Network Rail and the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) have put out an open call to designers to develop a pop-up bike parking solution for railway stations.
In the last decade, Network Rail says stations have experienced a “significant increase” in the demand for bike parking. This has coincided with the widespread implantation of “pop-up bike lanes” across cities.
“Creative and innovative” solution sought
A competition run by the two entities seeks to find a “creative and innovative solution” which can support cyclists using trains in the UK.
The winning team will be awarded £12,000 to develop a fully costed, feasible design – this figure includes a £4,000 design fee.
Each entry will be judged by an expert panel, according to Network Rail, which will include railway historian Tim Dunn and PriestmanGoode director and designer Paul Priestman.
Crucially, the competition is not looking for permanent bike parking, but rather a “flexible” solution which can be rolled out during times of heightened usage.
While traditional bike parking areas are purpose-built and static, these installations would be rolled out as and when needed. The brief gives the example of changing weather conditions or major public events.
Navigating “hotly contested” space
Prospective entries will need to consider several looming points to be successful, Network Rail says.
These include the fact space around train stations is usually “hotly contested” and bike parking in short supply. Another consideration will be bike safety, and how a solution can ensure bikes are secure from thieves.
As for design requirements, Network Rail specifies installations should not damage any existing station features or impact accessibility. Additionally, the installation should not create an enclosure, and free-standing designs will be preferred.
The deadline for first stage expressions of interest is 30 September, with a winning team appointed in November.
The aim is for a design to be delivered in June 2022, at one of Network Rail’s mainline London stations, as part of the LFA.
For more information on the opportunity, including how to submit entries, head to the LFA website.