A recent upgrade of the secure motorcycle – and push bike – parking in Newcastle’s Eldon Gardens car park is a great demonstration of what councils can do to help reduce crime.
Parking facilities were already in place at the shopping centre’s multi-storey, but the council has now made it even more secure with locked cages.
Cllr Jane Byrne, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a Connected, Clean City, said: “We are keen to promote active travel within the city at any opportunity, and are pleased to be able to offer these additional safe storage facilities at Eldon Gardens multi-storey car park.
“For a £15 deposit, people can obtain a fob to gain access to the separate bicycle and motorcycle storage units, and have the added reassurance of an extra layer of protection against theft.
“The secure cages are accessible throughout the car park’s daily opening hours of 8am-10pm.”
Newcastle City Council told Bennetts BikeSocial that it was regrettably aware of thefts across the city, so wanted to ‘try and create an environment that encouraged sustainable travel.’
While more push-bike racks were installed to cope with the increase in riders – and the rise in bicycle theft, not least fuelled by their soaring value and ease of removal if unsecured – it’s great to see that motorcycles have still been considered: the investment in a cage, which is accessed by a fob (see below for details of how to get one), would have been considerable.
It's long been a problem that when councils do install secure parking for motorcycles, it often goes unused, leaving councillors less willing to devote future budget. Newcastle City Council told us that it’s recently met with a representative of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) to help raise the profile of the facility among its members.
“We have cycle and motorcycle parking in a host of car park locations across the city and we will look to roll out further secure facilities in the future if this facility proves to attract a more sustainable travel approach,” said Jack Brooke-Battersby, Communications Business Partner at Newcastle City Council. We at Bennetts BikeSocial encourage any motorcycle riders in the area to use these facilities to show the council – and others across the UK – that the investment is very much valued.
Eldon Gardens Multi-Storey car park is located at 2 Morden Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RQ, giving excellent access to the city centre for commuters, shoppers, residents and tourists.
The Eldon Gardens site has space for around six to nine motorcycles, and while bike parking is free, there’s a one-off deposit of £15 required to get a fob that allows access to the secure cage. You can order an access fob for Eldon Gardens bike parking here.
Newcastle City Council provides free motorcycle parking bays both on and off street, locations of which can be found here. If no motorcycle bays are available (we counted 52 off-street at the time of writing), motorcycles can be parked in car bays, but the parking tariff would need to be paid.