Posted on: 10 August 2018    

School cycle parking.  Such a simple thing to provide - one would think.  Penny Gray recently presented at the 2WalkandCycle conference, and examined the lack of guidance in providing good cycle parking in schools. This has resulted in insufficient, poorly designed, inconveniently placed, poorly kept cycle parking in many schools. A situation that does not encourage cycling to school.

 School Cycle Parking 1

This was not always the case – in previous generations, cycling to school was the norm. Cycle parking was prominent and monitored and everybody used it. It was unheard of to be required to be shown where to park your bike. Cycle parking needs to brought back to the forefront of good design practice in schools.

Cycle parking should be placed in areas of high visibility - this is for security and convenience.  Locating cycle stands near the key entrances to the school and separate to the car parking, traffic areas is ideal.  The cycle racks should be located on solid ground like a concrete pad, rather than a grass area that can be problematic in the winter.  Other examples of good design practice are:

  • Making sure the bike stand can cater for a variety of bike shapes and sizes and can rest the bike at two points. Here we recommend the staple or Sheffield stand. The grid type bike stands commonly used by schools can buckle the wheels and cause difficulty for younger children to lift their bikes onto the stand. School Cycle Parking 2
  • Sheltered bike parking is preferred – although space can be a hindrance. A mix of sheltered and non-sheltered parking would encourage cycling when it is wet.
  • Secure bike parking should also be considered, especially in schools where children might not be able to afford locks for their bikes.  Secure bike parking can be controlled by the staff who lock it during the day and unlock it before school finishes. 

Clearly some formal guidance is needed. There is guidance for bike and fitness tracks which are becoming common place in schools, but none on the placement and installation of cycle parking. If we can encourage schools to provide cycle parking that is visible, convenient, easy to use and secure we will send a message to students and their families that cycling is encouraged and their bikes will be looked after.  Let’s dream big! Let’s allow that cycle parking out the front of the school, where everyone can see it. Let’s really celebrate the bike by giving students that cycle the best park in the school.

Blog written by Penny Gray, Senior Transportation Engineer, Abley

School Cycle Parking 3.PNG