One of the big live blog hitters of late 2022 is already making a storming return to the charts in 2023...
Yep, that’s right, Brighton and Hove’s new bike hangars are back in the news!
As avid readers of the live blog will know, 60 hangars, one of which can house up to six bikes in a space that would otherwise be occupied by a single car, were first introduced in July as part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s plans to install 150 of the storage units across the city by spring 2023.
While Robert Davis, the co-chairman of the council’s environment, transport, and sustainability committee, said that the hangars have proved extremely popular and that residents “have wanted them for a long time”, they haven’t managed to avoid some pro-car, NIMBY controversy, however.
In November, we reported that one of the hangars, in Norfolk Square, caused outrage after eagle-eyed motorists noticed that it appeared to be straddling two car parking spaces, with one resident arguing that the unit’s positioning was either a result of “sheer incompetence or the continuing war by Brighton and Hove City Council against motorists”.
> “It’s absolute madness”: Brighton motorists claim cycle hangar is “deliberately” taking up two car parking spaces
A few days later, another resident took to the local press to declare that she does not want one of the “giant ugly objects” outside her house (as one councillor pointed out, she wasn’t referring to “Range Rovers that are half parked on the pavement”).
And now, after a well-earned Christmas break, the bike hangars are back making headlines – but this time, one resident has complained that cyclists aren’t able to access the units thanks to inconsiderate motorbike owners.
The anonymous local told the Argus that the council should do more to prevent motorbikes and mopeds blocking the bike hangar in Denmark Villas, Hove.
“They have introduced a cycle hangar there but the way that motorbike parks means it’s unusable,” the local said.
“It would appear that the council can’t do anything about it and remove the moped. I’m not a cyclist, I have seen people use the hangar but they’re not going to be able to get in to that hangar if the motorbike is in the way.
“Parking permits holders have to pay £175 a year for the privilege of parking, cyclists also pay for bike hangars but people on motorbikes can park where they like.
“We all have to pay. If a car parked on the pavement there, you are guaranteed it will be taken away or a ticket issued.
“It is out of order for motorbikes to park on the pavement. But you bother to put a cycle hangar in there and you allow a bike in front of it, it means the hangar is useless, it can’t be used. You’d think you would be able to penalise someone for obstructing the entrance to a cycle hangar.”
Responding to the complaint, a spokesperson for Brighton ad Hove City Council said that parking attendants do not have the power to penalise motorcyclists who park on pavements unless they are parked adjacent to double yellow lines, zig zags, or bus stops, but that one attendant did warn one motorbike owners against parking in front of the bike hangar.
“We’re obviously very disappointed that motorcyclists would choose to park their bikes in such an unreasonable manner,” the spokesperson said.
“In this instance one of our parking attendants actually met the motorcyclist and explained that they shouldn’t be parking there.
“We hope this will be the end of the matter. If it continues, we will report it to the police for their attention.
“We have been lobbying central government for powers to tackle pavement parking, similar to the powers that have existed in London since the 1970s. The Department for Transport carried out a consultation on providing these powers to councils outside London in November 2019.
“We have been told that the government has reviewed responses to this consultation and will be making an announcement about powers to tackle pavement parking for councils outside London in the near future.”