New social enterprise offers safe storage for up to 50 bikes

Owner says he wants to use profits from the project to help the wider community embrace active travel in the city centre

The outside of the Bike Lock situated on Windsor Place.
The Bike Lock on a rainy Monday morning – Credit: Maggie Gannon

New social enterprise, the Bike Lock, is encouraging more people to actively travel into Cardiff by opting for public transport or bikes to get to work. 

Set up by Tom Overton, a keen cyclist, the business is the first of its kind in Cardiff and includes safe storage facilities for up to 50 bikes, alongside high-spec washroom facilities, wifi, meeting rooms, and a cafe. 

As a social enterprise, the project has been funded 50% by Overton, with the other half being funded by the Community Lottery Fund who have donated £10,000, as well as welsh development agency Cwmpas Cymru, and the Welsh government’s active travel grant scheme.

Reflecting on the business’ funding Overton added, “I simply wouldn’t have been able to afford the infrastructure without the help.” 

Within the Welsh government’s National Transport Delivery Plan for 2022-27, the government highlighted their plans to fund “trials of secure cycle storage facilities in Cardiff and Newport”. The plan also stressed how the government wants to work with employers to encourage active travel.

Research by Sustrans has shown the benefits of active travel extending beyond health and even helping to boost the local economy.

The Bike Lock, on Windsor Place, is opposite one of Cardiff’s biggest and most expensive multistorey car parks, leading to many visitors and commuters using the cut-through road to drop off pedestrians, adding to the city’s traffic at an increasingly busy time of year. 

Overton hopes its location will take away excuses for not actively travelling into an increasingly pedestrianised city, as he stressed: “The reality is it costs £10 a day to park in there.”

Although the business aligns with the Welsh government’s plans, many are asking if more could be done. 

There is currently no business rate reduction incentive for individuals looking to set up businesses that support active travel.