Automated bicycle parking could soon be on a high street near you, with two high-security Dutch designs due to be sold in Britain.
Falco, who already supply bicycle parking to businesses and government, hope to bring the futuristic bike lockers, originally designed for Amsterdam, to the UK.
Providing extremely high security storage without the need for a lock, the VelowSpace and VelowMinck keep bikes out of sight of thieves and vandals, but are unmanned and remotely monitored.
Originally developed for the Dutch Railways OV Fiets cycle hire scheme. The VelowSpace is based on a carousel, in which 24 bikes are effectively parked in a ring with their front wheel in front.
The bicycles are clamped into a patented front wheel clamp system with a 3-point lock that guarantees a stable and upright position for the bicycle. The VelowSpace could be used both for rental bikes as shown below with OV Fiets, or personal bikes.
The VeloMinck automatically parks bicycles further out of sight on another level to the user. The cycle is picked up and transported to a secure storage space and retrieved as and when requested by the cyclist, as requested using a personal swipe card or bar code, as seen below:
We highlighted just how ambitious these cycle parking schemes can be earlier this year when we reported how Utrecht Centraal railway station in the Netherlands is to get the world's largest cycle parking facility, with space for 12,500 bicycles.
Final plans for the scheme for the eastern entrance to the station have now been approved, with the facility opening in two phases - the first in 2016, with final completion two years later.
It will sit beneath a new square, closed to motorised traffic and lined with shops and cafes, and comprises three levels of cycle parking. A video has been released showing a CGI simulation, including how cyclists will enter and exit the new installation.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.