awake and more motivated when they arrive.
Compare that against the small cost of cycle parking. A single Sheffield stand – the classic rectangular hoop that provides parking for two bikes – can cost as little as £30 if you do the installation. Other solutions are more expensive but still excellent value on a per-bike-commuter basis.
How much parking does your company need? As a Cyclescheme provider, you’ll have a good idea: you know how many staff have taken advantage of the scheme! That’s your minimum (possibly divided by the number of work shifts). But it’s worth installing extra as there’s an element of ‘if you build it, they will come’. Whatever parking you provide, it needs to meet certain criteria.
- Convenient location. As close as possible to the main entrance. If it’s a long walk from the bike park into work, employees will use railings closer to the entrance or choose alternative transport.
- Visible. Well lit and in clear view of employees, the public, or CCTV, so that potential thieves can’t work uninterrupted.
- Secure. Each bike must be able to be locked through the frame to a secure anchor point, such as the bike stand, and/or be parked behind a locked door.
- Well designed. Any bike stand must support the bike without damaging it; avoid butterfly-shaped wheel-bender stands that hold the bike upright by its front wheel. The parking must be easy to use too.
- Covered. No cyclist likes leaving their bike to rust in the rain. A roof makes a big difference.
If there’s space available indoors you could reallocate some of that to cycle parking. The floor needs to be easy to keep clean. Ideally, the bikes won’t have to go through more than one door – to which the cyclists will need a key, key card, or door code. Any steps or stairs will need wheeling ramps. These look a bit like metal guttering and enable bikes to be pushed up and down steps rather than carried.
You could fit Sheffield stands in your company bike room; they can be bolted down rather than concreted in. Or you could provide wall mounts so bikes can be hung vertically by their wheels. Some lifting is involved with wall mounts, which makes them unsuitable for less able cyclists and difficult for those with heavy bikes, such as e-bikes. Wall mounts ideally need an anchor point so the bike can be locked in place.
Here are some standard options. As ever, there’s a good argument that you get what you pay for, so don’t be surprised to be quoted more than the minimum price listed.
• Sheffield stands. Inexpensive and easy to use but with no inherent weather protection, Sheffield stands can be bought individually or in a ‘toast rack’ of several stands. To enable two bikes to be easily locked to each stand, ensure there’s a gap of a metre between each stand. Price: from around £30 each (ex VAT).
• Bike shelter. Typically there will be a polycarbonate roof supported by a metal frame, with the bikes parked at Sheffield stands underneath – which may or may not be included in the price. This is a much better solution than bare stands. Price: from around £750 (ex VAT) for a 10-bike shelter.
• Two-tier bike shelter. Same idea as above but the bikes fit on two levels, with the top rack sliding out and down for easier access. Fits twice as many bikes in the same footprint but is less user friendly and more expensive than a shelter with Sheffield stands. Price: from around £5,000 (ex VAT) for a 20-bike shelter.
• Bike compound. Not just roofed but fully enclosed, with a lockable door and bike stands inside. When choosing, don’t forget to factor in all necessary security measures and the bike stands themselves. Price: from around £5,000 (ex VAT) for a 20-bike compound.
• Bike lockers. Individual lockers, usually metal, for parking one bike either horizontally or vertically, with room to store equipment like a helmet. Excellent security and weather protection, but the most expensive per-bike parking option. Price: from around £650 each (ex VAT).
• Cycling parking specialists with vast ranges
• Specific cycle parking products
Green Roof Shelters - eco parking
Asgard – lockers and metal sheds
• Road/street furniture companies that also do cycle parking
Ready to add Cyclescheme as an employee benefit?
Don’t wait for staff to chance upon it. If you actively encourage Cyclescheme take-up, everyone’s a winner.
Cyclists from across Cyclescheme and the Blackhawk Network group undertook a momentous commute to celebrate Cycle to Work Day and raise money for a great cause.
Cycle to Work Day will be back on Thursday 8th August.