This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 42.
… there could be lockers available in the City Centre.
When cyclists talk about lockers they usually mean boxes where cycles can be locked in safely. But I’m talking about ordinary luggage lockers here. You know, the kind you see at swimming pools or used to find at railway stations.
Luggage lockers would be an excellent way to help people avoid using cars for shopping trips. Lion Yard car parkers already have the luxury of leaving their spare tyre and road atlas in the car. They can come back to it every now and again to dump the armfuls of Top Shop couture and M&S all-year-round strawberries they accumulate.
But we cyclists need to take our cagoules and lights with us because they are such precious objects that people want to steal them all the time. The one time you buy something unusually large is the day someone steals the bungee off your carrier that you forgot to take with you.
Bus passengers would also benefit. I sometimes wonder if the only reason bus-users have children is so they can have a buggy to wheel round to put their shopping under. A wheelie bag is oh so definitely un-cool these days.
The pessimist tendency will inevitably look for reasons why it can’t be done. Someone might sleep in them. Terrorists may put bombs in them. But the IRA is much less aggressive these days. And does Bin Laden really want to blow up the Cambridge Woolworth’s? Perhaps don’t put them right next to McDonald’s though.
But let’s be optimists for a change and look for ways it could be done. Save my aching arms and pannier strap marks across my hands. Maybe (ha!) they could even be free.