There are “shocking deficiencies” in cycling parking provision across six boroughs in west London, according to a new report.
The report by WestTrans surveyed 164 cycle parking locations at 71 new developments including residential, office and industrial sites.
Of these developments, there was no cycle parking provision at 12 sites while 40 provided less cycle parking spaces than was required, said the report.
WestTrans is a partnership between the boroughs of Ealing, Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow, which work with Transport for London to identify, develop and implement transport projects to the benefit of the sub-region.
The report found there was no cycle parking provision at 72 out of 164 cycle parking locations at the developments.
Only one location out of the 164 met the guidance standards for short-term parking. Nearly all locations failed to accommodate special cycles, such as cargo bikes or parent and child bikes, said the report. Initial evidence from site visits carried out by the WestTrans Travel Plan Monitoring Officer suggested that many sites were providing the right number of cycle parking spaces. However, the spaces were provided under conditions that make them inaccessible, unsafe, or in undesirable locations.
They were assessed on six elements to the site visits: their location; accessibility; space allocated for the cycle; stand type; security at the location; and maintenance. The cycling criteria were judged as either a ‘pass’, ‘tolerable’ or ‘fail’.
Anthony McNamara, senior coordinator at WestTrans, said: “We long suspected new developments were failing to provide proper cycle parking solutions for the occupants, whether they be residents or employees. So, we looked at 71 sites from a range of land uses and compared the cycle parking provision to their planning applications, he noted.
“The results are shocking. At best, developers generally don’t understand the basic principles of cycle parking; at worst they don’t see any value in it and therefore don’t bother to provide any parking.”
WestTrans is seeking to improve communication with developers to help them understand the importance of cycling. This could be achieved through Transport for London (TfL), Urban Design London (UDL) and London Cycling Campaign (LCC), said WestTrans.
It will urge all boroughs to adopt cycle parking guidance and include discussions on cycle parking in pre-application meetings so that good cycle parking is designed in from the outset.
Architects, developers and planners should be educated on the intricacies of cycle parking, said WestTrans. “It is critical that those designing cycle parking understand that cycle parking is a mix of six elements and that getting just one element wrong can result in unused spaces.”
The report said that monitoring of cycle facilities should
be incorporated into WestTran’s Travel Plan Monitoring Programme. This would ensure developments are inspected at an early stage, making it easier to rectify any problems before the developer leaves the site.
Enforcement action should be taken where sites provide poor facilities and refuse to effect improvements, said the report. “While it’s understood that enforcement teams are managing large workloads, it would, hopefully, only take a few instances for developers to learn that boroughs are serious about this issue.”
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