This report describes the findings from a survey of bicycle parking in Petersfield. It was undertaken in response to a request from Hampshire County Council (HCC) to assess the usage of cycle parking stands in the Town Centre. Three volunteers from the local community gave their time to count parked cycles at sites throughout the Town in March and June 2023, to prepare an audit of cycle parking facilities, and to write this report.
The Location and Quality of Public Cycle Parking Stands
This survey found public cycle parking stands at 34 locations throughout Petersfield which provide space to park up to 458 cycles. This includes stands at 14 sites in the Town Centre which provide space for up to 99 cycles. The location of each cycle parking facility is listed in Table 5, on Page 12, and recorded on maps which can be found towards the back of this report. Photographs of the stands are presented in an appendix.
The findings suggest that cycle users are likely to encounter difficulties with about 50% of the stands, because their cycle may topple, or access to a stand is obstructed, or it may not be possible to secure their cycle, or the site is likely to be regarded as insecure. Some of the cycle parking is in the wrong place.
There is little covered cycle parking in the Town, especially in the Town Centre. E-bikes are considerably more expensive than conventional cycles and they are more susceptible to damage from water ingress. The provision of covered cycle parking facilities would increase the likelihood that people will choose to cycle.
Provision Compared to Demand
The counts of parked cycles has provided a rough indication of provision compared to demand. The location with the highest count was the Station, but the number of cycles counted here was substantially lower than in 2018. The counts at the Taro Leisure Centre and the Community Centre each reached double figures on one day. In the Town Centre, the highest counts were found on the stands in the High Street outside the Dog’s Trust and against the railings outside Waitrose.
Cycle Parking at Schools and at the Employment Sites in Bedford Road
A count was undertaken at four schools in Petersfield. On the day of the count, about 6% of the pupils travelled by bike to one of the schools, but the figures for the other schools were lower than the Hampshire average (4% for ages between 4 to 16 years). Rates of child cycling in the UK compare poorly with the Netherlands, where about 50% of 12-17 years olds cycle to school.
A brief and informal cycle count was also undertaken at businesses premises in Bedford Road.
Recommendations have been provided within the report for the purpose of improving cycle parking facilities in our town. It is intended that these recommendations will be progressed with the help of councillors and local authority staff through a forum, which enables collaborative working between all tiers of local government, either through the Petersfield Strategy Group (PSG), or the Town Council's Town Development Committee.