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8 Cycle Parking

8.1 Planning for Cycle Parking.

8.1.1 Basic Requirements.

8.1.2 User Requirements.

8.1.3 Demand and Capacity Requirements.

8.2 Location and Access.

8.2.1 On-Street Situations.

8.3 Detailed Design.

8.3.1 General Considerations.

8.3.2 Short-to Medium-Term Parking. Sheffield Stands. Wall Loops.

8.3.3 Medium-to Long-Term Parking. Cycle Stores. Cycle Lockers. Car Parks.

8.3.4 Traffic Signs.

List of Tables

Table 8.1: Parking design requirements by user type.

Table 8.2: Parking provision by land use.

List of Figures

Figure 8.1: Typical Sheffield Stand.

Figure 8.2: Wall loops.

Figure 8.3: Typical cycle store layout

Figure 8.4: Typical layout of a cycle locker scheme.

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8 Cycle Parking

8.1 Planning for Cycle Parking

As well as serving a functional purpose, the provision of carefully planned, well located and secure parking facilities helps promote cycle use by making bicycles a prominent part of the built environment. Well designed parking with sufficient capacity reduces the clutter of bicycles chained to railings, drainpipes and lighting columns, which can affect accessibility, especially for disabled people.

8.1.1 Basic Requirements

Parking facilities should be:

  • Convenient, visible, accessible, convenient and easy to use;
  • Safe and secure – facilities should be located in areas that are overlooked and lit;
  • Fit for purpose – the type and amount of cycle parking used should serve the needs of the users and the local land use;
  • Attractive – designs should be appropriate to the surrounding area and match other street furniture;
  • Coherent – cycle parking should sit within the context of a cycle route network connecting main origins and destinations. Cyclists having to dismount between a cycle route and parking is a deterrent; and
  • Well managed and well maintained – systems should be efficient to use, clean and free from damaged or abandoned bicycles.

8.1.2 User Requirements

When planning cycle parking, careful consideration must be given to the needs of those who are using the facility. Table 8.1 details the needs of typical users.

Table 8.1: Parking design requirements by user type


Parking period

Particular requirements

School children

Short, medium and long term

Appropriately sized stands, covered, in an area of surveillance (natural or otherwise), easy to use, and protected from pedestrian and vehicular traffic, within the school grounds.

Commuters/ employees

Medium term

Secure (ideally a locked compound), covered, in an area of surveillance (natural or otherwise) and near entrance or within building/ grounds.

Public transport users

Medium term

Secure (ideally a locked compound), covered, in an area of surveillance (natural or otherwise) and located as part of an interchange. Toilets, fresh water and wash facilities at the main terminals for touring cyclists.

Leisure and recreation

Short, medium and long term – dependant on destination.

Provision of extra space for trailer bike and luggage lockers. Protected from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.


Medium and long term

Secure (ideally a locked compound), covered, in an area of surveillance (natural or otherwise) in or adjacent to buildings.

General – local services and facilities (e.g. shops; GP surgeries etc)

Short term (potentially medium as well)

At regular intervals along shop frontages, easy to use, in an area of and with additional space for easy loading.

Mobility impaired users (disabled people, families, elderly)

Short, medium and long term – dependant on destination.

Provision of adequate space for ease of movement, in an area of natural surveillance, and protected from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Short Term <2 hours; Medium Term 2-12 hours; and Long Term >12 hours.

8.1.3 Demand and Capacity Requirements

To be successful cycle parking requires to be considered as part of the transportation aspects of development control and built into the early stages of development planning.

Table 8.2 provides recommended parking capacity for different types of land use. The capacities recommended should be considered as a guide only. This guidance is also relevant to retro-fitting parking capacity. The local situation should be considered to ensure sufficient parking is provided and that it can be extended in future. Consideration may be given to the following information sources in determining the level of cycle parking for a development (see also Chapter 2):

  • Counts and Surveys – cycle surveys that have assessed the provision of and demand for cycle parking;
  • Modal Split Data – provides a guide of cycling levels with an area;
  • Demographic Data – consideration of the catchment population of an area;
  • Latent demand – as a minimum, cycle parking provision should reflect targets for growth in cycling. These targets may be part of a Local Transport Strategy, Travel Plan or on-site assessment; and
  • Census Data – figures should always be adjusted to include any possible growth and for any journeys that may not have been captured by the Census.

Local Authorities may find it appropriate to develop their own cycle parking guidance or adopt the guidance provided here. Local Authority planning departments need to enforce their cycle parking guidelines to ensure all new developments provide appropriate cycle parking. Local Authorities should also assess any shortfall in provision associated with existing developments and make plans to address the situation There should be a climate of encouraging existing developments to retro-fit or extend cycle parking, as and when demand requires.

Table 8.2: Parking provision by land use



Minimum Cycle Parking Provision

Places of work

The Scottish Government - Victoria Quay

1 space per 15 staff

Business offices, Services

Staff: 1 Space per 400m2 GFA*

Visitors: 1 Space + 1 Space per 1000 m2 GFA

Light industry

Staff: 1 Space per 1000m2 GFA area

Visitors: 1 Space

General industry

Staff: 1 Space per 1000m2 GFA area

Visitors: 1 Space


Staff: 1 Space per 1600m2 GFA

Visitors: 1 Space + 1 Space per 6000 m2


Out of town

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Customers: 1 Space per 500m2 GFA

Town Centre or suburban

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 10 staff

Customers: 1 Space + 1 Space per 250m2 GFA


Nursery/ Primary

Staff: 1 Space per 10 staff

Pupils: 1 Space per 10 pupils aged 4 or over

Visitors: 2 Spaces at main entrance


Staff: 1 Space per 10 staff

Pupils: 1 Space per 5 pupils

Visitors: 2 Spaces at main entrance

Universities and colleges

Staff: 1 Space per 10 staff

Students: 1 Space per 3 students at busiest times

Visitors: 2 spaces at main entrances


Student flats/ Halls of residence

1 Space per dwelling

Visitors: At least 2 Spaces at main entrances


1 Space per dwelling

Visitors: 1 Space per 10 flats at main entrances



Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Customers: 1 Space per 10 bed spaces



(e.g. cinemas, theatres, etc)

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Customers: 1 Space + 1 Space per 10 visitors at peak time

Restaurants, cafes, pubs,

clubs, takeaways

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Customers: 1 Space + 1 Space per 100m2 PFA**

Sports centre

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 10 staff

Customers: 1 Space + 1 space per 10 visitors at peak time

Community facilities

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 10 staff

Visitors: 1 Space + 1 Space per 100m2 PFA



Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Visitors: 1 Space + 1 Space per 25 beds

Medical centres

Staff: 1 Space + 1 Space per 20 staff

Visitors: 1 Space per 2 consulting rooms


Bus, railway stations and ferry terminals

5 per hundred peak hour passengers

* GFA = Gross Floor Area

** PFA = Public Floor Area

8.2 Location and Access

It is recommended that parking facilities should be located:

  • As close as possible to the entrance of the establishment they are intended to serve;
  • Adjacent to cycle routes or the most direct point of access for cyclists; and
  • In an area naturally overlooked by the occupants of buildings or pedestrians, or with a suitable CCTV or other security arrangement.

Cycle stands placed in dark recesses, or at the rear of car parks, will not be attractive or secure. Cycle stands should be sympathetic to the wider environment to enhance their appearance.

In situations where the erection of a cycle stand may create a potential injury risk to other users, such as to children in a school playground, a physical barrier (such as a shelter) to separate the cycle stand from those at risk may be installed. As with any street furniture, it should be ensured that sharp corners and other hazards are designed out. Cycle stands should be designed and located to ensure that they do not represent a barrier to access for disabled people.

8.2.1 On-Street Situations

Consideration should be given to more favourable treatment of cycle parking over the parking of private car users. This can be achieved by replacing on-street car parking spaces with cycle parking stands and by ensuring stands are located more conveniently for amenities and entrances than car parking spaces.

The layout of cycle parking should consider carefully how users will access the facilities. A clear route to cycle stands, not blocked by parked vehicles or street furniture is important.

Legal requirements

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (Section 63) enables the provision of stands and racks for cycles in roads or elsewhere. This section also applies to roads which have been pedestrianised by an Order under Section 203 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Where there are existing waiting and loading restrictions in force, cycles, like other vehicles, may not be parked on the carriageway or the footway of a road. However an exemption may be included within the waiting and loading Order, or by additional Orders designating part of the road for cycle parking only.

8.3 Detailed Design

8.3.1 General Considerations

Ideally, a cycle parking facility should allow for the frame and both wheels to be locked to the fixture. A minimum of two points of contact is essential.

Parking facilities should aim to be:

  • Secure and vandal proof – good designs can encourage cyclists to use parking stands, and the opposite can be the case;
  • Located in a well lit area – essential for personal security when parking at night;
  • Easy to use – there should be adequate space in the parking area to facilitate easy manoeuvring without catching other bicycles as well as adequate provision of locking points in order to accommodate different types of bicycle;
  • Accessible – prominently located near entrances so as to encourage the maximum number of users; and
  • Durable – a robust design will minimise the whole life cost of cycle parking provision.

The following types of cycle stand are considered:

  • Sheffield stands;
  • Wall loops;
  • Cycle lockers; and
  • Cycle stores.

Cycle stands which only grip the cycle by a wheel (including butterfly racks and concrete slots) are not recommended as they offer only limited security, can cause a trip hazard to pedestrians and can damage wheel rims.

8.3.2 Short-to Medium-Term Parking

Generally Sheffield Stands and wall loops are recommended for short-to medium-term parking solutions. Sheffield Stands

Sheffield Stands are recommended for short-stay parking, and in secure areas they can be a cost-effective form of medium-to long-term parking. The stand provides good support to the cycle and allows the cyclist to secure both frame and wheels without risk of damage. Where necessary, a tapping rail is provided for visually impaired persons using a white cane at 200mm maximum above ground level (see Figure 8.1). This helps prevent people with visual impairments inadvertently colliding with the start of a line of stands.

Sheffield Stands

For short-and medium-stay parking it is good practice for the Sheffield Stands to be situated as close to the destination point as possible, in frequent, well signed, small groups within appropriately illuminated areas. The stands should be located so that they do not cause a hazard and should be coloured/ tonally contrasted to assist visually impaired people with tapping rails provided where necessary.

A typical Sheffield Stand layout, intended for full-size bicycles, is shown on Figure 8.1.

Figure 8.1: Typical Sheffield Stand

Figure 8.1: Typical Sheffield Stand

Stand ends should either be embedded in concrete, bolted to the ground or welded to parallel bars at ground level to form a ‘toast rack’ system. Adequate space should be provided at either end of the stand to enable cycles to be easily manoeuvred.

Sheffield Stands are extremely adaptable and can be designed and positioned to fit into the surrounding environment.

Note: All dimensions are in millimetres Wall Loops

Wall loops (or locking rings) are simple, relatively inexpensive and may be more appropriate than Sheffield Stands in areas where footway widths are restricted. Refer to Figure 8.2.

The disadvantage of wall loops is that a standard locking chain will not fit around both the cycle wheels and frame and the loop. For this reason they provide less security than Sheffield Stands. However, they can be a useful additional facility to supplement Sheffield Stands in areas heavily used by cyclists for short-term parking.

Figure 8.2: Wall loops

Figure 8.2: Wall loops

Note: All dimensions are in millimetres

8.3.3 Medium-to Long-Term Parking

Cycle lockers, locked cycle stores (compounds) or supervised areas within car parks are appropriate for medium-and long-term parking solutions. Cycle Stores

Cycle stores may be used to accommodate high levels of long-term cycle parking. They can either be under continuous supervision or have a shared key arrangement, where each cyclist has a key to the outer door.

Stands are provided internally to individually secure bicycles.

Figure 8.3: Typical cycle store layout

Figure 8.3: Typical cycle store layout Cycle Lockers

Well managed cycle lockers offer a secure parking facility, allowing accessories to be stored and providing weather protection (refer to Figure 8.3).

They are most appropriate in situations where regular users can take ownership of ‘their’ locker to ensure the locker is kept neat and tidy and locked at all times to prevent key copying and misuse.

Lockers may be operated by coin, token, credit card or key, or secured by a cycle lock and are commonly used at public transport interchanges. Advertising can be used to fund or support locker schemes, which may also ensure the lockers are placed in visible locations.

The main disadvantages with cycle lockers are that they are significantly more expensive than Sheffield Stands, take up space and may be visually intrusive. They are also unsuitable for occasional or short-term use. Adequate management arrangements need to be in place to maximise the use of lockers, provide maintenance and reduce misuse.

Lockers are most effective as part of a large cycle store. At relatively small transport interchanges where users require flexibility in travel choice, the most effective parking facilities in this instance are covered Sheffield Stands, which suit both the occasional and regular user. However, lockers may also supplement this provision.

Figure 8.4: Typical layout of a cycle locker scheme

Figure 8.4: Typical layout of a cycle locker scheme Car Parks

Supervised provision within car parks is a common form of commuter cycle parking. It has the benefit of offering increased security but without the additional cost of installing lockers or stores and may make efficient use of areas within the car park that may not otherwise be used. Cycle parking must be clearly visible, located in a supervised area or with CCTV coverage. Safe, direct, attractive and comfortable cycle routes should lead straight to the cycle parking area. For new car park layouts, this should be integral to the design.

Provision in car parks

Where users generally belong to the same group, at places of employment for example, lockable and covered cycle stores with Sheffield Stands or double-decker racks can provide secure and high quality facilities. Cycle parking should be placed conveniently at the entrance to the building or office and with direct access to cycle routes.

8.3.4 Traffic Signs

Diagram Nos. 968 or 968.1 may be used to sign cycle parking. Direction signs, to Diagram Nos. 2603 and 2604, may be used to direct cyclists to cycle parking areas. The word ‘free’ may be included if appropriate.

Publication Date: 
Tue 21/Jun/2011
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