Don’t make life easy for thieves

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Letters And Opinion - Pip Chapelard Spokes, East Kent Cy­cling Cam­paign, Roper Road, Can­ter­bury

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.

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