5 Asks #3: Bikehangars

We ask candidates to commit to installing on-street secure storage space for 300 bicycles each year until the waiting list is under 100 people. We further ask that the annual rent for a space should be similar to other inner London boroughs.

New bike storage units

Secure, on-street storage units for bicycles are often called Bikehangars. These have been multiplying in London over the last few years, helped along by hundreds of thousands of pounds of TfL money. Each bikehangar stores 6 bikes. Residents apply and, if space is available, they can get access by paying an annual fee and a key deposit. As at January 2018, here is a list of installed bikehangars from a sample of London boroughs:

 

Borough Hangars (spaces)
Hackney 327 (1962)
Southwark 200 (1200)
Lambeth 171 (1026)
Haringey 52 (312)
Camden 23 (138)
Islington 20 (120)*
Westminster 2 (12)

 

(* Not included in this number are secure spaces on council estates. However, these are only available to residents of the estate where the storage is placed, so they aren’t public.) But with a waiting list of over 600 residents, much more is needed. It’s time for Islington to catch up with our neighbours!

You can find out more about secure cycle storage in Islington on our Bikehangars page.

Cost to rent a space

Islington is charging £104 a year per space on the current crop of Asgard hangars, which is presently more expensive than any other London borough. The Council argues: ‘In order to advance and make greater progress on the roll-out of Bike Hangers in significant numbers on our public streets and highways we have announced our own scheme (managed and maintained in-house), and a business model that takes into account the long-term management and maintenance as well as sustained growth.’

Islington Council’s transport lead says ‘I do not believe that the relative cost of car parking permits to bikehangars is an appropriate comparison’. But we believe that bike owners deserve preferential, below-cost pricing, like electric vehicle (EV) owners enjoy. We recognise that bikehangars have a capital cost, but parking permit charges and bikehangar charges should be adjusted to nudge residents towards active travel that reduces air pollution and traffic congestion. Many residents who cycle do so because they are choosing to be healthy and to help their neighbours, their city and their planet. The Council’s policy on parking should recognise this and make the right choice the most financially attractive one.

Today, parking a small car in Islington is cheaper than a space in a bikehangar. Islington’s car parking permit charges are directly tied to the emissions of the vehicle, so the parking permit for an EV costs nothing and for a small car it is £95.75. And yet, low-emission cars don’t encourage active travel and they delay buses and create congestion just like any other four-wheeled vehicle. We applaud the principle of charging by emissions, but we want to see that principle extended to cycles which are emission-free.