Park for free and get on your bike

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The city council’s new ‘park and pedal’ scheme launched at Wincheap park and ride today (Tuesday 26 June), offering free parking for people who then cycle into the city rather than take the bus.

A new 28-space cycle compound, which can only be accessed via a key card and is available 24/7, has been built to provide secure storage for bikes. Maintenance equipment is also available.

Users drive to the site as normal and park, but then retrieve their bike from the compound and head off wherever they’re going. There are two signposted routes into the city – the Chartham to Canterbury cycle route via Toddlers’ Cove and Whitehall Road, or through the Wincheap estate and under the Horses and Goats tunnel.

At the end of the day, they cycle back, leave their bike in the compound and drive out, using their park and ride card to raise the exit barrier without needing to pay.

The council has also made the cycle lockers in Watling Street car park free of charge to use, and there is covered cycle parking at the junction of St Peter’s Place and St Peter’s Street, and also in North Lane car park.

Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “This is a simple but effective initiative offering a combination of free parking and cycling. Park and ride is a great service, but you are limited in terms of where the bus ends up and sometimes you have to wait for one to arrive.

“’Park and pedal’ is therefore a clever alternative that gives greater flexibility for customers and the freedom to travel when you want to. And with free cycle lockers available in the city centre too, we’ve tried to make it as joined up as possible.”

A cycle compound key card can be applied for via the council’s website or by calling 01227 862422. There is a £15 refundable deposit. In due course, the scheme will join the council’s ANPR camera and barrier parking scheme.

Keys for cycle lockers in Watling Street car park are free but have a £30 refundable deposit and can be applied for as above.

The cycle compound at Wincheap cost £23,000 and has been largely funded from Kent County Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

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