Wandsworth residents unhappy with proposed bike storage

Wandsworth residents have been left feeling disappointed after waiting more than two years for extra bike storage.

The council will install 666 more spaces for people to park their bikes, but residents have complained that they are only being placed in a select few areas. 

The vast majority of the proposed storage hangars are planned for streets in Battersea and Tooting, while just nine streets in Putney, Roehampton and Southfields will get extra spaces. 

This comes after 2020 saw a 20% increase in bike thefts in Wandsworth, which residents say could be combated with secure storage spaces.

Charles H., 50, who lives on Ackroydon Estate in Southfields, says he has been on the waiting list for over a year.

He wrote: “I [would] just like to see bike storage on all council estates if there is going to be equity in our society.”

Anthony Lau, founder of Cyclehoop, the company commissioned to build the new hangars, told South West Londoner that over 1,500 residents are waiting for bike spaces in Wandsworth.

Maps showing requests from residents in Putney, Southfields and Roehampton versus the Council’s proposed sites, Source: Fleur Anderson MP

Each Bikehangar, a cylindrical-like container with a locking door and space for six bikes, costs cyclists £72 per year. 

They are designed to protect bicycles from the elements and theft.

In neighbouring Lambeth, annual membership is subsidised and costs only £42. 

There are over 300 hangars compared with the 134 planned for Wandsworth.

There are currently only 23.

Putney resident Adrian James, 40, said that while he thinks everyone who cycles has been a victim of bike theft, he doesn’t know anyone who uses a Bikehangar as there are so few available spots.

Spaces are currently allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, which in theory could mean a resident with a garden and a car getting a spot over someone in a fourth-floor flat.

James has to store his bike in his hallway.

He wrote: “In an ideal world it would be great to be able to prioritise allocation/location. 

“However, the fact that Bikehangars are being installed at all is a major achievement.” 

111 Bikehangars are proposed for installation beginning at the end of the year, Source: Cyclehoop

Fleur Anderson, the MP for Putney, Southfields and Roehampton, said: “[The council has] been very, very slow, dragging their feet and not responding to public demand.

“There are many people who would be cycling if there was better storage, but I don’t think the council understands this.

“Wandsworth has declared a climate emergency but they’re not acting as if there’s a climate emergency.”

A public consultation about the exact locations of the hangars will start within the next week and will last for four weeks, though a spokesperson for the Council said they expect the vast majority of locations to proceed with installation. 

They wrote: “No on-street hangars were proposed for West Putney, Roehampton or West Hill because the small numbers of requests were spread out across too large an area for a hangar to be sensibly placed.”

Anderson said: “Putney residents are missing out on something they really need.

“The councillor should look again.

“It’s disappointing to me to say the least.”

Residents can recommend future Bikehangar locations on the Cyclehoop website.

Featured image: Credit to Cyclehoop.

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