A new two-year, £2m fund is being launched by Cycling Scotland to meet increased demand for residential cycle parking and storage facilities.
The Residential Cycle Storage & Parking Fund, funded by Transport Scotland, will provide £2 million to local authorities to support the installation of secure bike parking facilities, making it easier for more people to choose an affordable and sustainable way to travel for everyday journeys – vital to meet Scotland’s Net Zero commitments.
Earlier this year, Cycling Scotland research found that more than one third of Scottish households were likely to be living in accommodation without access to safe and easily accessible cycle storage, with those from lower socio-economic groups most affected. Lack of storage is known to be a significant barrier to owning and using a bike.
The new fund will allow local authorities to access support and funding to install secure cycle storage for residents living in high-rise buildings, tenement flats and apartment blocks. Funding is to be provided by the Scottish Government’s active travel budget and managed by Cycling Scotland.
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said: “Through the launch of the new cycle storage fund, we’ll expand safe storage infrastructure across the country and make it easier for people to choose cycling.
“Cycling Scotland’s own research indicates just how much safe and secure cycling storage matters in deciding whether to own a bike and for opportunities to choose cycling. As part of our Programme for Government, we promised to bring forward funding this year to expand storage infrastructure – helping to build a more active nation where more people can choose cycling for those shorter everyday journeys.
“The storage that has been funded for Queens Cross Housing Association is a great example of partnership working to encourage cycling by making it easier to store a bike. Safe cycling infrastructure is equally important to help people leave the car in favour of active travel. To support this, we’re providing record funding this year and have committed to invest 10% of the transport budget on active travel by 2024/25.”
Paul Downie, Programme Manager of Cycling Scotland, said: “We’ve been working with several local authorities to increase access to essential, secure residential cycle storage and this fund will mean we can support even more people across Scotland.
“At Queen’s Crossing Housing Association, there’s now safe space for 96 bikes for residents. As well as Glasgow City Council, we’re in the early stages of working with Dundee, Inverclyde and North Lanarkshire Council.
“Improving fair access to secure cycle storage is essential if we’re to help more people travel by bike. Our research has shown real disparities in who has access to safe cycle storage across Scotland. This new fund will significantly help to address this, making cycling a more accessible option for everyone and reducing transport poverty, even more important during the current cost-of-living crisis.”
Shona Stephen, Chief Executive of QCHA, said: “It’s great to have so many cycle storage spaces for tenants. We’ve definitely seen an increase in cycle usage locally because there’s somewhere safe for people to store their bike and we couldn’t have done this without grant funding. Having them in place also contributes to our own local sustainability objectives.”
Michelle Mclean, a resident of Queen’s Cross Housing Association, said: “We use the store to park my son’s bike, it’s handy for where we live and it keeps them safe. The store also means less people are leaving bikes on the landings which is a health and safety risk. We have actually had a bike stolen before when we kept it chained up outside.”
Local authorities are encouraged to register expressions of interest in the funding with Cycling Scotland.
Cycling Scotland is currently working in partnership with several local authorities to deliver storage, including Glasgow City Council High Rise Cycle Storage fund, which will provide storage at 12 sites and benefit 1,530 households.
Expressions of interest in the Residential Cycle Storage and Parking Fund can be made now to Cycling Scotland, via: CyclingFriendly@cycling.scot
(Picture – Cycling Scotland)