Cycle parking in Lewes has been assessed (and found wanting!)
Sheila O’Sullivan, chair of Cycle Lewes, reports on its assessment of the state of cycle parking in Lewes and what needs to be done now to make cycling safer, more secure and accessible to all.
Cycle Lewes have been auditing existing cycle parking in Lewes. Our report was completed in late 2022 and submitted to Sustrans, the walking, wheeling and cycling charity which has been commissioned by Lewes District Council (LDC) to look at the potential for better cycling and walking provision in Lewes.
So what are the issues?
Some of the key problems (and some opportunities) that our work identified won’t be a surprise to many cyclists in Lewes. They include:
- Insufficient cycle parking
- Much existing parking is in the wrong place, such as in car parks or secluded areas. As a result, it is underused and often does not meet basic standards for security and avoiding damage to bikes
- Clarity is needed on who has responsibility or ownership for cycle parking outside various businesses/organisations, and what authority or persuasive powers the council has to influence this provision and/or remove abandoned bikes
- While Lewes’ historic centre, with narrow streets and pavements, creates additional barriers in finding space for street furniture there are still plenty of locations where small amounts of cycle parking could be added. If there is no possible off-street parking in locations needed then there is a strong case for on-street parking (i.e. using a parking space)
- There could also be opportunities for cost-sharing or sponsorship where parking benefits businesses. Some Lewes businesses recognise the value of the ‘Cycling Pound (£)’ and have told us they would like to see more cycle parking
- Terraced houses and many flats (i.e the majority of town centre housing) do not have anywhere to store bikes – some may be using street cycle stands for this.
- Secured covered bike hangars (used in other towns and cities like Brighton) could and should be provided to free up some space and encourage cycle ownership and use.
And what are the solutions?
To encourage and enabling more cycling in Lewes, we conclude that cycle parking in Lewes needs to:
- Be sited where cyclists need it (not where it is more convenient for our local councils to site e.g. a car park) – especially next to entrances of key service/destinations/employers, e.g. GP surgeries, playgrounds, supermarkets, community centres
- In busy, populated and well-lit places for extra security
- Meet UK standards (i.e featuring ‘Sheffield’ stands cemented to ground, with sufficient distances between) learn more here at https://www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/parkingstandard/ or https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120 .
- Take account of the parking needs of wider cargo bikes, trikes and those cycles we see around town carrying young children (which are rapidly growing in number in Lewes)
Cycle Lewes will be working on its own action plan in the next few months to progress some of these principles. We also look forward to discussing these points with LDC and Sustrans and exploring how we can all work together to delivery better, secure and accessible cycle parking across our town.
If you would like to comment on cycle parking in Lewes or get involved in Cycle Lewes’ work, get in touch and/or participate in our Facebook Social Chat Group https://www.facebook.com/CycleLewes or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
STOP PRESS: Cycle Lewes’ annual report is also now available. You can read it here.