Recently eleven bike metal hangars have landed in Salford at various locations* looking totally conspicuous on the street scene. They cost £37,000, from a Department of Transport Cycle City Ambition grant and the city has been chosen as a pilot scheme for Greater Manchester, run by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Salford City Council.
The hangars can hold six cycles and the idea is that residents who have little or no space to store their bikes can use these contraptions, which are the size of a small car. TfGM explains that the hangars offer "a secure solution to long-term cycle parking as well as an effective way to protect bikes from tough weather conditions, theft and vandalism".
Anyone wanting to use one of them will be charged a £25 key deposit and an annual fee of £20 per year for the first two years, going up to £40 per year thereafter.
"Bike parking at home is a crucially important factor in getting more people to ride" says Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Chris Boardman "If an everyday parking option is not convenient, secure and low-cost, they will simply decide it's too much hassle.
"Bike hangars are a fantastic addition to residential streets" he adds "I'm sure thousands of Greater Manchester residents would like one outside their house. I'll be following the Salford pilot with interest and I hope that the idea catches on across the city-region."
Councillor Roger Jones, Salford City Council's Executive Support for Transport also endorses the project... "The bike hangar scheme is a new way to make it possible for residents to own a bike who may not have the storage for it" he says "Feedback so far has been positive and we hope the trial is a huge success."
In the community, however, the hangars have met with mixed reactions. Today, on Gerald Road near the Cromwell roundabout, one resident just looked at the litter filled empty hangar taking up a parking space and told the Salford Star...
"It's in the middle of the road, it looks awful and I don't think a single person has used it. I can't believe this is what money is being spent on. Over £3,000 for a bit of steel is a bit shocking – it's money for old rope. I don't have a bike but this is exactly what's wrong with the country!
"There's something seriously wrong with the people making these decisions" he added "They should ask Andy Burnham to pay for it out of his wages...it's outrageous."
Meanwhile, Leona Sanders, a bike hangar member, is incredibly enthusiastic about the hangar near her apartment block...
"We live on the second floor and having to take our bikes up and down was a bit of a nightmare" she explains "So this scheme has been brilliant and has made a real difference to both of us.
"It's good value for money and straightforward to sign up" she adds "All we needed to do was fill in a survey, apply online and then after a few weeks, once the hangars had been installed, we received the keys in the post."
To sign up for the scheme or for further information – click here
*The hangars are in the following locations...
Silk Street - Irwell Riverside
Montonfields Road - Winton
Fir Street - Langworthy
Laburnum Street - Langworthy
Gerald Road - Irwell Riverside
Bolton Road - Claremont
Claremont Road - Claremont
Park Lane - Claremont
Winchester Road - Weaste and Seedley
Marie Street - Broughton
Vancouver Quay - Ordsall