We will soon be moving the bike park to a dedicated space outside the building next to our favourite bike workshop. Many of you have already been using the railings around here to park your bikes anyway, so you’ll be pleased to know that we’re getting over 100 spaces. Up to now, bikes had to be wheeled through the building to an outdoor section at the back. We’ve changed this because we have other plans for that space including a much-needed workshop and route setting area. I know that many cyclists are concerned about these changes. I use my bike to get here every day (that's me in the picture above), so I share these concerns too.
The main worry is that the front of the building will be less secure than the rear of the building. Because so many of our customers cycle here, this area is going to have constant traffic and being in a more prominent position, it won’t feel so isolated. Users will be discouraged from leaving their bikes overnight, so our bike park will stop feeling like a bike graveyard that attracts thieves. Finally we're going to make sure that it's properly lit and putting in CCTV too. Like I said, I use my bike daily, so I know how important it is to have a safe place to park it.
I think that there are benefits to moving the bike park. First, it will make checking in much more pleasant for both our regular users and new customers. No more having to balance your bike while you fish out your key fob or avoid the wet/muddy tires of the person queuing in front of you. Also, the centre can get very busy and it can sometimes be difficult to weave through the crowds standing along the lockers in the lower building.
Another benefit is that not bringing the bicycles into the building should dramatically improve the heat retention in the lower building during the winter months. Shorter queues, better use of the front lobby and not having the back door and stairwell doors constantly opening mean that the heat won’t escape. This is really important for us as we try to make the building as energy efficient as possible.
We are starting work now to prepare the ground for the bike racks. A thick rubber mesh layer will be placed on the ground to keep it from getting eroded and muddy. We expect that the new bike park should be open within the next few weeks.
It’s great to see that more and more Londoners are using their bicycles as a cheaper, convenient and more sustainable means of transport. I hope that the expanded, new facility will make it even easier for you to come in on your bicycle.