Trial of two-tier racks at Cambridge station

This article was published in 2012, in Newsletter 102.

 Image as described adjacent

At long last new cycle parking racks have appeared at Cambridge station! At the beginning of May some of the Sheffield stands near the front of the station were removed and replaced by three different styles of two-tier racks. The three designs use different methods for getting bikes onto the upper tier, using counter-balances, strong springs or hydraulics to raise and lower the upper rack.

If they are acceptable they have the potential to vastly increase cycle parking capacity and will set the scene for cycle parking all over the place for years to come. It is expected that the new 3,000- space covered cycle-park which is to be built at the station will include two-tier racks, as well as, we hope, Sheffield stands for those whose bicycles will not fit onto the two-tier racks or who, for whatever reason, cannot or do not wish to use them.

There have been two-tier racks at some London stations and Edinburgh Waverley for several years. Has anyone any experience of them? We are keen to get users’ actual experiences, not assumptions. We do not know, for example, whether people will perceive the lower racks as easier to use and therefore preferable, or whether they will use the upper racks as they consider their bicycle will be safer up there. We have pressed for a ‘try the stands’ day to which people can be invited to come specially, without the stands being otherwise in use.

How was your parking experience?

The intention is to find out how well they work and how acceptable they are to users. Do give them a fair trial over a period and give us feedback (to

Some of the issues to be considered are:

  • How easy is it to get one’s bicycle onto the upper tier?
  • How easy are they to use by shorter/older/less fit people?
  • Can spaces be blocked by something wide/high on a lower rack?
  • Can you actually lock your frame to these?
  • What sort of bikes do not fit on the upper tier?

The Sheffield stands that were removed have been reinstalled near the new bus stops.

Monica Frisch