Installing a bike shed or shelter on your school premises is a great way to encourage staff and students to cycle to school. Cycling is good for both individual health and the environment – so anything you can do to promote it is a positive step. There are a few things to consider when you’re reviewing options, however, so here is our guide to help you make the most of your new shelter.
The capacity of your bike shed refers to how many cycles you can store securely and safely. This will largely be informed by the size of your school as well as the location of your site – a good way of getting a rough idea of the capacity you need is to poll students and staff about how often they plan to cycle to school, and then adding a few more for a buffer.
Your cycle shelter needs to be located in a convenient and safe space – otherwise people will simply not use it. Make sure the shed is in a well-lit area, with appropriate pedestrian and cycle access and that it is close enough to classrooms/access points for people to make good use of it.
Your bike shelter will take up quite a lot of space, so make sure you have measured up accurately and you have enough flat, stable land available before you purchase. Best practice for installation is to put in concrete footings, so make sure the space you have is suitable for this.
A nice-looking, stylish shelter will attract more users than a more basic one. You can find shelters in a range of styles, shapes and colours, so you don’t have to be limited to the classic ‘roof and struts’ design.
Your new bike shed needs to be tough enough to stand up to strong winds and heavy rain, as well as the inevitable knocks and people leaning on it. The structure itself should be either metal or wood, while the roof and sides can be plastic, tempered glass, wood or metal, depending on your preference and budget. The actual bike park points should be steel, for security and stability. Any metal parts should be galvanised to ensure that they do not rust and any wood should be treated for use outdoors.
Whichever style of shelter you opt for, it will need some maintenance. This can vary greatly though, from a quick wash every now and again for a plastic canopy through to a full annual coat of paint or varnish, so think about how much time and money you want to commit to keeping your bike shelter in good condition.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk