Historic building finds new use as secure bike compound

YORK yesterday continued to stake its claim as the new capital of pedal power when a historic building in the heart of the city was opened as one of the most secure bicycle compounds in the country.

It followed a decision by York councillors to provide much of the funding to create a 300,000 cycle hub in the Grade II listed former electricity sub-station at Lendal Bridge.

Steering the scheme has been the Bike Rescue Project, an organisation launched five years ago to reclaim old bikes.

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Director Bernadette Cullen said the aim was not only to cut bike thefts, but encourage more people to get in the saddle.

The layout includes ground-floor secure parking for 100 cycles as well as a display and sales area.

Other amenities include washrooms, showers, a changing area and toilets, workshop, outdoor teaching area, reception area for seminars, and a window display based around cycling in York by paper cut out artist Lu Mason, plus a celebration cake topped by a penny farthing.

Ms Cullen said: "Our intention is to serve the community of cyclists in York including those who fear their bike will be nicked when they come to town or go away for the weekend – we are only five minutes from the station.

"As well as the official opening, it is the first time we have been open to the public and the place has been buzzing with about 40 customers already."

The scheme has been in the pipeline for three years. It was due to open after summer but there were a number of delays – including the cold weather preventing the paint work drying properly.