30 Jun Investing in Bikes
In the past ten years cycling has gone from being a pastime to a viable mode of transport. In the nineties if you cycled to work you would have got a patronising pat on the head and some condescending clichés about how it is a “great thing you are doing”. Nowadays we get funding from the government and our employers in order to buy a top of the range bike so that we can cycle to work.
It is great how the mindset has changed in such a short period of time and I congratulate the last government on achieving that. However our employers and the public transport authorities have to catch up with the demand for Cycle Shelters. There simply aren’t enough Bike Sheds in the public realm.
Even in schools the problem is endemic – and they get government funding of over £5,000 to erect cycle shelters. This really is a problem that we have to address. It is superb that we have so many cyclists in the country – we are saving fuel and the environment, but we need the infrastructure. The more we invest in the infrastructure the more cyclists we will get – and that means that we will be going even further in helping the environment and lowering the risks to pedestrians and indeed other cyclists.
Think about how many train stations you visit that have very good car parking facilities – can you remember seeing any bike shelters? I can think of only a handful of train stations with such facilities. I must say though when we see new Park ‘n’ Ride terminals being built they often have excellent cycle shelters – but we need to reinvest in older, more used, facilities.
Long gone are the days when metal bars sticking out of the ground or even railings, will do as places for people to lock up their bikes. With people frequently spending around a thousand pounds on a bike, they will not chain it to a railing. We need to invest in suitable cycle shelters in our towns and cities. It will clear our roads, lower our emissions and decrease bicycle theft.
Schools, Local Authorities, and Government must recognise the importance of cycling infrastructure – in particular cycle shelters. It is about time that we invested in sustainable transport and cycling is about a sustainable as you can get.