9: Cycle Parking

Providing higher quality cycle routes for people to use is just part of the vision. When people arrive at their destination they need to be able to secure their bicycle. There are three areas within the city where bicycle parking is currently highly limited: at the railway station, in the city centre and in the retail area along Newmarket Road.

9.1 Railway Station Cycle Parking

There is a very severe shortage of cycle parking at the train station. The use of a bicycle to access the train station should be encouraged, along with walking and public transport, as it is the most sustainable method to travel to or from the station, an area that currently can be highly congested.

It is proposed that a phased plan to provide cycle parking for 40% of the people who arrive at the station every day. This would require a minimum of approximately 4,150 cycle parking spaces. The number of people using Cambridge station is increasing, and therefore this number will increase over time. For example, in 2007/08 there were 6.5m entries and exits from the station. In 2009/10 there were 7.6m entries and exits.

If this trend continues, passenger numbers in 2014 upwards could exceed 10m people, requiring 5,500 cycle parking spaces. If these spaces are not built, then Cambridge railway station would be progressively more unsustainable and unusable over time.

9.2 City Centre Cycle Parking

Cycle parking in the city centre is vital to the economic success of the business and retail economies. At the moment, cycle parking is in very short supply as evidenced by bicycles parked all over the streets. It is therefore essential, for the continued economic strength of Cambridge, that an additional large cycle parking structure is provided in the city centre. A cycle parking structure that can accommodate 1000 bicycles securely should be the minimum requirement.

There is concern about the possible loss of the Park Street cycle parking facility, as the car park building which houses it is reaching the end of its design life. It is proposed that if this were to be removed, then whatever replaces it must provide at least the cycle parking that is currently provided at this location.

The Grand Arcade cycle park is very successful. So much so that on a typical working day, or shopping day, the cycle park is over full. It is proposed that this facility needs to be extended, perhaps by reallocating some space away from the cycle shop back to the public cycle parking which was originally intended for the space. It is also proposed that additional cycle parking be found around the same location.

9.3 Cycle parking around the City

The Cycling Sorted website, set up as a partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council, the Campaign, and CycleStreets, has lead to hundreds of locations being identified where cycle parking is non-existent or where it needs to be upgraded.

A major programme to implement as many of these locations as possible needs to be undertaken. Only with this do we have any chance to deal with the massive level of cycle theft (currently over 10% of reported crime).

A target of 250 spaces per year should be the minimum. Even this will leave substantial shortages compared to the amount of car parking provision in the city.

The areas of terraced housing such as Romsey and Petersfield are in particularly desperate need of cycle parking. A single car parking space on each street should be removed, for each of the next five years, with the space being given over to secure, on-street cycle parking. This would redress the massive inequity issue, unblock pavements, reduce cycle theft, and would not cause too many car parking problems because of the high rate of resident turnover in the area.

9.4 Newmarket Road retail area

This is a case study of how cycle parking in a development has been poorly located. Where stores provide cycle parking near their entrance, for example B&Q, this cycle parking is well used. Where cycle parking is remotely provided, most bicycles are fly parked near the entrance to the stores. Therefore, a rolling programme of moving the cycle parking to immediately adjacent to the entrances of stores is needed.

The same issues can be seen in some other developments around the city