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East London music venues repurpose Shoreditch warehouse as secure bike park in absence of gigs

400 bike parking spaces available at Village Underground in Shoreditch, from £5 a day

The operators of two music venues in east London that have been forced to stop hosting gigs due to lockdown restrictions have repurposed one of them to provide secure parking for hundreds of bicycles.

The facility opened on 20 July inside Village Underground (VU) in Shoreditch, with funds raised going towards helping secure its future and that of sister venue, Evolutionary Arts Hackney (EartH).

Housed in a converted Victorian warehouse, the VU Cycle Park is aimed at cyclists in the City, Shoreditch and Old Street, and offers more than 400 secure cycle parking spaces from 0600-2200 hours, Monday to Saturday.

Spaces cost £5 per bike per day, rising to £7 if collecting after 6pm, and shorter-term parking is also available at £1 per hour.

Businesses can also block-book spaces for their staff – email the venue //vuevents [at] villageunderground.co.uk" target="_blank">at this address for more information.

Auro Foxcroft, founder of Village Underground and EartH, said: “With music venues empty of artists and fans and struggling to survive, we wanted to do something positive with the situation.

“Local streets have been closed to encourage cycling and people are coming back to their work and social spaces, so we decided to put our venue to good use as a socially distant bicycle park, helping people to travel easily and safely until we can welcome audiences back to live music.”

The VU Cycle Park can be accessed through the venue’s Great Eastern Street entrance – there is a sign with the words, “Let’s Adore and Endure Each Other” to hep point the way – with social distancing in place and staff wearing PPE.

Specialty coffees are also available until lunchtime plus beers, wines and spirits to tale away, while Look Mum No Hands! will be at the venue offering bookable repair services and weekly bike checks.

As we reported on the Live Blog yesterday, pop-up secure parking has also appeared in the West End in the shape of the Carnaby Bike Hub, an "inspired answer to bike parking woes in town", with an open-door policy and space for 50 bikes on double-decking racks.

There's 24/7 security and CCTV, but Carnaby London say you'll still need to bring a lock when you drop your bike off. 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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