Putney sold short on Wandsworth Council on-street bike hangar rollout.
Wandsworth Council announced last week that they would be installing 111 new street bike hangars spread across 74 streets in the Borough. The addition of new community storage solutions for bikes is very welcome, but only nine of the 74 streets selected for new bike hangars are in Putney and Southfields, and there are none in Roehampton.
The Wandsworth Council website lists 13 in Putney, Southfields and Wandsworth, but some of those listed in that category are actually in Tooting Constituency or Earlsfield. Roehampton is not even mentioned.
A lack of street bike hangars, particularly in areas near blocks of flats, often forces people to leave their bikes in unsecure places that are lacking in CCTV coverage. Wandsworth saw a 20.66% increase in bike thefts last year, leaping to 659 bike thefts compared to 546 in 2019. Many more are never reported.
A call for requests for bike hangars on Fleur Anderson’s website last year got over 120 responses, with many of those coming from West Putney and Roehampton that have been completely left out of the rollout.
The streets in Putney and Southfields that will be getting bike hangars are Schubert Road, St John’s Avenue, Felsham Road, Norroy Road, Astonville Street, Longfield Street, Merton Road, Penwith Road and Ravensbury Road.
Fleur Anderson, MP for Putney, said:
“Lots of local people want to cycle but can’t as they have nowhere safe to store their bike. Last year, I put a form on my website for residents to indicate if they would like a bike hangar on their street and we got over 120 responses which I shared with the Council.
“Many of those who got in touch said they were doing so because they’d had their bikes stolen multiple times or because there had been a spate of bike thefts on their roads. Others simply did not have anywhere to store them in their shared accommodation or their block of flats.
“I have had people contact me who live in flats where they cannot avoid storing their bike in their hallway, which brings complaints from neighbours and creates potentially hostile situations that just would not be necessary if there was a storage solution nearby.
“We plotted all the requests on a map of the area. The distribution was quite even across the constituency and there was a big demand for bike hangars in Roehampton. I just don’t see how Roehampton was left off the list altogether, the demand is clearly there.
“Our response to the climate emergency requires more people to move away from cars and for many people one of the biggest barriers to that is effective storage solutions, which has been compounded by the increase in bike thefts in the area.
“I am delighted to see a rollout of more bike hangars in Wandsworth as we really need them, but I’m afraid this doesn’t even scratch the surface. I would encourage everyone who has been left out to respond to the new walking and cycling survey which closes on 10th September. I have written to the Leader of the Council to ask why we have been sold short and I would encourage you to do the same.”
Notes to editors
– Link to Wandsworth Council Walking & Cycling survey: