Cycle Parking


Edinburgh has a reasonable record on cycle routes and lanes – at least compared to other councils – but has been very remiss on parking. Yet who will cycle from A to B if there’s nowhere safe to keep your bike at B? – or even at A!!

In terms of onstreet bike parking, for local shops etc, the best case is along the Leith/Southside/Straiton Quality Bus Corridor, which was funded under the old government Public Transport Fund, and was funded as an integrated bus/cycle scheme. When this corridor was introduced there was an audit of bike parking needs and possibilities, and 100’s of Sheffield racks were then installed.

These are heavily used, greatly benefiting local shops. But apart from that one-off scheme, street bike parking gets far too little attention. For example while we in principle support the council in removal of much pedestrian guardrail, they refuse to recognise its major bike parking role, so now many shopping areas are denuded of convenient places to lock your bike.

Princes Street is the worst example, bringing continual complaint. Spokes has repeatedly raised this issue, including recently in our comments on the Parking Strategy [Spokes 93], the Local Plan, and the Local Transport Strategy ( – downloads), and we have urged members to do the same.

The finalised version of the Parking Strategy is still fairly disappointing in terms of bikes, but at least it does promise more attention to bike parking in shopping and other local centres. As a result, the Council is now beginning an audit of onstreet bike parking needs in local centres – including the City Centre. It is unclear whether anything will be done quickly on Princes St itself, in view of the major re-jig there for the tram in a year or two – but please do suggest it if it is important to you.

After all, Sheffield racks are fairly easy to install and remove; and even the side streets leading down to Princes Street would be a start. The Council has asked Spokes members to write or email with suggested locations for Sheffield racks in local centres and shopping streets – including the city centre. We urge you to do this. Please send your ideas to –

Caroline Burwell, City Development, Edinburgh Council, 1 Cockburn Street EH1 0BR.

Please copy your letter/email to Spokes.

As for domestic parking, the Council’s tenement parking experiment has taken several years to get not far. And while the Council tries to insist on bike parking in new flats, the need for time-consuming officer-attention too often means actual schemes have major flaws.

If you wish to comment on domestic, workplace or other parking issues in your letter, that would be useful, but please don’t miss this opportunity to improve onstreet parking – that should be the first point of your letter.

From SpokesWorker 9.10.06 PDF

2 Responses to “Cycle Parking”

  1. Kim said

    So what ever happened to all this cycle parking? One of the things that is stopping more people from cycling is Edinburgh is the lack of secure bicycle parking, you can read more of my thoughts on this issue here.

  2. I’m looking for commentary on the wisdom of using lampposts for parking/locking bicycles to in the Edinburgh area. Is this ill-advised or supported with caution etc. ?

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