UK Bike Parking Standards
77,148 bike thefts were reported to police across England and Wales across 2022/23. This equates to an incident every 7 minutes, while a recent survey found that 71% of bike theft victims didn’t bother to report it to police, meaning the overall figure is likely to be much higher. This data suggests the presence of secure, well-designed bike parking options can encourage more people to cycle, and, through appropriate designs and effective planning, combined with secure use by cyclists, reduce the likelihood of bike theft.
Providing cyclists with a designated parking area ensures that bikes are parked in an orderly and unobtrusive manner, playing a key role in improving cycling infrastructure as a whole, whether in public, commercial or residential settings. Bike parking is a valuable resource across a wide variety of sectors, and, as a commodity, its quality and appearance has progressed considerably over the years, in-line with the development of UK bike parking standards.
While there is currently no fixed national policy for bike parking in the UK, most new-build developments will require provisions for bike parking. Planning decision notices will typically include conditions for both the type and capacity of bike parking spaces required, while local councils will often have their own specific guidelines and standards for residential bike parking facilities.
Bike parking for developments will typically be long-term, with appropriate cover a corresponding requirement. Aiming to provide a capacity of bike parking spaces that exceeds initial demand will help to accommodate future requirements and restrict potential shortcomings.
Limitations on the available footprint are often a challenge, so determining whether the secure bike storage facility will be an internal or external installation will be informative in terms of determining specific spatial requirements or potential restrictions on operational height. These aspects can be particularly challenging in high-density developments, and while there is bike parking designed specifically to maximise space in these environments, such as semi-vertical or two-tier racking systems, prioritising aspects such as location and layout will help to maximise accessibility and ensure standards are met.
The Bicycle Association’s ‘Cycle Parking & Security Standards’ provides guidance intended to enable those installing and managing bike parking to identify installations which are:
The standard is intended to be applicable for public bike parking procurement within the UK, referring to bike parking used by the general public in any building or environment that encompasses high-traffic and interchange, operated by either the private or public sector. The minimum requirements for public bike parking in the UK fall under ‘Guidance’, ‘Absolute Requirements’, and ‘Context Specific Requirements.’
Appropriate designs should accommodate effective manoeuvrability of varying standard and non-standard bike forms, with ceiling heights considered if installing two-tier racks. Facilities should convey clear information to assist with access, secure use, and to provide intent.
Key Absolute Requirements
Minimum security requirements require separate locking of both the frame and wheels of the bike, and facilities must be capable of passing Secured by Design Level 2 testing, or Level 1 when located in a secured environment. Minimum requirements for spacing between individual Sheffield stands are 1000mm and 600mm to any walls or kerbs. Two rows of Sheffield stands should provide 2500mm of space between aisles. For two-tier racks, 2500mm of frontal space is required if the stands are installed at 90 degrees to the aisle, or 2000mm when installed at 45 degrees, alongside a minimum ceiling height of 2700mm for the upper tier.
Context Specific Requirements
Appropriate lighting must be provided to assist with access and the prevention of theft, with clear signage to provide information and assistance for users. For facilities with two-way bike access, 3000mm width must be provided, with a minimum 2000mm aisle width for access on foot.
Available as individual installations or incorporated into bike storage facilities to maximise capacity and provide cover from inclement weather, bike stands, racks and shelters enable short lead times, capacity format variations, and cost-effective value. Consulting industry specialists will help to provide expertise and advice on the most appropriate type of bike parking to meet specific project requirements.
As sustainability strategies and urban planning develops, the requirement for innovative, high-quality bike parking products is increasing. urbanspec advanced manufacturing of high volume bike parking products enables short lead times and capacity format variations, with all types available from stock as standalone or pre-configured to maximise capacity when incorporated into bike stores and shelters. In addition to standard product configurations, urbanspec integrated design and engineering methodology make bespoke bike shelter builds possible within proven design formats.
A substantial resource and knowledge base enables urbanspec to simplify specifications, utilising CAD models, NBS specifications and datasheets available for download. Supporting CPD programmes provide clarity on the optimal approach to aspects such as security considerations and effective space planning.