Skip to main content
Mobility and Transport


Bicycle parking is an important part of facilitating cycling in a city as it provides a secure and convenient location for people to leave their bicycles in an organised fashion.

Considerations for applicability

Cyclist icon

Level of cycling

Some form of bicycle parking is needed, even where levels of cycling are very low. The higher the level of actual or planned cycling, the more cycle parking will be needed.

Topography cityscape icon

Urban layout/topography

There is an indirect relationship between topography and the need for cycle parking. The hilly topography of a city can limit the appeal of cycling and if this barrier is not overcome by a high level of electric bike use, it will also restrict the amount of cycle parking that is needed.

People icon


If cycling within a city is particularly popular with tourists and/or students, or the city wants to promote cycling to these groups, it will be important to provide cycle parking at locations where these groups are likely to need to leave their bicycles.

Euro coin icon

Finance Resources

The level of finance needed to install cycle parking depends on the extent of the parking facilities. Finance will also be needed to plan the location and maintain the parking facilities.

A few simple bike racks, with no additional features, might cost a few €100. A secure cycle parking facility with a few hundred cycle parking spaces could cost €1 million, with annual maintenance costs in the €10,000s. Larger facilities will cost more. At the extreme, it has been estimated that the cost of implementing the measures set out in Copenhagen's Priority Plan for Bicycle Parking is between €80 and €360 million.​

Clock icon representing time

Time & Human Resources

The time and human resources needed for installing a cycle parking facility will vary according to the size of the facility, ranging from a few hours to months. The extent of the time and resources needed for planning the installation of a measure will also vary depending on its scale and location. Stakeholders will need to be engaged with, although which stakeholders and the extent of this engagement will depend on the location and extent of the cycle parking being planned. It may also take time to obtain the necessary funding if external sources of funding are being used.

If it forms part of an integrated approach to promoting cycling in a city, the planning and the installation of cycle parking could be undertaken as part of a larger project.

Measure impact highlight

Warning sign - safety


People who cycle in a city need to have confidence that their bicycle will still be where they left it after they have finished their work, education or other daily business. Hence, the provision of infrastructure for short-term parking and secure facilities in which they can leave their bicycle for longer time periods, are important.

Note: An overview of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from correctly implemented cycling measures is available in{Challenges that cities face and how cycling can address them as Link}

In-depth measure analysis, case studies and further guidance

[collapsed title=Detailed description of the measure]

Key features

Cycle parking provides dedicated infrastructure where people can leave their bicycles when they are carrying out other activities. Cycle parking ranges from a single cycle rack to extensive underground and multi-storey facilities containing thousands of spaces that have secure and all-day access. Basic cycle parking is usually free to use, while sometimes there are small charges to use more secure parking, as is the case in Malmö. In most instances where there are more than a few racks, there will be some active security measures, such as CCTV.

Row of cycle racks

Function and objectives

Cycle parking aims to provide an organised means of ensuring that bicycles can be left in a convenient location without adversely affecting the movement and accessibility of other people (pedestrians or drivers). To prevent theft and encourage its use, cycle parking needs to be, and be seen to be, safe and secure. The location, design, lighting and monitoring (e.g. with cameras) of cycle parking can all help in this respect.

It is important to understand how the parking facilities will be used and whether the bicycles are likely to be left for short or longer periods, in order to provide the correct service. Short term parking may be used during a quick visit to local amenities, while longer term parking can be provided at transport nodes for people who commute by public transport. Longer-term bicycle storage could also be provided in high density or historic residential areas, where the ability to store a bicycle in a secure place within the home might be limited.

Bicycle parking locations and facilities should ideally be set out in the framework of a wider bicycle parking policy that is proportionate to the current level of cycling and/or the ambitions of the city for cycling. A bicycle parking policy should also be integrated into a city's overall parking policy and its planning processes.

Complementary measures

For cycle parking to be successful, it needs to be developed in parallel to the development of a good quality cycling network (see{Developing a cycle network for your city as Link}). If people do not feel comfortable cycling in a city, cycle parking facilities will not be utilised as much. Promotion and awareness of cycle parking are also needed, particularly if new security or access features have been introduced that the local population may not be familiar with. Anti-theft measures, including bicycle registration schemes, can complement cycle parking by deterring theft and increasing security.


The provision of some degree of cycle parking is necessary for most cities, even those with very low levels of cycling. The higher the level of cycling, the higher the level of cycle parking that is needed. If a city plans to take action to increase the level of cycling in the city, consideration will need to be given to how best to cater for the subsequent increase in cycle parking that will be needed.

The provision of cycle parking facilities is a more efficient use of limited urban space than car parking spaces - one car parking space could be used to provide cycle parking facilities for eight to ten bicycles. There are also more advanced cycle parking options that allow cars and bicycles to park in the same space, depending on the time of day.

As noted above, the most important impacts of cycling parking are on the security of parked bicycles and the management of public space. Cycle parking will only have other beneficial impacts, e.g. on congestion, the environment and health, if it is combined with other measures that aim to increase the level of cycling in a city, particularly the development and provision of cycle path, and more broadly, the development of a cycle network.

Parameters of success or failure

It is important that a city has an adequate amount of cycle parking that is consistent with the level of cycling in the city - the more cycling there is, the more cycle parking will be needed. The higher the demand for cycle parking in limited urban space, the more important innovative parking solutions will be.

The most important element of successful cycle parking is the convenience of its location. It needs to be easy to ride or walk a bicycle to a cycle parking facility, which should be located near the intended destination. This is also important for discouraging people from leaving bicycles at inappropriate locations, which may obstruct pedestrians or other transport modes. Consider converting existing car parking spaces into cycle parking, which is easily accessible from the road and does not take space from the pavement. Cycle parking at public transport stations needs to be located near to entrances, as is the case in Malmö and Brighton. In this way, cycle parking can help to support transport intermodality. Similarly, cycle parking at other major attractions, including shopping centres, universities, major centres of employment and leisure attractions, should also be located as close as possible to relevant entrances.

The safety and security of cycle parking are also of fundamental importance. Its location, design and access are elements of this, and the inclusion of visible monitoring, such as CCTV, along with clear signage that the system is monitored and regularly checked, is also important. The internal design of the facility should take account of potential security concerns in the way in which it is lit and designed. For facilities intended for long-term use, protection from the weather is another important factor and so these sites should have a roof or be located within a building.

Facilities also need to be easy to identify and use. Any access requirements or fees should be clearly indicated and registering for access requirements should be simple to complete, either online or in person at the parking facility. Linking the means of access to another card, such as a public transport card, can improve ease of access and reduce the number of cards an individual needs. Access to secure cycle parking facilities also needs to be sufficiently flexible, including late closing and early opening if facilities do not have a 24-hour opening.

The price of using the facilities is also important. Many parking facilities are free to use, while secure facilities, or a secure part of a larger facility, may charge a small fee for registration and/or use, as is the case in Malmö and Brussels. Fees should be kept low so that the price of using the facilities does not discourage people from using them. Ideally, any fees should be the same across all secure cycle parking facilities in the city.

Cycle parking should cater for the needs of different users. Some users will only want to leave their bicycle for a short period of time, while others will want to park, or store, their bicycles for longer periods. The needs of users of different types of bicycle should also be considered. For example, space should be left for cargo bikes if these are commonly used in a city, while the provision of charging points for electric bikes might also be considered.

More generally, the promotion of cycle parking facilities is important, especially after the completion of the installation of new facilities. The existence of cycle parking facilities should be clearly marked by signage and also appear on various maps: at public transport stations, shopping centres, on city guides, mobile applications and online travel planners. The existence of cycle parking facilities should be integrated into the city's more awareness raising campaigns on cycling.

To maximise the effectiveness of cycle parking and integrate it with other cycling infrastructure in the city, cycle parking should be developed as part of a larger plan. It is important for a city to understand how cyclists use their city, including where they park their bicycles and how existing cycle parking is used (see Copenhagen's Priority Plan for Bicycle Parking). Furthermore, developing a plan for bicycle parking in a city can help to ensure that cycle parking infrastructure develops in a coherent and consistent manner. Such a plan can also be used as part of a dialogue with relevant stakeholders.

Cities can consider setting minimum requirements for the number of cycle parking places in new developments. The appropriate minimum number of places will vary according to the type of development. For high density housing, a minimum standard for the number of secure, indoor places could be set relating to the anticipated number of residents. For educational establishments, minimum standards should relate to the anticipated number of students and staff, while for commercial sites the minimum standard should be linked to the expected number of employees and visitors.

The installation of cycle parking facilities needs to be undertaken after consultation with relevant stakeholders. In addition to cyclist groups and local residents and businesses, other stakeholders that need to be included will be determined by the location of the facilities. For cycle parking facilities that support inter-modality, engagement with the local public transport operators will be needed as they may even be responsible for the installation and management of the facility. Elsewhere, other landowners may need to be engaged, such as shopping centres, entertainment venues and major employers.

Key lessons for transferability

  • Easy to use facilities: Cycling parking facilities need to be easy to use, which includes having a convenient location and being easy to access. Movement within the facility with a bicycle must be easy and obstacle-free. The racks themselves must be easy to use, particularly second tier racks that need to be lowered and raised. For large facilities, consideration could be given to installing a bicycle parking monitoring system, to help users identify where there are free racks within the facility.
  • Managing abandoned bikes: One of the important elements of managing a large bike parking facility or ensuring that the cycle parking facilities within a city are used efficiently is to remove abandoned bicycle frames or wheels. If a parking facility has a bicycle parking monitoring system, this can be used to identify which bicycles have been left too long in the parking facility. Otherwise, the necessary monitoring will need to be undertaken manually. In Brussels, dated stickers are placed on bicycles that appear to have been abandoned, during regular inspections. If the bicycle does not move after three weeks, it is then removed and kept in a storage facility for three months. Bicycles that remain unclaimed after this period are given to the municipality where they were found and are usually repaired and given to local schools.
  • Integration of services: Secure cycle parking facilities often have related services on the same site. For example, cycle servicing and repair could be offered, as is the case in Malmö, Brighton and Brussels. Other services that could be provided include showering and changing facilities, toilets, information points, and a café. Bringing together services in this way helps to create a focal point for cyclists and those interested in cycling. Where a number of services have been brought together at the same location, it is important that clear responsibilities are assigned for the operation and management of the space.


[collapsed title=Infrastructure design quality guidance]

Overall recommendations

  • Outside parking should be well-lit and in a visible location.
  • Parking should be accessible from the cycling network.
  • Short-term parking should be located directly at the destination, whereas longer-term parking may be located further away.
  • Consider using pavement extensions for cycle parking in areas using traffic-calming.
  • Designs should be functional and simple, and where street furniture has been specially designed, the design of cycle parking should be considered to ensure its integration visually.
  • Depending on the duration of cycle parking, differing levels of quality/provision may be applied, from freestanding or simple bike racks to more complex solutions.
  • Wider spaces should be provided for specific needs. For example, more space may be needed at shopping centres to enable cyclists to load shopping bags or children into seats, or to accommodate cargo bikes.

City practitioners should consult national cycle infrastructure design standards or regulations (where available) regarding the appropriate design and implementation of cycle parking in respective Member States.


[collapsed title=Case Studies]

[collapsed title=Bike and ride facilities (Budapest, Hungary)]

  • Location: Baltics/Eastern/Central
  • Population: Metropolis (1.7 million)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Starter (2%)

The provision of bike and ride facilities in Budapest (dedicated bike parking racks at public transport stops) has focused on the city's metro and suburban rail network. The plan has been implemented by the Centre for Budapest Transport (BKK), who are responsible for different elements of Budapest's transport system. Additionally, there are bike and ride facilities at some of the city's other railway stations, which are operated by the state railway operator, MÁV. The existing capacity of the bike and ride facilities put in in Budapest place by BKK and MÁV is around 1,000.


Credit: BKK Centre for Budapest Transport

BKK's objective, as set out in its 2013 'Budapest bicycle traffic development concept', is to have installed bike and ride facilities at 90% of its stations on the city's metro and suburban rail network. The facilities have been installed as modular units consisting of bicycle stands, a roof and information interfaces. To date, there has been no systematic evaluation of the use of the bike and ride facilities, although anecdotal evidence suggests that the facilities at some stops are well utilised.


[collapsed title=Bike and ride facilities (Malmo, Sweden)]

  • Location: North / North West
  • Population: Medium urban area (333,633)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Champion (22%)

The aim of the development of the bike and ride facilities in Malmö is to improve the conditions for inter-modality. It does this by helping to provide an attractive alternative to car use and by increasing the catchment area of the main train stations, as it makes it easy to access these by bicycle. There is large bike and ride facilities at three of the main railway stations in the city: Malmö Centralen, the main station; Hyllie; and Triangeln. New bike and ride facilities are planned in some of the city's other train stations.

In total, the three current facilities have spaces for 4,700 bicycles, with at least 1,000 spaces at each station. In each location, the majority of the spaces are free and open for anyone to use, while the remaining spaces are known as Bike & Ride+ places. These spaces, which make up between 10% and 50% of the total at each site, are more secure as they are located within a locked area that guarantees users a parking space. Users of these more secure spaces are charged €7.80 a month, or €39 for six months.

In addition to bike stands, each facility is protected from the weather and has camera surveillance, air pumps and a cycle repair service. At two of the locations, there is also a cycle shop, real-time public travel information and ticket vending facilities, while lockers and a café are available at one of the facilities.

The use of the free part of each of the facilities is estimated at being between 50% and 75%, while the secure areas are used less, sometimes much less. The reason for the relatively low level of use of the secure facilities is considered to be the high standard of the free facilities. A survey of the users of the facilities in Malmö Centralen showed that the vast majority felt safe using the free facilities. Consequently, the city's authorities are considering converting some of the secure spaces back to free spaces, particularly in the well-used facilities in Malmö Centralen.


[collapsed title=Cycle Hub (Brighton, UK)]

  • Location: North / North West
  • Population: Medium urban areas (275,800)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Starter (5%)

Brighton's Cycle Hub is located at the city's main railway station. It offers secure cycle parking facilities, bicycle servicing and repair, showers and changing facilities, a café and guided bike rides. The aim was to bring all of these facilities and services together within a single building to provide facilities for cyclists using the local area and the train station, and thus to support intermodality. Grouping the facilities together provides a captive audience of cyclists, while the café is run by cycling enthusiasts who organise the cycling rides.


Credit: Cyclepods

The secure storage facility has room for 500 bicycles in a two-tier storage system. The upper tiers are designed to be easy to use – they are light in construction and gas-assisted mechanisms ensure that the upper arms are easy to lower and lift without the risk of crashing to the floor. The upper arms also reach all the way to the ground so that bicycles can easily be wheeled onto the arm. The system is therefore easy to use no matter what the age or physical fitness of the cyclist is. The building itself has been designed to be sustainable - it uses rainwater in its toilets, has a living green roof, energy efficient lighting and uses renewable energy.

The storage facility has a secure entry system. Rather than having a separate access system, the facility is accessed using the local rail (and station) operator's smartcard, which is used for electronic ticketing. As a result, rail travellers can use the same card for their train ticket and for accessing the secure bicycle storage. The secure storage itself is free to use and the income from renting out the upper floor of the building covers the operational costs of the facility.

The Hub is operated on a day-to-day basis as an integral part of the station, so is subject to the same cleaning and security checks. The construction of the Hub was supported by the station operator and the city council, as well as by grants from other sources. The company that designed and installed the bicycle racks remain responsible for the access system, while the operation of the café and repair station is contracted out. The facility is well used - the occupancy is typically at least 60% on most weekdays - and has generally been well received.


Credit: Cyclepods


[collapsed title=Secure bicycle parking at public transport stations (Brussels, Belgium)]

  • Location: North / North West
  • Population: Larger urban area (1.2 million)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Starter (4%)

The aim of developing the cycle parking facilities at public transport stations in Brussels is to enable users of the city's public transport network to leave their bicycles at the station in secure facilities. There are currently just over 600 cycle parking spaces located at four of the city's main railway stations (North, Luxembourg, South and Central) while an additional 1,250 spaces are being integrated into the redevelopment of two central metro stations, Beurs and De Brouckère. There are also plans to extend parking at some of the mainline stations as part of ongoing and forthcoming redevelopments.


Credit: CyCLO

The existing parking facilities, which are on the premises of the national railway operator, are managed by a local social economy enterprise that helps to bring people back into the labour market. The facilities at the two metro stations will be the responsibility of Parking Brussels, which is an agency of the Brussels regional authority that is also responsible for managing the city's car parking. Cycle parking is also included in the regional parking plan, which covers car parking, reflecting the intention of the region to take a more integrated approach to parking.

The existing parking facilities are accessed using a plastic card that fits into a wallet and costs €5 to activate. The annual price to use the facilities is €15, or users can pay monthly. At each location, the same social enterprise also offers bicycle repair services and some bicycles for rental, as well as providing information on cycling in Brussels more generally. They also mark bikes with a unique identification number as part of a national bike registration scheme. Currently, demand is higher than supply, which is why additional capacity is being added. A recent survey suggested that user satisfaction was at least 85%.


Credit: CyCLO


[collapsed title=Priority Plan for Bicycle Parking (Copenhagen, Denmark)]

  • Location: North / North West
  • Population: Large urban area (602,481)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Champion (28%)

Whilst the city of Copenhagen has taken numerous actions to improve cycling in the city in recent decades, the satisfaction of Copenhageners with cycle parking in the city is not high. In 2016, only 37% of those surveyed were at least satisfied' with the city's cycle parking facilities.

The city has a target to increase the level of satisfaction with its cycle parking facilities to 70% by 2025. In order to respond to the concerns of its citizens and also to improve cycle parking in the city, the municipality has developed a Priority Plan for Bicycle Parking for the city.

The development of the Plan was informed by a mapping exercise, which documented the location of the 180,000 publicly-accessible bicycle parking spaces in the city and the 200,000 bicycles that were parked within the city at a given point in time. This provided a snapshot of the way in which the existing parking facilities were used and where else Copenhageners left their bicycles. On the occasion of the mapping exercise, half of the parked bicycles were left outside of existing bike parking spaces, and so potentially adversely affected pedestrian access and movement, while 45% of the actual parking capacity was free. This could be seen as suggesting that some of the existing parking spaces are in the wrong place.

The Plan sets out various approaches for improving cycle parking in the city. Where there is space to do so, traditional bicycle parking will be expanded. Action will also be taken to optimise the use of existing capacity by directing cyclists towards free stands and appropriate parking, while at the same time removing abandoned and inappropriately-parked bicycles. Where it is not possible to meet the demand for bicycle parking at the ground level, facilities could be integrated into buildings, basements or car parks, or separate underground facilities could be constructed.

Another option would see existing street-level car parking places converted, either permanently or temporarily (depending on the time of day), into cycle parking spaces. More innovative, space-efficient and multifunctional bicycle racks will also be developed and tested, with a focus on functionality, design and reduced costs. A more detailed set of actions to implement the plan will now be developed.


[collapsed title=Bicycle parking tower (Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic)]

  • Location: Baltics/Central/Eastern
  • Population: Small urban area (93,037)
  • Cycling Modal Share: Climber (17%)

In order to address safe cycle parking in the city, a number of bike stands were implemented close to offices, schools and recreational areas (2003 to 2005). In 2013 a privately-funded bike tower was installed, aimed at commuters using the nearby public transport. The land for the tower was provided by the municipality close to the railway station and public transport terminal.

The distinctive bike tower was an 11-metre-high glass tower and cost €300,000 to build. It was a fully automated facility offering secure parking spaces for 116 bicycles in exchange for a small fee (approximately €0.20). It). The Bike Tower project was implemented by a private investor and the construction of was carried out during the year.

In the first 30 months of operation, the bike tower housed 35,000 bicycles. Bike tower operation showed an increase in the number of parked bikes compared to the original condition (implying an increase in cyclists and potential cycling mode share). The Bike Tower in Hradec Králové served as a pilot project for the investor and many other bike towers have been built in the Czech Republic based on the experience of the city. During the summer of 2018, the Bike Tower was closed due to plot rent issues related to the developer. A petition against its closure included 1,800 signatures from citizens - the case is still in progress.

The success of the measure was related to the secure nature of the tower, protecting bicycles from theft and the weather. Due to the success of this tower, potential construction of two more towers is planned. The city wants to move the tower to another place by the railway station and the bus terminal. The city was the first city in the Czech Republic willing to try something new for cyclists because cycling is very popular in the city.



[collapsed title=Key guidance, further reading and references]

PRESTO / Ligtermoet & Partners (2010) “The standing bicycle”, Chapter 3 in ‘PRESTO Cycling Policy Guide: Cycling infrastructure’

20 JULY 2021
(1.2 MB - PDF)

PRESTO / Rupprecht (2012) “Bicycle Parking and Storage Solutions"

20 JULY 2021
(438.9 KB - PDF)

PRESTO / Rupprecht (2012) “Bicycle Parking in Residential Areas”

20 JULY 2021
(198.22 KB - PDF)

PRESTO / Rupprecht (2012) “Bicycle Parking in the City Centre”

20 JULY 2021
(320.8 KB - PDF)

Cycling Embassy of Denmark (2012) “Bicycle parking”, Chapter 10 in ‘Collection of cycle concepts'

20 JULY 2021
(14.46 MB - PDF)

Energieinstitut Vorarlberg and Amt der Vorarlberger Landesregierung (nd) “Leitfaden Fahrradparken” (Guidelines on bicycle parking)

20 JULY 2021
(1.47 MB - PDF)

Cyclenation (2014) “Cycle parking”, chapter in ‘Making Space for Cycling: A guide for new developments and street renewals’

20 JULY 2021
(2.98 MB - PDF)

Deffner, J. et al (2012) “Handbook on cycling inclusive planning and promotion. Capacity development material for the multiplier training within the mobile2020 project”, Section 3 ‘Parking facilities’ of Part II (pages 115 to 119)

20 JULY 2021
(32.57 MB - PDF)

Difu (2011) "Cycling Expertise: Bicycle Parking at Train Stations"

20 JULY 2021
(693.78 KB - PDF)

Difu (2011) "Cycling Expertise: Bicycle Parking in the City Centre"

20 JULY 2021
(914.9 KB - PDF)

BICY – Cities and Regions for cycling (2011) “Fahrradparken leicht gemacht – Ein Ratgeber zur Errichtung von Radabstellmöglichkeiten” (Making parking bicycles easy – a guide to construct bicycle parking facilities)

20 JULY 2021
(1.56 MB - PDF)

Transport for London (2014) “Cycle Parking”, Chapter 8 in ‘London Cycling Design Standards’

20 JULY 2021
(1.6 MB - PDF)

Certu (2007) “Parking and theft”, Chapter 8 in ‘Guidelines for cycle facilities in urban areas’, report for French Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Housing

CROW (2017) Design manual for bicycle traffic. Chapter 7

Municipality of The Hague (2015) “Bicycle parking”, Chapter 3 in ‘Cycling Programme 2015-2018’

20 JULY 2021
(5.23 MB - PDF)

Slovenian Ministry for Infrastructure (2017) ‘Parkiranje koles’ (Parking bicycles), Chapter 6 in “Kolesarjem prijazna infrastruktura” (Cycling friendly infrastructure)

20 JULY 2021
(7.52 MB - PDF)

TMS (2012) “Cycle parking”, Section 16.4 in ‘Traffic Management Guidelines’, report for Irish Department of Transport et al

20 JULY 2021
(7.36 MB - PDF)

Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (nd) “Manual de aparcamientos de bicicletas“ (Bicycle parking manual)

20 JULY 2021
(3.15 MB - PDF)

Central Meetbike / Technical University of Dresden (2014) “Fact Sheet – Bicycle Parking Facilities”

20 JULY 2021
(456.56 KB - PDF)

Berlin Senate (2008) “Fahrradparken in Berlin – Leitfaden für die Planung” (Bicycle parking in Berlin – a guide for planning)

20 JULY 2021
(6.44 MB - PDF)

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Centre - Bicycle Parking

ITDP (2017) “Cycle parking and storage are ample and secure”, Objective 2B in ‘TOD Standard’