CYCLE campaigners are calling for a rapid and wide-reaching programme of fitting safe cycle storage at flats.

New research from Cycling Scotland shows that those who live in flats are turned off owning bikes due to a lack to secure places to keep them.

Glasgow is believed to be the worst affected local authority as it has the highest percentage of flats as a proportion of residential properties at 72 per cent.

But the city is also only one of two - with Edinburgh - to be proactively providing cycle storage.

Cycle Scotland said the issue is particularly urgent given both the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis.  

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Kath Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland, said: "We know from research that a third of people in Scotland say not having somewhere to store a bike prevents them from cycling for everyday journeys, and this particularly affects those from lower socio-economic groups.

“As we face a cost-of-living crisis, it’s urgent that we do everything we can to make it easier for people to make affordable journeys – and a bike helps people to reach employment, education and essential services reliably and cheaply.

“Residents in high-rise buildings, tenement flats and apartment blocks cannot reasonably be expected to keep cycles within the property and the availability of suitable secure cycle storage nearby is often scarce."

Campaigners said that as fire safety policies are becoming more rigorously enforced in flats, the issue has come more to the fore as stairwells are being cleared of stored items.

Glasgow Times:

Of the 2.6 million residential properties in Scotland, just over 37 per cent are flats in tenements, high-rises and apartment blocks that have no private outdoor space for sheds or garages where people can safely store their bikes. 

Edinburgh sits at 65 per cent while Aberdeen is 55 per cent, and West Dunbartonshire and Dundee are both 51 per cent.

The Cycling Scotland report also found almost half of social housing residents in Scotland are unlikely to have somewhere suitable to store a bike. 

Retro-fitting cycle storage in residential areas is limited with only Edinburgh and Glasgow city councils implementing city-wide on-street bike-parking schemes. 

There is no requirement to provide residential cycle storage in national planning and transport policies, and little detail about minimum standards.

Minister for Active Travel, Patrick Harvie, added: "Where provision does exist, it’s important that it remains affordable and is inclusive to the needs of all.

"We’ve made some progress in this area, but we need to see much more and will look closely at the recommendations made by this report. 

"The Scottish Government is providing funding to local authorities and registered social landlords, delivered through the expertise of Cycling Scotland."

The Glasgow Times told recently how this funding is being used by Southside Housing Association for new cycle stores in Pollokshields and Cardonald with space for 99 bicycles.

READ MORE: New cycle storage for Glasgow's Southside

The report recommends strengthening national policy and guidance, including the development of minimum standards for residential cycle storage.

And it states local authorities should be required to include more detail about both the quantity and quality of cycle storage in new residential housing and to develop plans for retrofitting cycle storage in existing areas of high-density housing.

Kath added: “If we get the provision of safe and secure cycle storage right, it could have a transformative effect on the number of people cycling in Scotland. 

"We aim to work with the Scottish Government and partners at a national and local level, to make sure that everyone in our country has a safe and appropriate place to store their bikes.”