Valet parking for bikes has arrived. Well, in central London, at least.
The Mayor of London’s walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman last weekcut the ribbon on Bike-Drop, a valet-style, conveniently located, safe and secure bike parking that is being branded as "more than just parking – it’s a lifestyle choice". It also means not having to lug that heavy lock around with you.
The idea, being rolled out initially in three central London locations, is intended to capitalise on the growing popularity of all things bike, not least the Government committing to invest over £225m in cycle lanes. But although cycling is anticipated to grow by 10 times, according to the project backers, there is also a downside: about one bike stolen every two minutes.
Hence Bike-Drop with its 500-plus spaces in central London and a simple booking system based around a contactless QR code, to make drop-offs and pick-ups an easy experience, the comapny said.
The group opened its Regent’s Street facility – actually at 56-60 Conduit Street – earlier this week at a press reception with bike brands Condor and Vanmoof also on hand to show off some of their wares.
Other sites include Oxford Circus and, soon, Great Portland Street, with the facilities open from Mon-Sun, 6am to 8pm. Users purchase a day, week or month pass, book slots, and receive texts when their bikes are ready to roll in the "Ride Out Bay". It costs £6.50 a day and includes e-charging and helmet storage, while the firm also plans to create individual pods for riders to smarten up in with "boutique soaps, luxury towels and even the facility for bike cleaning or servicing". Buying a package over longer periods saves money, with the three-month subscription working out at £3.25 a day.