Secure bike storage facilities needed in Limerick

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Eric Nelligan Aontú representative in Castletroy.

AONTÚ representative for Castletroy, Eric Nelligan, is calling for the installation of secure bicycle storage facilities in the city centre as well as the suburbs.

Mr Nelligan told the Limerick Post this week that a recent Aontú canvas in Castletroy received a number of requests for secure bicycle storage.

“There were many many negatives to the Covid lockdown, but one silver lining was the large increase in cycling by all sections of the community. Bike shops sold out of all types of one, two and three wheelers. People rediscovered the joys and endorphins associated with cycling,” he said.

“Early in the lockdown, with the sun shining and the roads practically empty, my family’s interest in cycling was reawakened, and we weren’t alone. Right across the city and suburbs the roads, cycle lanes and paths were full with cyclists.

A recent Aontú canvas in Castletroy received quite a number of requests for secure bicycle storage. As one person told me, ‘we know there are a huge amount of bike thefts, and a lack of secure bike parking means fewer people cycle’.

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“Many people also live in houses or apartments that do not have access to a shed, do not have a side access to a back garden. They have to carry bikes upstairs in duplexes or complexes not to mention having to bring a bike through the house. Far too many properties now are not bicycle friendly.”

Aontú now wants to see two distinct solutions, firstly, the construction of a solid, secure bike shed as a compulsory condition of planning for all new housing developments.

“The sheds are an absolute necessity as most developments now have mixed housing design types. The larger the development, the more sheds, each section of the development should have its own dedicated storage unit,” Mr Nelligan explained.

Secondly, when it comes to city storage units, Aontú propose that ‘BikeBunkers’ are installed on an on-street parking spot.

BikeBunkers are secure metal hangars where city dwellers can securely store their bicycles close to home. They have already been installed in a number of Dublin City locations and the initiative has proven to be very successful. The charge for keeping a bike in a bunker in Dublin is €100 per annum.

“Cycling in general is a win-win, you’re taking cars off the road, people are getting more exercise. Providing shelters is the least that can be done. Whether built by developers as part of planning or installed by Council with a reasonable fee to maintain a revenue stream. To me it’s a no-brainer, we provide car parking spaces, so there’s no reason not to provide bicycle parking spaces,” he concluded.