Cyclists in York are set to benefit from the UK’s first ever city centre bicycle hub, which will provide secure parking for up to 100 bicycles while their owners go about their business.
The new facility, which should be open this autumn, will be housed in the disused Lendal Bridge electricity substation building, and has been made possible thanks to £270,000 in funding from York City Council as well as Cycling City cash from Cycling England.
It will be operated under a 30-year lease by Bike Rescue Project CIC, a charity which recycles bicycles and parts, and besides secure parking the building, which will be open six days a week, will have a sales area, workshop, café and washroom.
York City Council hopes that the initiative will encourage city centre employers to promote cycling to work to their staff as an alternative to using the car. In a report, the council says that the scheme “will help meet a growing need for a secure repository for residents and visitors’ cycles,” adding that “it should help lower the amount of cycle thefts in the city and encourage more people to visit the centre on their cycles in the knowledge that a secure facility is available.
“It will enable businesses to promote its use to their employees,” continues the report, and “cascading benefits would be a lowering of vehicle congestion and environmental impact through more people choosing to cycle,” the report adds.
The building will also house a washroom, a display and sales area, a repair workshop and a café area and will be open six days a week.
Bernie Cullen, director of Bike Rescue, told the York Press: “It’s great news that we now have the necessary funding and support in place to progress with this exciting project.
“It will be really beneficial to residents and visitors who want to travel to the city centre by bike.
“The secure parking will help reduce the fear of bike theft and will ease congestion and pollution in the city centre,” he added.
“It will be run by cyclists who understand what is needed to enable people to make stress-free and joyful journeys by bike,” Mr Cullen concluded.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.