New bicycle hangars will begin popping up around Richmond borough later this year, after bike thefts skyrocketed over lockdown, increasing the demand for more protection.
The green metal hangars were trialled by Richmond Council, in partnership with Cyclehoop, earlier this year, with 14 additional roads being considered for rollout.
The need for these hangars has become urgent with over 881 bicycle thefts reported to police over the last year.
Richmond cyclist James Selby explained how recently his friend’s bike was stolen from his front railing, despite being locked up and in full view of the street.
Selby said: “Many riders expect their locks to do the job in their absence, when in fact many fail the insurance industry standard of a ‘gold certified’ lock if your bike is worth over £1500.
“This is why I jumped at the chance to use the new hangers. I have one outside my home and it created a lot of space originally taken up by the bike in my own house.”
The removal of a visual temptation and the addition of a secure lock has made Selby more confident about storing his bike outside and he is not alone.
With over 440 requests, the council progressed the hangars to phase two of the trial to determine feasibility of permanent placements.
However, with only 14-20 hangars being chosen, cyclists will still need to take their own precautions should their street not make the shortlist.
Avid cyclist Anna Butler explained: “We just invested in a huge storage unit ourselves, and it’s one that the police will insure because the bike crime has gone up so much recently, as there’s such high demand for bikes.”
For those lucky residents who manage to get a hangar installed, the yearly subscription fee is £72, which some see as a small price for added security and space.
Residents can put forward requests for placements of the hangars from a possible 24 locations, and raise any concerns or give feedback to the council until 30 April.
Click here to see the proposed locations and respond to the consultation.