On-street bike shed plan to beat thieves
SECURE on-street parking is set to be trialled in the Capital as it emerged that sneak thieves have been slipping into city tenements and stripping down bike parts that have not been locked down.
A stairwell in East Claremont Street was targeted overnight on Tuesday, with raiders making off with around five front wheels, seat posts and saddles. It is believed to be the latest in a spate of such attacks.
Now officials have identified six suitable sites for a trial of on-street covered bike huts for residents which it hopes to have up and running by spring 2013.
If deemed successful, the £50,000 project could be rolled out across the city.
Theo Andrew, 35, one of the residents of the East Claremont Street tenement, said he awoke to find every bike locked fast on the communal stairs had seen all their removable parts stolen.
He said: “One of my bikes which was properly locked by frame, front and rear wheels was mainly unaffected. All the other bikes had easily removed components stolen.
“There seems to be a spate of robberies at the moment. Keeping street tenement doors shut is a problem – we get lots of people cold-calling asking to come in to drop off takeaway leaflets, which is annoying when neighbours let them in.”
In 2006, the council introduced a trial scheme under which bike racks were introduced in tenements in a bid to cut bicycle thefts.
The trial was not judged to be a success, however, following a range of problems including space restrictions, planning concerns and maintenance issues. Officials hope that the “on-street” alternative will prove more successful.
Councillor Jim Orr, transport vice-convener, said: “This council is the first in Scotland to start looking at providing covered on-street cycle parking for residents. With all the success of cycling in the Olympics we hope that by actively promoting cycling we can reduce congestion in the city.”
Sergeant Carlyn Simpson of Lothian and Borders Police advised cyclists to visit one of the force’s regular bike marking and registration events to significantly increase the likelihood of retrieving items that may be stolen. Bikes can be registered and UV-marked for just £5, with an additional electronic tag for £16.
She said: “We can mark the different elements of the bike so we can link them if they are stolen. Lots of the parts do not have distinguishing features, so if police find the items it’s difficult to get it back to owners without markings on them.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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