Cyclists are being forced to pay more per year to store their bikes than it costs some motorists to park their cars, it has emerged.
Islington residents pay £104 a year to use council-owned bike hangars, which fit six bikes and take up half the space of a traditional parking bay, compared to £95 for a parking permit for a small car.
An equivalent bike space in neighbouring Hackney is subsidised by a Transport for London grant and costs just £30.
Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said the higher costs were due to insufficient funding from central government.
“Although other boroughs are providing subsidised schemes, we do not have the funds due to government austerity,” she said.
“What we did do, however, was prioritise bike hangars in council estates, where we now have over 700 spaces. Initially we wanted to wait until funding [to subsidise all bike hangars] became available, but we had over 800 residents on the waiting list, so we thought it wasn’t beneficial to anybody to wait to provide this subsidised scheme.”
She added: “Cyclists are paying no more than £3 a week for secured, lockable storage space. A lot of residents are willing to pay this in exchange for having peace of mind, at a location which is a close proximity to their home.”
But John Ackers, spokesman for Cycle Islington, said: “Islington has a long way to go before it can be called a cycling-friendly borough. The other boroughs all charge less than Islington, which has a maintenance cost of £72 a year.”
Mr Ackers believes the high prices will discourage residents in the borough from cycling.
He explained: “It’s a give-away to charge less than £100 for a car parking permit, there is no incentive not to have a car in London. I have friends who continue to drive cars because the costs are so low.”
— cycleoptic (@cycleoptic) March 9, 2018
Posting on twitter, one resident wrote: “Another bike store in @IslingtonBC #DalmenyRd. (Again on double yellow) costing more to rent per bike than my resident’s car parking permit.”