New secure bike shelter opens in Bedford town centre - and you even can book it through your smartphone

It's part of programme to encourage more people to visit the town

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 1:30 pm

A new bike storage shelter has opened in Bedford town centre, near Harpur Square.

To access the shelter, cyclists just need to email [email protected] with their full name, address in Bedford borough and phone number. They will receive details on how to access the unit and will need to download the ‘Okey Access’ app on their smartphone.

The bike storage unit uses secure encrypted Bluetooth and ‘Near Field Communications’ to communicate between your phone and the shelter, you do not need internet access.

The new bike storage shelter near Harpur Square

This is the UK’s first-ever cycle hub to feature an app-based booking system that can be managed from your smartphone or tablet.

Councillor Henry Vann, portfolio holder for town centres and planning, said: "Cyclists will still need to lock their bikes in the shelter, but this added security will help to keep bikes safely in store and is part of a host of measures to encourage more people to visit the town.

“This shelter is being funded as part of the Government’s £1m Town Deal Accelerator Fund. One of the other projects is cycle signing of 27 routes into the town centre and a circular route around the town to encourage more people to cycle.”

Peter Blakeman from the Cycling Campaign for North Bedfordshire said, "This new secure cycle shelter in Harpur Square should help encourage more people into town and we hope it is a first step towards tackling bike thefts and encouraging people to use our town centre more.

"Returning from shopping to find your trusted old or expensive new bicycle missing is not a nice experience."