A new bike storage shelter has opened near Harpur Square in Bedford, enhancing the existing bike racks.
To access the shelter, cyclists can email Sustainable.Transport@bedford.gov.uk with their full name, address in Bedford Borough and phone number. They will then receive details on how to access the unit and will need to download the Okey Access app on their smart phone.
The bike storage unit uses secure encrypted Bluetooth and Near Field Communications to communicate between the user’s phone and the shelter, internet access is not necessary.
This is the UK’s first ever cycle hub to feature an app-based locking and booking system that can be managed from a smart phone or tablet.
Councillor Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning, said:
“Safer cycle parking was something raised during consultations on our Town Centre Plan. This will help to encourage more people to cycle into the town centre and visit our beautiful Embankment, amazing independent retailers, and leisure and cultural businesses and activities.
“Cyclists will still need to lock their bikes in the shelter, but this added security will help to keep bikes safely in store and is part of a host of measures to encourage more people to visit the town.”
Peter Blakeman from the Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire said:
“This new secure cycle shelter in Harpur Square should help encourage more people into town and we hope it is a first step towards tackling bike thefts and encouraging people to use our town centre more.”