Safer cycle storage a big hit with residents

Posted on: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A series of secure street cycle pods installed across Newark town centre have proved a big hit with local residents, in a bid to prevent bike theft and improve public safety in the town.

In March, 22 cycle pods were installed as part of Newark’s Safer Streets project, which is being delivered by the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner, in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council.

A review of the cycle pods over the summer showed that all pods are being well used by local residents on a daily basis with the most popular days being a Thursday (market day) and Friday.  Each pod can hold two cycles, making a total of 44 secure spaces available with a further six new pods coming soon.

The pods were installed in locations including Chatham Court, the Morrison’s and Waitrose supermarkets, Baldertongate, St Marks Place and Queen’s Court.  Positioned outside shops and community facilities, the pods offer cyclists coming into the area additional protection and security for their bikes. The pods protect the front wheel within a casing, while the frame and rear wheel are secured using just a single lock.

Coddington resident Andy White said: “I use the bike storage every day when I cycle into town for work.  They are simple to use and conveniently located and mean that I can cycle down Beacon Hill into town and lock my bike up, probably even quicker than if I took the car!  Plus, I’m finding that the exercise really helps wake my brain up in the morning before work.  I’m glad to see them in the town centre and am pleased that more are yet to come.”

In a bid to reduce cycle theft, identify stolen bikes and assist in owner recovery, the Safer Streets project has included handing out GPS tracking devices worth more than £100 each to cyclists and free bike marking sessions have taken place throughout the year. The bike marking process involves a unique tamper proof code being marked on to the bike frame in a way that makes it impossible to remove. The code is registered on a database, with photos and owner details.

Local parent Sara Jones added: “I use the bike racks at the weekend when I take my oldest child into town to do some shopping.  We can easily lock our bikes up safely and can spend hours in town if we want knowing our bikes are being safely stored.  We’ve had our bikes marked as well but the secure lock up pods offer just that extra bit of reassurance.”

Councillor Keith Girling, Deputy Leader at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said, “It’s great to see the cycle pods are in regular use by our residents and alongside the other safer streets initiatives it demonstrates our commitment to being cleaner, safer and greener.  I welcome the installation of more cycle pods in our district over the coming years.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I am delighted local people are reaping the benefits of these new cycle pods, funded through the original Safer Streets project.  

“We know that a clean environment and additional security provision reduces the opportunity for crime. It also lessens the fear of crime and makes people feel better about where they live. The additional funding partners have committed to this project in 2021/22 and will ensure further cycle pods will be available in Newark in the very near future.” 

Inspector Charlotte Allardice, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We know that cycling is really popular in our area and understand that bike theft is a real concern for the community.

“It’s great to see that these cycle pods are having such a positive response to the people in the town and that they are being used so much a further six are going to be installed.

“Through our free bike marking initiative, the cycle pods and also giving out the GPS trackers we hope that cyclists can feel much more confident in locking their bikes up in the town and going about their day.”