Cycle Parking and Park and Ride Sites

This article was published in 1999, in Newsletter 24.

One Campaign member recently investigated the cycle lockers at Newmarket Road Park and Ride site, and was told that there was a waiting list for them. This prompted me to find out more about the provision of cycle parking at each of the Cambridge sites.

Cycle lockers
Sheffield stands
Locker waiting list
Car spaces
Clifton Road
24 (48 spaces)
Cowley Road
5 (10 spaces)
Madingley Road
19 (38 spaces)
Newmarket Road

Cycle parking at Cambridge park and ride sites

Notes: Madingley Road’s cycle stands are all under cover. There is also one Grippa stand at this site. Clifton Road will soon be replaced by the new Babraham Road site, with 500 car spaces. Clifton Road’s Sheffield stands are at The Junction. The locker waiting list figures are for 5 May 1999.

At Madingley Road, one of the security guards says that only four of the lockers are used regularly, even though the keys to all 18 are taken. This means that another 14 people had good intentions, and paid their £5 key deposit, but now don’t use their locker. Meanwhile, 12 people are on the waiting list.

I do know that the councils are aware of this, and are considering how to resolve the problem. My suggestion would be to introduce a small charge for the lockers at Madingley Road, so that the facility is properly valued. WAGN have proved the concept, with their £2-per-week Premier Parking stands at Cambridge station. They have shown that enough regular users are willing to pay a small amount per week for the convenience of a guaranteed space and the increased security, and so WAGN are about to triple the number of these stands at the station.

Lockers give improved security over Sheffield stands, and have the added convenience that items such as panniers, waterproofs and lights can safely be left with the bike. Most of those who cycle from Park and Ride sites will be leaving bikes overnight, so the peace of mind lockers provide will probably make the difference between them using the site, or not.

When we asked whether lockers would be installed at the new Babraham Road site, we were told that the expense of architect-designed lockers could not be justified, and that the green-belt area was too environmentally sensitive to for off-the-shelf lockers. I understand that the Madingley Road lockers cost around £2,000 each.

What’s a shame about this is that it looks like future locker provision has been ruled out, largely on the basis that expensive architect-designed provision was made earlier – rather than looking for better alternatives.

Clare Macrae