Transport for London (TfL) has partnered with Halfords to help reduce the risk of bike theft in London.
Part of work to build on Londoners’ “record-breaking demand for cycling over the past few months”, the project enables everyone who completes TfL’s free online Cycle Skills course to receive 15% off Halfords’ own-brand locks as well as lights and helmets.
Although traffic is down in the capital, cycling is up by 20%, with use of Santander Cycles also up by 20%. On some routes, there has been a 200% increase in cycle trips.
And Halfords has reported a 60% year-on-year increase in sales of new bikes since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yet a survey by the retailer has found almost half (47%) of London cyclists have not marked or registered their bike – making them more vulnerable to theft. Furthermore, while seven in 10 respondents said they use a bike lock, only half (50.5%) are using a more robust secure lock.
Londoners are also advised to use a DIY bike marking kit to get their bike registered to the BikeRegister secure online national database, which all UK police forces have access to. The visible etching is said to provide a highly effective deterrent to bike thieves.
Siwan Hayward, director of compliance, policing operations and security at TfL, said: “This year, we’ve seen thousands more people discover the health and environmental benefits of getting around London by bike. As cycling continues to boom in popularity, however, bike theft is unfortunately also on the rise. It’s therefore crucial for Londoners to do all they can to minimise the risk of their bike being stolen.
“We’re encouraging Londoners to get their bikes visibly security marked and registered and to invest in a good quality lock to keep them safe. Our new collaboration with Halfords will ensure that bike locks are even more affordable to all those who complete our online Cycle Skills course.”
The collaboration with Halfords furthers TfL’s existing work to roll out more space for walking and cycling and upgrade cycle routes to make them safer; a total of 61.6km of new or upgraded cycling infrastructure has now been completed through the Streetspace for London programme, with almost 90km delivered or under construction.