Secure smartphone friendly bike park opened in Norwich city centre
- Credit: Archant
A new secure cycle park has been unveiled in Norwich city centre, in a bid to cut down on bike thefts and encourage more people to take to two wheels.
The park, just off Coburg Street, adjacent to the intu Chapelfield entrance, was launched on Thursday by Martin Schmierer, lord mayor of Norwich.
Managed and run by Sekura-Byk Ltd, it is a joint partnership between Norwich City Council, the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) and Norfolk Constabulary.
It will be accessible 24 hours a day, housing up to 32 bikes, and cost as little as £1 for 24 hours.
Chief inspector Lynne Cross said: 'While bicycle thefts continue to fall in Norwich, there have still been 358 in the last year and with the average value of a bike is £350 it means thousands of pounds worth of bicycles are being stolen in the city every year.
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'This new cycle park area will mean cyclists can travel into the city safe in the knowledge their property will be secure.'
She urged cyclists to also sign up to the Bike Register, a free online database which records ownership of bikes.
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Shireen Naghshineh, of Sekura-Byk, said the system had been around in older versions since 2006, and that previous use of it had seen sell-out success.
'This should motivate people to come with confidence into Norwich and park their bike and when they come back they know their bike is still here,' she said.
The system can be accessed by fob or smartphone, and allows users to pre-book a space.
Stefan Gurney, executive director at Norwich BID, said it would offer a more secure option for cyclists.
'Now bicycles are becoming more expensive, there are a lot of high-end products that people are very passionate about, especially those who use them for sport and for professional cycling, so they want a provision that represents the investment they have made.
'They want provision that's more than a D-lock on a street.'
Martin Schmierer, a Norwich city councillor and lord mayor of Norwich, said alternatives to cars were 'absolutely essential' for all cities, and that he hoped the new park would encourage cycling to become a bigger part of society, such as in many European countries.
To find out more, or to sign up, click here.