IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

£2-a-week a fair price for a bike hangar

08 March, 2019

Councillor Claudia Webbe at one of the £2-a-week bike hangars

• ISLINGTON Council is committed to supporting more people to walk and cycle safely in our borough.

Alongside the transformation of key parts of the borough’s transport network – including the removal of Archway, Highbury Corner and Old Street roundabouts, replacing them with safer pedestrian and cyclist-friendly public spaces – we are installing at least 100 more on-street secure bike hangars each year, and will have space for more than 700 bikes in hangars by the end of March this year.

Importantly, we are also making more free secure cycle storage (including bike hangars) available on council estates, supporting more low-income residents to take up cycling. This is in addition to the existing 6,400 free-to-use cycle parking spaces across the borough, and the existing 1,000 free-to-use secure cycle storage spaces on council estates.

Each on-street bike hangar costs the council around £2,850 to buy, plus there are costs for installation and maintenance. The council’s core national government funding has been cut by 70 per cent since 2010, and, unlike many other London boroughs, Islington does not receive any funding to pay for bike hangars.

Therefore, we think most people would agree that £2 per week is a fair price for a place in a secure and purpose-built on-street bike hangar. The charge is clearly not putting people off applying for a space in a bike hangar; in fact, 20 people join the now 2,000-strong waiting list each week.

What the Greens won’t tell you (Why is this the most expensive place to park a bike? March 1) is that, while criticising the cost of a space in an on-street bike hangar, they did not actually propose to change it in their amendment to the council budget.

Instead, their proposal was to hike parking charges for all residents by more than £100, including for carers who need a permit to visit the person they are providing support to.

The Labour council’s budget, which included proportionate increases to parking charges, also included the largest investment in new council homes for more than 30 years.

The budget will provide extra targeted support to keep young people safe, deliver additional support for homeless people and protect vital services, such as keeping all libraries open and maintaining care for older people.

I was proud to vote for this budget alongside my Labour colleagues. Disappointingly, once again this investment in making Islington a fairer place for all did not receive the support of the Green councillor.

CLLR CLAUDIA WEBBE
Labour executive member for environment and transport,
Islington Council

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