August 07, 2023
Active Travel
Cycle Storage Guides

What Makes a Good Cycle Parking Hub?

By Jonathan Oldaker

What exactly is a Cycle Hub? Well, at their core cycle hubs are a place for large numbers of cyclists to securely park their bike. 

But at their best, cycle hubs can be game changers. They can, or perhaps should, be secure, welcoming, essential, and even social places.

While the term ‘cycle hub’ is relatively fluid, and has come to encompass anything from a 20-space wooden shelter to a large glass enclosure, it can also be a multi-storied, staffed building.

Most commonly found within train stations and transport hubs – but sometimes within city centres, business parks, and public spaces – cycle hubs can help encourage and promote more active travel journeys.

By enabling secure and accessible cycle parking for all, we can unlock more of the benefits active travel can bring us. As put by Adam Tranter, Coventry’s active travel commissioner, “Cycle parking is genuinely a really important part of the puzzle.”

So firstly, what exactly is a cycle parking hub, and what makes for a good one?

As part of train stations and wider transport hubs

This year, we completed work for ScotRail’s new Stirling Station redevelopment project. Contracted by Luddon Construction, we produced design layouts and supplied and installed a toughened glass cycle hub with a 140 bicycle capacity, including accessible spaces for larger non-standard bikes.

It is a great example of how modern train stations are installing better quality cycle parking. Alongside better cycle lane access to stations, it is hoped that these facilities will encourage more people to cycle to the station instead of driving.

With the cycle hub being a focus of the train station development, it is clear that the message it to better integrate cycling and rail travel.

The newly updated Cycle-Rail Toolkit provides guidance for how train stations can achieve this goal. Within the document, a cycle hub is defined as:

“a place where various cycle facilities come together, such as cycle parking, cycle repair services, cycling information, and sometimes lockers and showers. Cycle hubs have become more common with the recent growth in cycling.”

The Cycle-Rail guidance goes on to suggest extras such as train departure boards, local cycling information and maps, and notice boards. These are all focused on turning a cycle hub into more than just a simple shed or shelter. Instead, focusing on community and active travel.

What’s more, a glass cycle hub like this one at Stirling is a modern, clean, and contemporary styled shelter which is in keeping with the redevelopment design as a whole. It not only helps put cycle parking front and centre with increased security, but more widely gives an uplift to the entire station area.


Cycle Hub at Ealing Broadway shopping centre, with repair facilities, folding bike lockers, and 24/7 CCTV monitoring

Emulating the Dutch success story

Focusing on a dedicated plan for supporting cycling is something which the Netherlands have somewhat perfected. Their success is built on people choosing to cycle and use train networks, with the University of Amsterdam showing 60% of the Dutch who combine their train trip with a bicycle trip do have a car available.

In the Netherlands, train stations such as Utrecht have multi-storey facilities where you’re able to cycle directly in, leaving you right beneath the train platform.

Many are staffed, with repair facilities and sometimes repair shops selling supplies, all included. Transport cards grant you easy access, and there will be a fleet of OV-Fiets bikes to rent for the next part of your journey.

This all points towards a welcoming, safe, and secure environment which ultimately has encouraged the modal shift from cars to the bike-train combination.

While we might be a way off that in the UK, what’s clear is that there is a need for greater ambition. The Dutch themselves continue to invest more in cycling infrastructure, with no sign of slowing down. There is a clear plan to account for ambitious growth in demand, rather than catering for the current modal share.

Taking cycle hubs to the next level

As more people choose to cycle, and the UK government looks to hit its ambitious target of 50% of all trips in towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030, cycle hubs can help play a major role in allowing the growth of active travel.

To turn what we would deem a cycle shelter into a ‘hub’, it is important to look at the facility as more than a shelter or canopy, and treat it as a building and destination.

All of our Cubic cycle hubs are CE marked and compliant with EN 1090. This is not only a mark of quality, but we can ensure all structures meet required safety regulations.

Starting with lighting and CCTV is an immediate way to improve security. Using toughened glass also helps with natural surveillance, plus provides a great way to brand the shelter for a more colourful, welcoming look.

Bike repair stations and pumps, water refill points, and vending machines are all simple to install options which require a small area and little maintenance.

Be sure to incorporate accessibility throughout the design process. That means including designated Sheffield stand spaces for non-standard bike types.

Notice boards with local cycling routes or community events help turn the space into a sociable place where people can chat and get to know each other. 

Ultimately, we think cycle hubs should provide a safe and secure place for you and your bicycle, while also providing a welcoming home for active travel.

Find more information about our cycle hub design here.

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