Cycle theft & cycle parking in Petersfield

This article was published in 2007, in Newsletter 74.

‘Pedal cycle theft was the most commonly occurring crime with 54 reported during the 2 months.’

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So states the Cambridge City East Neighbourhood Profile Update given to the East Area Committee in August 2007, a committee consisting of all the Councillors for the four wards constituting the eastern part of the city. This 54 reported thefts is 27% of the total 200 reported crimes in Petersfield ward.

The County Council’s new on-street parking policy guidance states that “the provision of cycle parking should form part of all parking proposals”, a policy we have long lobbied for.

But is it any wonder that there is so much cycle theft given the almost complete absence of places to park bikes securely, especially compared to the number of car parking spaces around the ward?

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New cycle parking was approved at Norfolk Street, and new parking has been installed at the junction of York Street and Ainsworth Street, but these helpful additions sadly barely scratch the the surface of what’s needed. A full programme across Petersfield (and indeed other wards) is needed.

The police report outlined some of the welcome actions they are taking, but notably absent was any suggestion of on-street cycle parking. Without secure bike facilities, thefts will not stop.

We have started to produce a dossier of locations where cycle parking could and should be provided. In three hours, two of us covered about a sixth of the ward, and took over 50 photographs of potential locations. We will be forwarding this to Councillors for their attention.

Car parking space is an assumed right in most streets. Why not also secure space for bicycle parking?
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There were 54 cycle thefts in two months in Petersfield alone. Is this any surprise given that most streets have no cycle parking stands?

In a related success for the Campaign, the guidance attached to the County Council’s new draft on-street parking policies at last requires that ‘the provision of cycle parking should form part of all parking proposals.’ This was ‘strongly’ endorsed by the Traffic Management Area Joint Committee in July. It is disappointing however, that the first Traffic Regulation Order for the car club proposals (which are otherwise extremely welcome) fails to adhere to this.

Martin Lucas-Smith

Wherever you look, the instinct to secure a parked bicyle to something solid is obvious
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Good cycle parking provision can fit more than 6 bicycles in a space less than that required by the average car
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