Providing safe place to leave bikes, lockers and showers for commuters

Work has begun on Manchester's flagship cycle parking 'hub' schemes, with the first to come into operation later this year.

Earlier this year we told you about the proposals for parking for up to 200 bicycles, changing facilities and lockers at the 30-storey City Tower in Piccadilly Gardens.

Another one, at Bury Interchange, is also under construction and will provide 50 parking spaces and lockers. Building is expected to be finished next month.

The City Tower facility will have a 200-bike park, with showers, toilets, changing areas and lockers big enough to store office clothes overnight. Transport bosses are currently speaking to retailers about an integrated shop and bike repair facility.

Transport for Greater Manchester's website invites commuters to "lock up your bike with confidence at one of our new purpose-built hubs.

"All the hubs are fully-enclosed with other security measures that include constant CCTV coverage and swipe-card entry.

"Some of our hubs will even guarantee members a parking place - so you can always be sure you'll be rewarded for choosing the bike to commute.

"They will all provide somewhere under cover to keep your bike safe, secure and dry while you're at work and some will have showers plus additional storage facilities for your gear."

The hubs will be protected by 24 hour CCTV and keycard entry systems, which could be similar to London's Oyster cards.

More are also in the pipeline in Ashton-under-Lyne, Rochdale, Sale, Stockport, Wigan and Oldham. Larger hubs are planned for Manchester city centre and MediaCity in Salford.

Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, told the Manchester Evening News: "A great deal of hard work has gone into developing these hubs, so I’m delighted we’re now starting to see work start on the ground.

"These hubs are a great symbol of our ambition to make real changes to the way people think about cycling to work. We want to encourage people to make it the norm, rather than the exception, and providing these facilities is a great stride towards that.

"These really are exciting times for cycling in Greater Manchester."



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.