Installing cycle parking for your employees is a win-win scenario. They get somewhere secure for their bikes, you save money.
If your employees choose to ride a bike to work, they need somewhere safe to store it when they arrive. 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. It’s also a major tick on Cycling UK’s Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation.
Installing cycle parking isn’t a waste of business cash, because employees commuting by bike actually save you money. They’ll no longer need those expensive car parking spaces, and cyclists tend to be healthier, taking less time off sick – an average of two days a year fewer. Cycle commuters are also less likely to be late for work and will be more awake and more motivated when they arrive.
Compare these benefits 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 provide excellent value on a per-bike-commuter basis.
How much cycle 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 to cope with future demand.
Whatever cycle 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 are more likely to choose alternative transport.
Visible. Well-lit and in clear view of other 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 that 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.
Compact folders require very little space. A Brompton or similar might fit under a desk, or several might fit in a cloakroom. Or how about a bank of folding bike lockers?
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
If you’re not already offering Cyclescheme as an employee benefit, register now.