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Residents in Southwark will soon be able to park and store their bikes securely thanks to an award-winning crowdsourcing project to create a cycle-friendly Southwark. Ground-breaking collaboration between Southwark Cyclists, Southwark Council and academics from the Open University highlighted the demand for secure residential bike parking in the Borough as the fear of theft is deterring some people from taking up cycling.

The collaboration between academics and Southwark Cyclists has lead Southwark Council to initiate a pilot project to trial five bike hangars – a compact, secure lockable pod that fits six bikes.  Residents are so keen on this idea that an additional three hangers have already been funded via the Council’s Cleaner, Greener, Safer programme and now over £31,000 has been allocated by the Council to investigate new types of bike parking, and further research into their use.

Last week, the bike parking project was recognised at the Open University’s Engaging Research Awards.  Peter Wood, a Postgraduate Researcher at The Open University and lead researcher on the project, commented, “We recognised the difficulties of storing bikes was a real issue for people without much space to bring bikes inside their house. We are delighted that this project has been highlighted as an example of how universities can contribute to society through collaborating with local communities and councils to address problems. I am convinced that by providing much needed bike parking, we will see an increase in cycling in the Borough.”

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