End-of-trip facilities (such as secure parking, lockers and showers) and trip facilities (such as shelter, water and toilets) are important infrastructure to support cycling.
Cycling planning needs to consider people’s entire journeys. All people who cycle need to store or park their bicycles securely at either end of a trip. Some people may want somewhere to change clothes, and some may want to have a shower and store items. For longer recreational journeys toilets, clean water and attractive resting places are important.
Such facilities will often benefit people other than cyclists. For example, rest areas could benefit motorists and pedestrians, and changing areas, lockers and showers at a workplace could benefit lunchtime joggers.
All journeys require secure parking at each end. Most people will not cycle if they cannot secure their bicycle at their destination or public transport terminal (or take the bike with them on public transport).
The type of parking will depend on the need for security and convenience. The most common is the ability to lock cycles to a cycle stand. Older cycle-parking stands that support the bicycle by one wheel offer inadequate security and weather protection, and can easily cause wheel damage.
Stands are parking devices that can be located in almost any position. They are suitable outside shops where there is a high degree of passive security, or where there is CCTV coverage. The stand design should ensure that the frame and wheels of the cycle can be easily locked to the stand.
Some bicycle stand designs facilitate parking, others economise space, however some people may find it difficult physically to mount their bike in the stand and some bike types (eg cargo bikes, tandems) may not fit.
It is advisable to locate stands in places where bicycles will be protected from weather or incorporate some form of weather protection, even if a full enclosure is not involved. People may be dissuaded from cycling if they think their bike (especially the seat) is likely to get wet while parked.
Enclosures are a communal compound, generally at workplaces, where there may be a large number of cyclists. They generally incorporate some form of bicycle stand, with the added benefits of protection from weather and increased security.
As a longer-term parking option often located away from the public eye, enclosures should be protected from the weather and have a high degree of security and an appropriate form of access control. Swipe cards are often used for access. It is possible to charge for the right to use these facilities, and they can be over-subscribed (ie more registered users than bike parking spaces available).
Within the compound, stands are generally installed to control internal parking and provide additional security. It is sometimes appropriate to require users to sign a contract to ensure they understand their obligations.
Bike lockers are for individual cycles and are used where the highest security level is needed. They are mostly used for long-term parking.
Lockers are sometimes provided at public transport interchanges. As with enclosures, there are numerous access control choices, including coin-operated locks and subscriber keys/cards. Lockers can also be used to store cycling equipment such as helmets and other personal items. However, they require more room per bike space than enclosure facilities.
Some situations require a conveniently located clothing change area.
For example, people cycling distances greater than 5 to 10 km, especially if they are cycling partly for fitness, often wear cycling clothes to cope with the build-up of body heat and perspiration and the need to move freely while cycling. In wet weather, regardless of the distance, people cycling may need protective clothing.
Baggage lockers are also needed at workplaces and transport interchanges, as modern cycles have numerous detachable items such as seats, lights and pannier bags but no lockable space in which to store them. Cyclists also appreciate clothes-drying facilities or places to hang wet clothes and towels to dry.
Showers can also be important. A study in Adelaide, Australia determined that more than 80% of people who commute by cycle to a central business district, and travel more than 10 km, require shower facilities (Dorrestyn, 1995). Given the date this study was undertaken, it is assumed that the cyclists involved were mostly strong and fearless, and enthused and confident, for whom showering facilities are more important than interested but concerned cyclists.
Recreation cyclists often undertake long trips and consequently have special requirements.
People cycling for recreation in urban locations using parks, reserves and similar resting places need access to drinkable water and toilets.
Touring cyclists need rest areas at about two-hour (30–40 km) intervals. These should include water supply points, shelter from the weather, tables and toilets. They also need access to shops for provisions, and to phones in emergencies. Such facilities will often be available in towns along routes.
Table 3, below,shows the relative importance of complementary facilities for different cycling trip types. Note that, unlike Table 1, in the People who cycle section, which shows the relative importance of network criteria, the importance ratings in Table 3 do not give a distinction between enthused and confident and interested but concerned cyclists. This is because, in terms of facility type, there is very little distinction between users.
Table 3: Relative importance of complementary facilities for different cycling trip types
Cycle trip type
Possible cycling objectives
Transport or enjoyment near home
Transport to a destination
Friendly enjoyment and exercise
Enjoying new places and experiences, whilst exercising