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“Those are definitely middle aisle bike stands”: Cyclists raise security fears after discovering that new cycle stands at Aldi entrance can be lifted out of the ground

Work to fix the bike stands in place at the Leamington Spa supermarket was completed this morning, Aldi says

When supermarket chain Aldi opened its new store in Leamington Spa last September, local cyclists will have been pleased to learn that it came with brand new, covered cycle parking facilities, right outside the shop’s entrance.

However, earlier this week one resident noticed a fatal flaw in Aldi’s recently-installed Sheffield stands: they are easily lifted right out of the ground.

That particular defect, originally posted on a local Facebook group and shared on Twitter by Claire Lucas, has raised security concerns among cyclists using the supermarket, located at Leamington Shopping Park, and prompted criticism of Aldi’s approach to cyclists.

“Someone discovered that the new Aldi hadn’t actually secured their bike stands into the ground and they can just be lifted out,” wrote Claire.

> Bicycle racks in pub loading bays causing "unnecessary stress", businesses claim

“Cyclists are customers too, and retailers can and should do better,” added one Twitter user, while David joked that “those are definitely Aldi middle aisle bike stands”.

West Midlands walking and cycling commissioner Adam Tranter, who praised the facilities last year as an example of how it is “possible for supermarkets to do cycle parking right”, also expressed disappointment at the pick-up-and-go bike stands, writing: “Argh! And I had such high hopes.”

Aldi bike parking Leamington Spa (Adam Tranter)

What they’re supposed to look like (credit: Adam Tranter)

Opened at the end of September last year, the new Aldi in Leamington was designed to reduce carbon consumption, and features a ‘hard to recycle’ unit for shoppers as well as low temperature tarmac, solar panels, and electric vehicle charging points.

After raising the concerns of locals about the supermarket’s bike parking facilities, an Aldi spokesperson told road.cc that “the work to fix the bike stands in place was completed earlier this morning”.

The backlash over the removable bike stands isn’t the first time this month that Aldi has come in for criticism from cyclists.

> “It’s going to cause unspeakable damage”: Cycling campaign slams Aldi and council for putting cyclists and pedestrians in danger and “only thinking about drivers”

Last week, Norwich Cycling Campaign slammed the supermarket chain and Norfolk Council for opening a store in Longwater Retail Park which they argued could cause “unspeakable damage” due to its lack of safe cycling and pedestrian paths and crossings in place.

To cross over from Long Lane to William Frost Way, where the shop will open on 6 July, cyclists have to dismount and cross a 1.5-metre-wide footpath on the bridge over A47, next to a three-lane road with heavy traffic.

Derek Williams from the Norwich Cycling Campaign told road.cc: “The whole thing is really dangerous. There’s a school and a college nearby, this area is supposed to be a safe route for children and teenagers. But the council didn’t do any investigations, no public consultations.”

Even though a crossing on William Frost Way was agreed during the planning process, it is still absent just a week before the supermarket opens its doors, with Williams arguing that Aldi is “trying to avoid their obligation” to build it.

An Aldi spokesperson told road.cc: “We are looking forward to opening our new store on July 6, and are working with both the local authority and the developer of a local housing scheme to jointly deliver the new crossing on William Frost Way as soon as possible.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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7 comments

Avatar
John Pitcock | 10 months ago
0 likes

There's often racks that are designed to just hold and secure a wheel.

Avatar
NPlus1Bikelights replied to John Pitcock | 1 month ago
2 likes

The inventor of the wall mounted triangles needs to be shamed. They only take a standard bike and damage the rims. Also the wheel is secure but the bike is fair game to be removed and stolen.

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Ad Hynkel | 11 months ago
0 likes

At least they have made an attempt at that site. Nearest Lidl and Aldi to me have nowt at either of them. They both probably use the excuse that they are both sited in a trading estate so not their responsibility, it is the landlord's. Bike ends up getting chained to trolley bay... or if I am feeling grumpy/ it is raining, go to Morrisons instead as they have a covered stand.

Avatar
marmotte27 | 11 months ago
4 likes

"Work to fix the bike stands in place at the Leamington Spa supermarket was completed this morning, Aldi says"

Wonder what they did in so short a time... add a few bolts that can then be unscrewed by the thieves ?

For me bike racks have to be sealed into the ground, so basically the whole floor of that bike stand would have to be redone?

Avatar
headingley | 11 months ago
5 likes

Never ceases to amaze me how such a simple thing as installing cycle stands / security seems to be such a challenge - wrong type of stand, right kind of stand intalled badly etc etc. At least Leamington Aldi has 1) secure cycle parking (once fitted correctly !) and 2) it is covered. Locally to me Meanwood (Leeds) Aldi had secure covered cycle parking (Sheffield racks & fully enclosed) but then decided to turn it into a trolley park without any alternative provision for cysle parking.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to headingley | 11 months ago
2 likes

I'm guessing it's one part "motivation", one part familiar engineering pitfall.

People don't cycle for transport, so they've little understanding and less motivation.  They also think "but no-one cycles to the shops - waste of space / money."

"Simple" engineering often turns out to be really hard to do well.  Or maybe it's fairer to say it's really easy to screw up by getting a "detail" wrong .  Especially in the security domain (e.g. Lock Picking Lawyer for some examples...), and double for any human interface design.

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chrisonabike replied to chrisonabike | 11 months ago
0 likes

Having said that I have also found myself looking at "infra" in utter bafflement time and again.

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