New cycle parking scheme coming to South Essex

Published Tuesday, 26th September 2017

Bicycle demonstrating heart rack

A new cycle parking scheme has been launched in South Essex to provide employers with free cycle parking stands.

The scheme is part of the Ideas in Motion South Essex Active Travel initiative led by Southend on Sea Borough Council and in partnership with Essex County Council and Thurrock Council following an award of £3.33million from the Department for Transport’s Access Fund.

The aim is to make it easier for people to access education, jobs and skills using healthy, physically active forms of travel such as walking and cycling. Additional benefits of the project include improving air quality, reducing carbon emissions, and alleviating traffic congestion.

Businesses, community groups and pretty much any employer with staff, visitors or customers who arrive by bike, are eligible to apply. To be eligible the organisation must be based in Southend, Thurrock, Castle Point, Rochford or Basildon and organisations can apply to have up to four cycle stands free of charge. Successful applicants are then responsible for installing the cycle parking on their premises in a location agreed with ParkThatBike.

As well as the classic Sheffield-type cycle stand; heart-shaped stands, wall-mounted rails, Plant Locks (a combined planter and bike rack) and free-standing “toast-racks” are also available.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Councillor, Tony Cox, representing South Essex Active Transport, said: “I am thrilled that we are able to offer local businesses and community groups, alongside Essex County and Thurrock Councils, the opportunity to change the local area’s approach to sustainable transport.

“Being able to access work and education is vitally important, and we are very committed to this programme, which will help boost the local economy and improve our carbon footprint.”

Targeting six local Growth Areas, the programme will increase active travel by tailoring packages of advice, support and promotion to each of these groups – enhancing their access to the 12,100 new jobs and 10,500 education and training opportunities available in South Essex over the next three years.”

Scheme co-ordinator Peter Andrews, from ParkThatBike, said: "Cycling is increasingly popular so it's important that employers provide good facilities.

“Proper cycle parking sends a strong message that an employer is doing its bit to promote cycling and to reduce its carbon footprint. It keeps workplaces safe and tidy and reduces the likelihood of bikes being stolen or damaged."

The cycle parking scheme is managed by ParkThatBike, a social enterprise.

To apply for free cycle parking visit the Park That Bike website or phone 01594 564 344 and ask for an application form.