Don’t make life easy for thieves
I read your article about bike thefts from Canterbury West station and other stations in Kent with concern [‘Station snub threat as figures reveal it to be bike thief hotbed’, Gazette, January 3].
There were 169 thefts over a fiveyear period at Canterbury West alone. British Transport Police said that cameras are not enough of a deterrent. Apparently people who steal these bikes either do so spontaneously or wear hoodies to hide their faces. How complacent is that when secure bike storage is vital to all cyclists, including commuters?
In the article, Southeastern stated that there would be a secure bike store in the new multi-storey car park, but a bike store is not shown on the current plans submitted for planning permission, only cycle racks outside the building. Will access for cyclists be shared with cars and pedestrians? If a locked cycle area is to be included, access to this will have to be created and parking spaces reduced to accommodate it. It seems like plans are being made up as they go along.
So putting bike storage in an unmanned multi-storey car park is not going to encourage cyclists at any time of day or night. Unfortunately, portable grinders are cheap and, in a quiet place, can be used to get through the best of locks. Bike storage must be in a well-lit, secure public area with CCTV, which really does have an effect.
Come on Canterbury City Council and Southeastern - you should consider cyclists, not make life even more difficult and expensive for them.