Those bike hangars.

Let’s deal with two issues first – before we get into the nitty gritty of this report.

I have to admit l am a cyclist – so there is a bit of bias – and also, when it comes to discussing Bath’s new bike hangars, l keep calling them racks!

Apologies for both, as l have managed to have a chat with the B&NES councillor responsible for overseeing the appearance of such bike hangars on Bath streets and also for encouraging more of us to take to the saddle.

She’s Cllr Sarah Warren – the B&NES cabinet member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Travel.

These new bike lock-ups are aimed at those who have nowhere safe to secure their bikes. It’s a trial provision that will be reviewed but, there are residents who aren’t too happy to have these objects in their streets.

So let’s discuss the matter shall we?


  1. The Waltham Forest ones (B&NES have copied much of what they do) are £35 per annum. I have to say they also look much nicer.
    (Can’t copy my photo)
    I moved from there in 2017 & their ‘Mini Holland’ is now widely accepted and appreciated- there is still small but vocal opposition.

  2. I cannot believe that we cannot come up with a design which is more appropriate for our city. As residents we are tightly restricted as to what we can do with our own properties, however Bathnes is not held to account over their desecration of our public realm.
    The awful £7 million bollards, and now upturned tin cans for bicycles. Also they have been placed where they have the greatest visual impact. Since cyclists are charged to use them they do not need to be so obvious, as though intended for casual users.

  3. Whilst I am more than happy that cyclists have somewhere secure, and legal, to park their bicycles I have two objections to this solution :
    1. the placement of the hangers. Why exacerbate an already difficult parking situation in the city? Is that now Council policy, to make life as difficult for motorists as possible? There are plenty of pavement areas where they could be placed. Nobody else, apart from cafes with their ‘A’ boards and beggars, need to park on the pavement.
    2. the hangers are as ugly as they could possibly be. They detract enormously from the visual and architectural context of our Heritage city, despoiling it both for residents and for visitors. Why could they not, at least, have been made of metal gauze, or even the Perspex used in bus shelters. They make ideal canvasses for graffiti artists.
    3. They are yet another hazard on our roads, without reflectors or crumple zones or any other mitigating feature that would lessen harm in a collision.

  4. I fully support the encouragement of cycling in our City. However, these bike hangers are pretty ugly and not appropriate for a Conservation Area or a World Heritage Site. I am curious to know how their success will be measured. How will BANES ascertain whether the owners of the bikes have simply relocated them from elsewhere or genuinely acquired the bike as a direct result of this new storage being available? BANES will need to know the real net increase in bike usage in order to measure success. Let’s hope they’ve worked out how to do this.

  5. I would hope we all agree that cyclists need somewhere secure for their bikes as the bike theft rate could be a factor for people putting off what is a major purchase. However, as others have said, these are monstrosities and I find it hard to believe the councillors involved didn’t foresee this furore over their appearance. In terms of placement I hope some research was done to ensure they are where they are needed. It seems strange that it’s the same council who enforce draconian planning restraints on internal alterations to bring listed properties in line with even vaguely modern eco build standards who ruin the outward appearance of the city with millions of signs and these ugly objects.

  6. I am all for these bicycle hangars.
    However, I do think these hangars have been put in place with little thought and that they fail to reflect what the City of Bath represents.
    Take a look at the bicycle hangars used in London. (Unfortunately uploading photos cannot be made in the comment box)
    The hangars used in London are all branded with London Borough logos.
    AND – They have adjustable feet.
    It is clear from looking at the legs on the hangars in our city that they too can fit adjustable feet. Where are they?
    These feet would allow the bicycle hangar to be level on the road. I have seen that the pavement is being used to adjust the height in Bath!
    Surely the hangars in Bath should at the very least have City of Bath branding. There is also the opportunity to use these hangars creatively to better reflect Bath’s World Heritage Status.
    I fear that, (unlike London who keep these hangars clean and tidy). the ones used in Bath, which already look like they have been dropped into place with little thought, and very little civic pride, will look neglected in no time at all.

  7. Martin – the Waltham Forest ones have two disadvantages highlighted by Sarah in the interview. 1 – they have perforated sides, which allows rain to get in, allows theives to see what’s inside, and makes them easier to break into. 2 – the curved shape makes them more restrictive on height, which means you can’t fit bulkier bikes or bikes with child seats in them as easily.
    Sally – the council can’t “come up with a design” – these are bought “off-the-shelf” from companies that supply them. We’re not building them ourselves. (They are a trial, and obviously designing and manufacturing our own would be prohibitively expensive.) There are different designs available, but we also have to balance practicality against aesthetics. (As above, the ones which Martin is saying are more aesthetically pleasing have practical disadvantages.) We can debate whether or not they are more ‘ugly’ than, say, a transit van, or a fiat multipla, which could be parked in the same space. They were not, as a you suggest, placed where they have the greatest visual impact. The opposite in fact. The sites were selected to have the lowest visual impact, but still be near locations where there was identified demand. (And also meet other criteria like being on flat ground.) The main target market is people who live in flats and houses of multiple occupation where bike storage is difficult, so they need to be near those areas where there is demand otherwise there would be no point.
    I’m really pleased to have these introduced across the city. Given the number of HMOs and flats in the city, we need a lot more of them.
    (Mark Elliott – Ward Councillor for Lansdown and Cabinet Member for Resources.)

  8. Nowhere for homeless people to keep safe and dry but space for bikes to keep safe and dry ?? Priorities 🤷‍♀️

    1. Much better but pity about the yellow bike on the side. If you are a user you will know what they are.Cheapens the solution

  9. Interesting that these devices are regarded as ugly and monstrosities blighting a world heritage city, yet no mention of row upon row of parked vehicles which do exactly the same thing. Odd, that.

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