Westgate cycle parking statement Oct 17

Westgate Cycle Parking

Only 3% of the promised 1000 net extra cycle parking spaces have been installed at New Westgate.  There are no cycle parking spaces in convenient locations – none at all.  The developer has run rings around the planning authorities and has breached their planning conditions. It is the City Council’s obligation now to enforce provision of 972 extra cycle parking spaces.

Here’s more detail with the data why we think this, and an overall comment at the end:

When construction started in 2015, at least 142 cycle parking spaces at Westgate were removed.  28 were relocated nearby.

On opening day, 24 October 2017, 142 new cycle parking spaces have been installed at/near New Westgate.  All are in inconvenient locations around the back, some still behind construction barriers. All are uncovered, open to the rain.  None is near the John Lewis front entrance, which is the honeypot for the whole development.  There is no cycle “Hub”, planned to contain a cycle repair shop with 180 spaces.  There are no spaces near the main entrance from Bonn Square, nor at TurnAgain Lane. Here is a map with where the parking is currently and photos of the current installations. 

The Local Plan standards require a minimum of 1578 new cycle parking spaces, though Cyclox thinks this is a gross underestimate for a development expected to employ over 5,000 staff and millions of shoppers annually.  We pressed for at least 2000, but when the planning application was approved in November 2014, West Area Planning Committee required only 1000 net extra spaces.  On opening day there were actually only 28 net additional spaces, all in poor places.  Unsurprisingly, near the John Lewis front entrance on the evening of the opening, bikes were fly-parked, locked to poles, lamp-posts, etc.

Having provided fewer than 3% of the net additional cycle parking spaces required when planning was approved, the developers are in clear breach of planning Conditions 21 and 22, specifying that all the new spaces be ready when the development opened.  It is now up to the City Council to enforce this.

Overall, the storyline for cycling at New Westgate has been one of wholly inadequate planning, complete marginalisation by the developer, total failure of monitoring during construction by any officer with authority, and deafness by the Westgate Alliance and by both Councils to repeated interventions by cycling advocates like Cyclox.

And that is only the parking!  Don’t get us started on the similar failure to provide attractive, well-signed cycle routes to and from New Westgate to help ease the major travel problems its opening will create.  Practically nothing has been done to help cycle users to reach the new facilities, or to help staff to pedal their way to work there.

– Simon Hunt, Chair of Cyclox, on behalf of Cyclox committee.  contact@cyclox.org

 

FYI, Planning conditions 21 and 22 are below.