Bike hanger charges “too high”

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Bike hanger charges “too high”
Credit Julia Gregory

Cyclists said the price for parking bicycles in Islington is too high as the borough racks up its 500th lockable hangar.

Cycle Islington welcomed the milestone but said the cost is “inexcusable” and more than 3,300 people were on the waiting list in January for a space.

Campaigners said the council needs to keep pedalling to double the number of bike hangars to meet demand.

Cycle Islington campaign co-ordinator Eilidh Murray said: “Secure cycle hangars are great for our health and the planet because they make cycling an easy way to get from A to B. They’re especially needed in Islington where cycles don’t last five minutes locked to a lamppost and many people live in cramped flats with no space to safely store a bike.”

However she said campaigners are “puzzled” about the “massive cost” of renting a space.

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Ms Murray said: “At £107.25 a year plus deposit of £27.75, Islington residents must pay almost twice the London average and, in some cases, more than it costs to park a car.”

She said hangars need to be affordable to help reach net zero targets by 2030.

Islington’s charges compare with £8.40 a year in Ealing, which was slashed last year from a £72 annual fee and £40 in Westminster.

The issue of fitting more hangars is exercising councils in London as they try to encourage people to ditch their cars and use two wheels instead to help the battle to cut carbon.

Flat dwellers say it is hard to find space to store bikes and they are not allowed to keep them in corridors because of the all-important fire safety rules.

Last year the Clean Cities Campaign staged a #thisisawkward campaign with billboards highlighting some of the tight spots people use to store their bikes, including in the toilet.

Posters were displayed in Stroud Green Road as well as Camberwell.

Six bikes can fit in each on-street bike hangar and Islington council said it has now provided lockable spaces for 3,000 bikes, with another 2,500 bike parking spaces for free on its council estates and 2,000 stands on the streets. It said it is on track for another 1,200 on-street bike parking spaces by 2025.

Rowena Champion, the councillor responsible for the environment, air quality and transport said the extra hangars “are really important in our efforts to create a greener Islington, because they help make cycling a more convenient option for local people.”

She added: “We’re determined to make Islington a greener, more welcoming place for all, where local people have cleaner air to breathe, and making environmentally-friendly modes of travel easier is at the heart of achieving this.”

Cllr Champion said getting on your bike can help boost health and save cash.

“As well as being enjoyable, choosing to take more journeys on foot or by cycle can help you save money, lower your carbon footprint, and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of exercising regularly.”

Bike hangars first arrived in Islington in 2016 with a trial in Crayford Road in Tufnell Park and Hanley Road in Tollington which were both fully subscribed.

The council fitted another 18 in 2018 and demand grew.

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