What Will the Planners Say?

Posted by chdot on July 19, 2007

Shackup shed
There are many reasons given for not cycling – traffic, safety, weather, hills. Two others that affect many people are theft and storage.

Sadly bikes get stolen, even ones locked securely to city centre railings. Thieves also target ‘student areas’. Some people who have bikes stolen, give up cycling.

Safe, secure storage is especially a problem in tenement areas. Ten years ago the Council won £15,000 in the Scottish Office Cycle Challenge to investigate the “design and installation of cycle storage systems for flatted developments”. This particular project didn’t actually happen.

Since then various possibilities have been looked at in tenement stairwells and back greens. Getting owners’ agreement is one stumbling block. Proposals for lockers in the street aren’t looked on favourably. Obviously streets are for parking cars and wheelie bins

Even plans for garden sheds in front gardens owned by ground floor flats have fallen foul of the City’s planners. Will the Shackup (pictured) fare any better? The key difference is that it is about half the height of a ‘proper’ shed. The main compartment is designed to hold four bikes and an end compartment has room for cycling or gardening items. A prototype was shown last year at the Reinventing the Bike Shed exhibition last year.

The idea comes from designer Wayne Hemingway’s company. Hemingway cycles and has also been involved in Urban Design in recent years, taking an interest in Home Zones. One current project is working with major house builder Wimpey on the Staiths South Bank development in Gateshead. Shackups will appear en masse in the back gardens there. Expect to see them flatpacked in B&Q later in the year – and then perhaps in Edinburgh’s front and back greens and gardens.

2 Responses to “What Will the Planners Say?”

  1. RJ said

    Tenement cycle storage is a nightmare, unless you’re childless owner-occupiers, in which case storage in the flat itself is an option.

    Clearly, different bits of the Council can’t communicate with each other, as what the Lord (not quite) giveth with the one hand, the Lord taketh away with the other.

    The main problem I can see with the Shackup is that it’s just as vulnerable to being broken into as an ordinary garden shed – and that’s certainly a problem in many parts of the city.

    Part of the problem too, in student areas anyway, is the apparently large proportion of bikes kept in communal areas that never appear to get used – ever – but just take up space.

    No easy answers, maybe.

  2. Lee said

    Granted there is a big problem with Edinburgh’s old tenement buildings, but what about new developments? This is the same as any other issue related to good sense, the environment and other such things; for as long as it is not mandatory, developers and council planners will not give 2 hoots.
    How many buildings have gone up in the city in just the last year, and how many take advantage of roof space for solar panels/solar water heating? How many are suitably insulated and how many contain energy efficiency meters and efficient electrical fittings? None.
    How many incorporate bike storage? None. In the new developments behind my house on Robertson Avenue people keep their bikes out on their balconies!!!
    It’s like nobody cares about the things we’re supposed to care most about – where and how we live.

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