A woman in Hove has persuaded the local council not to put a cycle hangar outside her home because it was “unattractive” – leading one councillor to observe that people opposed to them do not seem to have a problem with “Range Rovers that are half parked on the pavement.”
The Environment, Tansport and Sustainability Committee of Brighton & Hove City Council, which has been rolling out cycle hangars across the South Coast city, met on Tuesday evening to approve proposed locations for 11 new structures, including two on St Leonard’s Road in Hove, reports The Argus.
In a consultation last November, seven local residents requested the cycle storage unit, similar to the one shown above, but in more recent consultation on the draft the traffic regulation order enabling them to be installed, six of their neighbours objected.
Among those was Janet Goodlet, whose home is next two the planned site of one of the hangars on St Leonard’s Road.
She said: “How did the council officers take into account the negative and distressing impact a large unattractive structure like the cycle hangar would have on the unfortunate residents living in the house where it is to be located, bearing in mind that the resident will have absolutely no control over this immovable structure?”
She was supported by Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth who, with the backing of Labour councillors, called for the proposal for two cycle hangars to be located on the road to be withdrawn.
He insisted that people living there had access to front and back gardens where they could leave their bikes securely – although as a number of stories here on road.cc show, that is little deterrent to bike thieves across the country.
“I would expect bins and other non-beautiful items of street furniture to be located at the ends of roads when they’re not directly outside anybody’s house. In this instance, these locations have been shunned,” he said.
The council has no overall control, but is currently administered by the Green Party which has 20 of the 54 seats and regained control after the previous Labour administration collapsed in 2020.
One Green councillor, Jamie Lloyd, told the committee: “You do get pushback. You do get people who think these are going to be a huge imposition on their lives while seemingly ignoring the Range Rovers that are half parked on the pavement.
“What is a cycle hangar compared with a car parked on the pavement? People have requested this. They want somewhere safe to keep a bike.”
The committee decided not to go ahead with the two hangars, but approved nine others that will be located in five other streets across the city. Four other streets that had been earmarked for hangars will not now receive them, with the council exploring other potential locations.
As has happened in other places where similar on-street bike storage facilities The cycle hangars, of which there are now 60 across the city, have proved hugely popular with local cyclists and are running at near-capacity, with the council telling road.cc in recent days that all but one of the existing 360 spaces have been taken, and there is a waiting list of around 300 people who want a space.
However, they have proved very contentious issue, with accusations last week that one of the storage units – which have around the same footprint as an average car – had been deliberately sited to take up two car parking spaces.
The council said it would investigate the location of that cycle hangar on Norfolk Square after it was accused of “incompetence” and was engaged in a so-called “continuing war against motorists.”
The council confirmed to road.cc that it was “aware of concerns” but added that it was “delighted” at the overall response to the storage units, saying that “residents have wanted them for a long time.”
Councillor Steve Davis, who chairs the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We began with the installation of 20 in July and saw a 100 per cent take-up rate in just a few weeks.
"Since then we have installed 40 more, and all but one of the total of 360 spaces have now been snapped up. This means that 359 residents now have somewhere safe and secure to store their cycles.
“There are also around 300 people on waiting lists for spaces. We are currently looking at more hangar locations. We will have a total of 150 cycle hangars installed by spring of next year – that's 900 cycle spaces in total.
“We know that if we’re to get more people travelling actively and sustainably, we have to give them the right infrastructure,” he added. “Cycle hangars provide people who live in homes with little or no storage space an opportunity to store their bikes safely and securely.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.