Special new ‘bike boxes’ are being introduced in Lambeth to stop bike thieves in their tracks and help more people take up regular cycling.
The bike boxes are popular in cities in Holland but it is the first time they will be used in Lambeth.
The units will allow residents who have limited space indoors to store their bikes safely without fear of them being stolen. Hundreds of bikes are stolen across London each week. 23,748 bikes were reported stolen in London in 2009/10 but the true figure is believed to be higher because many thefts are not reported to the police.
Two bike boxes have been introduced to Bonnington Square in Oval and a further two have been installed on Crimsworth Road in Stockwell. The bike boxes have been placed on the street, in what is a UK first.
They have been installed by Lambeth Council with funding from Transport for London.
Residents who want to use them are given a key so the box can be securely locked once the bike is inside. They will pay £5 a month to hire a dedicated space. The boxes are far more effective at deterring bike thieves than when a bike is chained to railings outside.
Cllr Nigel Haselden, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport, and Strategic Planning said: “Many residents in flats are put off owning a bike because they worry about it being stolen and don’t have the room to store it safely inside at night. These new bike boxes solve that problem and I’m really pleased to see them being introduced in Lambeth. There is a huge demand for cycle parking in built up areas like Lambeth and by helping more people get into cycling we can cut pollution and congestion.”
The scheme is a trial and Lambeth Council is exploring whether more bike boxes could be introduced using external funding.
A London Cycle Campaign survey showed that theft was the biggest concern of cyclists after safety.
The council is installing the boxes using funding provided by Transport for London.