On the 28th
June, three members of our team attended Landor Links’ “Cycle City Active City” exhibition and conference in Manchester. The aim of this event was to highlight the various ways businesses and local authorities can work to develop ‘cycling cities’.
Across the two day event, we’ll be bringing our expert knowledge to the exhibition hall.
Paul Smith, Brian Lamb and Emma Godfrey took part on behalf of Broxap’s cycle division; they discussed the ways our cycle parking products can help an urban area to reach its clean transport potential.
To give you an idea of the information Cycle City Active City has on offer, we caught up with Paul, Brian and Emma to find out about their experiences at Broxap…
Anglia Ruskin University: Two Tier Hi-Rise cycle parking system & Cambridge Xpan Hybrid Shelters
Paul’s knowledge of cycle facilities means he can select the best suited designs and products for any client, architect, or consultant. He has several years of experience in co-ordinating projects from start to finish, for clients across various sectors.
From your experience working on projects, what makes Broxap special?
The fact that a family-run business has expanded so far is certainly very special – over the years, Broxap has become the leading manufacturer of lots of product types in the UK.
Aside from that, there’s a multi-faceted team behind every project and they’re all driving to make it a success for everyone involved. That’s one of the best things about working here: I know that my clients and I have the support of these people, and that they’ve got an excellent skill set.
When it comes to promoting exercise and sustainable travel, what should cities be doing?
Firstly, it’s important to enable people to commute safely – that means minimising the immediate risk for cyclists and pedestrians. At the same time you need to encourage people to really enjoy the urban spaces within the city. It’s all about infrastructure and design.
Also, when we talk about cities, it’s not just in the hands of local authorities; for example, I utilised the cycle to work scheme to get my own cycle.
“Businesses and organisations need to be prepared to support new initiatives.”
What does that look like in terms of cycle facilities?
A couple of years ago we were approached by Anglia Ruskin University. They wanted to move forward, to expand the amount of cycle parking available to students.
It was great to see that they really wanted to do the job properly: to provide enough spaces for a lot of students. However, they were under the impression that their area was too small to accommodate such large numbers.
When they contacted us, the university had already looked at products available from a few other companies. I think they were pleasantly surprised by the Two Tier cycle parking, even more so by the shelters. For us, it just meant taking a look at the specifications and finding a shelter that would fit.
This was a big success for sustainable travel and it was down to two things. Firstly, the university’s willingness to push for appropriate numbers. Secondly, a broad range of products to choose from. The beauty of a multi-divisional company is that we can offer package solutions and practical combinations of products.
Royal Northern College of Music: Hi-Rise Two Tier System, 45⁰ Angle & Coventry Cantilever Cycle Shelter
Brian has been a part of Broxap for 16 years. He initially worked in fabrication and over time he’s built a thorough knowledge of the production and provision of facilities. As an ASM for Northern regions, Brian has the expertise to support urban projects on any scale.
What does cycling mean to a community?
Anyone supporting the Cycle City event knows that sustainable travel is hugely important. For the climate, for the economy, for personal fitness. What we need to promote more is the way this then impacts the people in particular communities.
When cities are well connected – transport linking to parking and facilities – new projects are more likely to run smoothly. That improves the overall attitude and outlook of the community – people feel like they can try new things.
Also, when you think of cycling specifically, it’s something lots of people can get behind. I cycle fairly regularly and I like taking part in charity cycles and sponsored events. It’s things like this that bring people together, and it comes down to getting them active in the first place. To do that you need to make cycling accessible and promote it everywhere.
Where should we focus on promoting cycling?
Education is a huge sector – companies like Modeshift and Sustrans run great schemes and campaigns to get schools promoting cycling. But when it comes to higher education, there’s not quite so much of a push. It comes back to this question of accessibility. There’s no point telling people to cycle if there’s nowhere for them to leave a bike safely.
“There’s great work going on in terms of promoting cycling in Manchester, and loads of students to get moving.”
We recently did some work at the RNCM [Royal Northern College of Music] who wanted to expand their cycle parking. They already had some cycle facilities at the campus, so it was just a case of optimising unused space. The challenge was to find a solution which wouldn’t restrict access.
One of our cycle shelters, the Coventry Cantilever, is quite slim and sleek – it fits perfectly against a wall. That was a great option for the college because it meant they could provide coverage for two-tier bike racks. We also created an angled version of the parking system, meaning there was still lots of room for pedestrians.
TFGM Hubs: Cycle Compound
Since arriving at Broxap, Emma has played a vital role in the coordination of projects. She works closely with various internal departments to meet the on-site expectations of clients and contractors. In addition to drawing up quotations, she excels at picking out specific designs which suit project requirements.
What do you think draws clients to Broxap?
I think the range of projects we work on. I’ve been here for five months and it’s really satisfying to have seen success in so many areas. People come to us wanting to improve a location in various ways – we’ll have a solution for every aspect.
When it comes to regeneration and urban design, it’s especially beneficial to have a range of products and experience. So that’s a big reason why we win tenders.
For example, Everton FC approached us about an exterior canopy for supporters to shelter beneath before kick-off. That sounds like a simple requirement but what they really wanted was this grand structure to bring the area together. The end result is pretty spectacular.
See: Everton Football Club: Keep it Kool Twin Conic
Would you call Manchester a Cycle City?
Absolutely – every city should aim to promote cycling like they do.
Something I hope to see continue and catch on elsewhere is the ‘Cycle Hub’ parking system. Broxap has installed cycle compounds all over the city on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester. They’re efficient, attractive, secure – everything you want in terms of promoting sustainable travel.
One of the best things about this project is the way the team adapted the design to fit the specific requirements of each site. Some needed to be smaller, some a different style of bike stand, but they link together as a cohesive system.