So-called “bike-hangars” (corrugated metal sheds for the on-street storage of bikes) might soon be introduced to streets in the conservation area and throughout Brighton and Hove. If councillors on the Environment Transport and Sustainability have their way, these sheds will soon be adding to the unsightly clutter which already disfigures many areas of the City.
It is inevitable that these “hangars” will be as poorly maintained as the existing the on-street waste bins and will represent an additional target for unsightly tagging and graffiti. Councillors seem oblivious to guidance from the Department of Transport’s “Manual for Streets” which recommends the use of the “Sheffield stand” rather than a bike shed for the secure storage of bikes in the public realm. The stand, which is firmly bedded into the ground, consists of a thick steel tube bent into the shape of a square or round arch which allows the frame and both wheels to be simultaneously locked to it.
The stands are already in use at the Seven Dials roundabout where the stands’ stainless-steel finish can even be said to create an attractive feature. While the Sheffield stands are free to use there would be a charge for using the “bike hangars” and as is stated in the rental contract “Insurance is not included. You park you bike entirely at your own risk”. Whilst the security of “bike hangars” is not guaranteed, the impracticality of them certainly is, as each hangar would only accommodate six bikes and might be some distance from the user’s home.
Sheffield stands could secure twice as many bikes in the same space or could be placed at convenient intervals on each road. The petition which encouraged the councillors to take this idea further was poorly supported, so it is hard to understand why councillors did not see that bike-bins are a bonkers idea.