October 18, 2021
Active Travel
Cycle Storage Guides

Guide To Cycle Storage Building Regulations

By Jonathan Oldaker

What building regulations and planning guidance relate to bike parking and cycle storage?

Bicycle parking standards offer industry specific guidance on bike rack systems, spacing, and access. Examples include both the London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS Chapter 8) and the more recent Bicycle Association UK cycle parking standards.

Alongside these sit building regulations and guidelines. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) provides cycle storage criteria to meet their sustainable building certification.

Whether or not you’ve identified where your storage will be, the racks you’ll use, or your capacity capacity requirement, here’s a guide to cycle parking building regulations and planning guidance in the UK.

What are the planning requirements for cycle parking?

The BREEAM cycle storage guidelines offer basic requirements for buildings to achieve their sustainable building certification. Here’s a brief summary of the key guidelines:

BREEAM’s 2018 updated New Construction certification sets out the capacity requirement for different types of building:

  • Commercial office buildings: 1 space per 10 staff
  • Healthcare buildings: 1 space per 10 staff
  • Student residence and key worker accommodation: 1 space per 2 residents and 1 space per 10 staff

These cycling facilities need to be BREEAM compliant, which is outlined as:

  • Cycles can be secured within spaces in racks with overhead covering. The cycle racks are set in or fixed to a permanent structure (building or hardstanding) or alternatively, may be located in a locked structure fixed to, or part of, a permanent structure with appropriate surveillance
  • The distance between each cycle rack allows appropriate access to the cycle storage space for easy storage and access to bikes
  • The storage facility or entrance to the facility is in a prominent site location visible to potential users from either an occupied building or a main access to a building
  • The cycle storage facility has adequate lighting

Meeting these requirements is simple enough and should be taken as a minimum. But ensuring your cycle storage is durable, reliable, and most importantly user-friendly can go beyond box ticking and help improve your building and really encourage active travel.

The majority of BREEAM’s recommendations focus on covered parking with an adequate number of spaces. However, active travel facilities can do more than that to satisfy the growing appetite for better cycling facilities.

Shrewd building developers are realising this and aren’t just content to box tick, but are actively looking at what those cycling really need.

Cycle parking design guidance

Turvec keep a close eye on new design standards for cycle parking. It’s a constantly developing area, with myriad advice but little in the way of solid regulation.

Ultimately, we recognise that without enforcement, the onus is on the client and supplier to work together and make sure facilities are safe and usable for people cycling.

The guidance will be bespoke depending on the project requirements, but key design guidance for any site includes:

  • Two-tier systems require minimum 2600mm ceiling height
  • We recommend an aisle width of 1500mm for single tier racks and 1800-2000mm for two-tier systems
  • All two-tier racks must safe and tested have gas-assisted lifting systems, ideally third-party certified by bodies such as Fietsparkeur
  • Include variety of stands and racks to accommodate all cycles
  • A proportion of accessible cycle parking

Going the extra mile to future proof your building

Beyond the core requirements that ensure your cycle storage will serve residents or employees for years to come, there’s more you can do to encourage cycling and active travel.

Wayfinding and graphics are an immediate way to turn basements into environments that are ready to welcome people properly. The graphics will brighten the area and signage ensure visitors appreciate cycle parking isn’t an afterthought.

For external shelters, green sedum roofing helps boost environmental credentials, looks great from high rise buildings, and again proves the shelter is an integral part of the building.

Bike repair stations are a simple and cost-effective way to add to any active travel facility. They can be custom branded to display the building’s commitment to cycling and have many direct and practical benefits too, such as reducing abandoned bikes, therefore increasing actual capacity.

Making sure the facility as a whole acts to serve those choosing modes of active travel is the key factor in planning. This will be felt for years to come and ensures you will likely meet future cycle parking standards.

Even if building regulations are skeletal, get in touch with us to help figure out how to best meet your project’s individual needs.

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