LEICESTER’S city centre Bike Park will reopen on Monday (8 June) – and it will be free for all users.
The Bike Park, based at Town Hall Square, offers secure bike storage - with staff on site all day, seven days a week. It usually also offers secure lockers, showers and toilets, but these will not be available at the current time.
To avoid cash handling and due to the limited service available, the usual charges of up to £1 for a day’s parking are being waived. The Bike Park will offer a safe place for cyclists to leave their bikes, for free, while they visit the city centre – whether they want to leave their bike there all day, or just for a short time.
The Bike Park will be open from 8am-6.30pm Monday to Friday, 8.30am-6pm on Saturdays and from 10pm-4pm on Sundays.
To support social distancing, handover of bikes will take place at a gazebo outside the building, with a queuing system in place. Customers will be given a disposable ticket, which they will need to keep until they collect their bike.
Staff will also be following the Bike Shop Confederation’s procedures on handling of bikes, which include changing gloves before every transaction and wiping down bikes in a designated sanitisation area.
Members of the public won’t be allowed into the Bike Park building, to avoid the narrow ramp at the entrance, and staff will be observing social distancing.
Spaces are available for up to 200 bikes, but all must be collected by the end of the day.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “We’ve seen a surge in people cycling in their local neighbourhoods during the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re keen to build on this momentum. That’s why we’ve developed a covid-19 transport recovery plan that prioritises cycling, walking and people-friendly streets to allow people to move around our city easily and safely.”
The plan includes a commitment to create a mile every week of new cycling and walking routes, both by using pop-up temporary routes or bringing forward the completion date for longer-term, permanent infrastructure projects from the ongoing Connecting Leicester works.
Over the last few weeks, pop-up cycle tracks have been installed at Aylestone Road, Saffron Lane, London Road, Hinckley Road and Abbey Park Road. Pavement widening work on Belgrave’s Golden Mile and Queens Road has taken place to help maintain safe social distancing as businesses gradually reopen.
And the Leicester Bike Aid project has helped more than 400 key workers get around during the lockdown, by providing free bike loans or bike-fixes.
Cllr Clarke added: “As part of this long-term commitment to cycling and walking, we wanted to reopen the Bike Park as soon as possible so that visitors to the city centre know there is somewhere secure to leave their bike.
“As well as being safe and reliable, this service is now free. It means even more people can benefit from the advantages of cycling – which include healthier air, a heathier city and healthier citizens.”
Cyclists and walkers can also earn rewards by downloading the free BetterPoints app. Track your walks or rides on the app and you can earn points which you can redeem for high street vouchers, or donate to your favourite charity.
This month, you can earn double points for cycling in Leicester and Leicestershire – and there’s the chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher each month throughout the summer. Find out more by clicking on ‘get started’ at https://choosehowyoumove.betterpoints.uk/
More information about cycling in Leicester is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/cycling
Information on planning journeys, making smarter travel choices and getting around the city can be found at www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk