For most people, cycling is the very best way to get around London. It’s fast, cheap and incredibly liberating. It beats being stuck on the tube or in traffic hands down, and besides, active travel of this sort is a great way to fit a bit of light exercise into your daily routine.
There’s just one problem, which is that you have to park your bike somewhere. If you’re cycling to work your employer may offer secure bike parking, but otherwise you’re stuck locking it up and hoping London’s notoriously proficient bike thieves leave it be.
That’s far from ideal, especially if you’ve splashed out several grand on a carbon-frame speedster or an e-bike. And even if you’ve dug out an old bike from a shed to use, there’s always the odd butterfly as you wonder if your bike will still be there just before it comes back into view.
A new service in the very heart of London offers a solution – albeit an expensive one. Bike-Drop offers valet-style bike parking at three sites: Great Portland Street, Oxford Circus and Regent’s Street, open daily from 6am until 8pm. Those locations are all in W1, so the area covered is fairly small, but if you’re in that zone the opportunity to leave your bike at a secure spot could be invaluable.
You will have to pay a fairly steep price for that opportunity – at least compared with a free bike stand, if not the £30-plus it typically costs to park a car. Book in for a single day and you’ll pay £6.50. This is probably your best option, because a weekly pass costs £38.50, which is quoted at £5.50 a day – but that’s only if you use it seven days a week. If you’re using it for the working week you’re paying £7.70 a day. A monthly pass is £135, £4.50 a day based on a 30-day month and using it every day, and of course the cost per working day will vary depending on the month. A three-month pass for £292.50 (£3.25 a day) is being offered until 7th October.
For some, that will be a price worth paying to have a secure parking service near the workplace, though we’d recommend also hassling your employer to provide that for you free of charge. It is perhaps even better suited to cruising in from the outer fringes of London on an e-bike for a bit of shopping at the weekend. More importantly, we hope it’s the start of services that provide a reliable and secure way to drop off your bike – services which we hope would cost less outside of central London.
Reserve a space with Bike-Drop | £6.50 a day