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Two hundred temporary cycle stands installed in Suffolk during Covid pandemic to encourage people to use bicycles could become permanent

Plans have been tabled for 200 temporary cycle stands introduced across the county during Covid-19 to be upgraded to permanent stations - with rental schemes, fob access and the ability to carry out minor repairs all possible additions.

Suffolk County Council used government cash during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to introduce 200 cycle stands in key town hotspots as part of measures to encourage people to use bicycles, and was able to test locations by moving them where needed.

As part of its phase two plan, the authority has confirmed it plans to provide high quality permanent parking bays for bicycles to encourage people to continue using their bikes going forward.

A temporary bike store on Ipswich Waterfront - one of 200 introduced across Suffolk during Covid-19. Picture: Jason Noble/LDRS
A temporary bike store on Ipswich Waterfront - one of 200 introduced across Suffolk during Covid-19. Picture: Jason Noble/LDRS

The plan says they will be enclosed structures with signs and lighting powered by sustainable means, and "would like to include as standard in these facilities basic cycle maintenance tools such as pumps, keys, etc, so people can carry out small scale running repairs".

The plan's timeline suggests public engagement on those plans will take place this summer, with installation beginning as soon as October or November.

Conservative cabinet member for strategic highways and transport at Suffolk County Council, Richard Smith, said: “If we can provide more high quality cycle storage, we can break down one of the key barriers that prevents more people from cycling regularly.

"We have provided over 200 temporary cycle stands as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic and we intend to install permanent cycle storage where there is most need and where there is most benefit in doing so.

"The intention is to provide cycle shelters in residential areas where there is a lack of alternative provision and in town centres to provide high quality cycle storage at either end of people’s journeys.

“We are exploring the possibility of a rental scheme whereby people can pay an annual fee to have fob access to cycle shelters, enhancing security and providing peace of mind for people who choose to cycle.

"A proportion of the county council’s Active Travel Fund allocation has been set aside to deliver the improvements, however, it is important that we focus our attention on schemes that achieve good value for money.”

The authority would not say how much the temporary stands cost or how much investment will be made in the new permanent storage facilities.

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