Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Morden Hall Cycle Stands

The National Trust have installed some new cycle stands at Morden Hall Park, by the snuff mill:

You'll notice two cyclists have elected to lock their bikes to the railings rather than the cycle stands. Two other bikes were chained up opposite the stands to the railing opposite when I took the picture. This is probably because the cycle stands appear poorly designed. They have a rather relaxed standard of security: there's a rather thin metal rod that's secured to the wooden post by two hex-head nuts, so it doesn't look like it would take someone with a degree in thievery from Robin Hood University to nick your ride. Additionally, the steel rod looks like it will take the paint off your top tube, and your bike is quite likely to fall over as the stand doesn't provide adequate support.

I don't like to be too hard on organizations like the National Trust. They exist in a car-dependent country and they can't change the nation's transport habits single-handed. But cycle parking isn't hard to get right, and this example looks like it's been designed by people who don't understand much about the subject.


  1. Why are people always trying to reinvent the wheel. It only takes parroting the solutions already in use to be successful...

  2. The trouble with the NT is that they really don't understand the concept of utility, or transport, cycling. They see cycling purely in terms of leisure - load your bikes on the roof of your X5, come out to the country and ride around in circles for an hour, then load them up again for the journey home. If they are never out of your sight, why lock them?

    I live right on the edge of Hindhead Common/Devil's Punchbowl, which is now a superb offroad and downhill biking environment, and about to become even better when the A3 tunnel opens and the old road which bisects the common closes, in late July.

    The tunnel and the road closure should provide excellent opportunities to promote wider cycle use, for example for the villages to connect with the local towns, shops, railway etc. Some new infrastructure is already going in but essentially it doesn't go anywhere, or connect anything, because the Highways Agency and NT have only considered it in leisure terms.

    It wouldn't take much to join the dots - mainly clearer signage and replacing one or two stiles/kissing gates with proper gates you can wheel a bike through - but I don't have very high hopes.

  3. @Paul M - thanks for drawing my attention to Hindhead - I was dimly aware of the A3 work having been caught out by a diversion last year but I didn't know they were digging the UK's biggest land tunnel...looks like that very rare thing, a road scheme that has some benefit to the environment! I might just come down and have a ride around! Shame they didn't have any money left from the £400M budget to fix the cycle routes.