Saturday 11 June 2022

Park your bike for 70p per month


On 18 May, Ealing Council cabinet voted to reduce the price of cycle parking in cycle hangars from £6 per month (£72 per year) to 70p per month (£8.40 per year). It makes Ealing's hangar parking the cheapest in London. The council also pledged to install another 104 hangars to bring the total up to 150.*

If you would like to store your bike in an on-street locker, click here to request a cycle hangar.

For the first time it will be cheaper to park a bicycle on Ealing's roads than a car. It costs £50 per year to park a low-emission car in a controlled parking zone (CPZ). Before the price cut for bikes, a family of four wanting to store four bicycles would have paid £288 a year - over five times the price of parking a car. 

Despite the changes, long-term cycle parking on Ealing's roads still doesn't come close to the convenience of car parking. Car owners can park on the road from the day they buy their car, can park closer to home, and in a more secure location (see table below).

Around 1,000 people are waiting for a space in a bike hangar in Ealing. The promised hangars will provide 624 new parking spaces, so will fail to meet the current demand. In contrast, the mayor of Hackney has committed to deliver and end the waiting list for cycle hangers in Hackney during his Mayoral term, which means providing over 6,000 spaces.*

The main reason there are so few cycle parking spaces in Ealing, is that it costs the council a lot more to install a bike hangar than a car parking space. Costs include preparing technical drawings, carrying out a public consultation, and buying and installing the hangar. These can add up to between £3,000 and £3,500 per hangar.* By reducing the price it charges, Ealing is reducing the income it could invest in new hangars. In the long term, we would like to see a change in the law to make it cheaper and quicker for councils to install bike hangars on the street. We would also like to see the council provide spaces for all-ability cycles and cargo bikes that carry children.


The council's idea is to charge for bicycles based on the space they take up on the road. It's a good idea, however we think the council has got its sums wrong. Its calculations are based on 6 cycles per parking space. That's the number of bikes in a bike hangar. But a bike hangar is 2.578 m long; an Ealing parking bay is 5 m long. So almost twice the length. How many bikes can you get in a 5m  parking bay? The London Cycling Design Standards specify 1 metre between Sheffield stands, so a 5m space will hold 10 bikes.  If bikes were charged at the same rate as cars a cycle space would cost £5 per year. If car parking was charged at an equivalent rate as bikes, the cost of parking a low-emission car would rise from £50 to £84 per year.

Ealing's cycle hangar subsidy seems generous, but is small compared to the amount of money the council is prepared to forego to provide car parking. The market price of the cheapest commercial car parking spaces in Ealing is around £800 per year – see prices at Just Park, Your Parking Space, Park on my Drive etc. For a low-emission vehicle in a CPZ, the council is charging about £50 per year – considerably less than the market rate.


*"Deliver 104 bike hangers to deliver the commitment of at least 150. In addition, the cost of a Bike Hanger permit will reduce from £6 per month to 70 pence per month." Agenda Reports Pack, p.19 

*"Amazing to hear just now @PhilipGlanville commit to deliver and end the waiting list for cycle hangers in Hackney in his Mayoral term - 6,000 spaces!"

*"Kingston was awarded £70,000 for works to implement 120 cycle parking spaces of the bike hangar type" (£70,000 / 20 = £3,500) ..."Southwark was awarded £39,200 to deliver 13 cycle hangars on street." (£39,200 / 13 = £3015).

*A bike hangar holds 6 bikes and has a width of 2578mm.

*An Ealing parking bay is five metres long.