Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ideas from the streets of Bath

An all too brief visit to Bath gave an early morning opportunity to take a look at bike related measures in the city.

Outside the railway station, behind the ongoing roadworks you can find the street bike hire.

There are apparently four of these stations in the city centre.

However, I didn't see anyone riding one of these bikes, and they didn't look too robust. These bike hire schemes require a lot of money and effort to make them work well.

More promising were these bike parking racks.

They convert a car parking space into a bike park for 8 to 10 bicycles.

They were all well used and looked like they were good value for money, both as cycle parking and showing just how wasteful it is to give street space over to car parking.

Bath has a lot of advertising bikes.

Many taking up cycle racks,

others are freestanding.

Some are locked wherever there is space.

Some just sit outside the cafes they are promoting.

Finally, I came across the Bikes in Bloom.

There were a few in shop windows,

but I only managed to see one blooming bike on the road, photographed through the window of a moving bus.

Some interesting ideas, particulally the bike parking in a car space.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. As an ex-Bath resident living in Manchester, these observations were very interesting. I left Bath ten years ago and many of these developments are new, although the Bizarre Bath bike sign is very familiar!

    The main issue for me with the hire scheme is the proximity and low number of stations, because the scheme - like the much larger London scheme - is designed to encourage short hops and minimal hire time (the first 30 minutes is free). No two stations (of the four) are more than a mile apart! You can turn a 15 minute walk into a 10 minute ride around the one-way system, but is that really worth the money and hassle? Keeping the bike longer and going further looks prohibitively expensive - you have to return it to the centre before too long. I hope they can grow the scheme to make it more useful before they just give up on the idea. Despite the hills, Bath is a handy size to cycle around.