Big change for bike parking at Devonport Ferry Terminal

Big change for bike parking at Devonport Ferry Terminal


We’re keen to get your feedback on the new bike parking plan for Devonport’s Ferry Terminal. Read the info below, and give us your comments by Sunday 25th June!

The Devonport Ferry Terminal has been bursting with the noise of jackhammers breaking out concrete. Behind the gleaming white screens erected to block off the work areas, serious work is underway on the second stage of the revamp of the rental spaces.

At present, the terminal has a range of bike parking, with the most popular facilities on each side of the terminal building. They have ‘sail’ covers which give some protection from the weather and salt spray. On the north side closer to the ferry berth, there are 36 stands (each of which can accommodate a couple of bikes), and the southern side of the building has 46 stands.

The thing about bike parking – it’s incredibly efficient. 94 bikes (blue) vs 94 cars (red). You do the maths. (Image: Chris Werry)

Late last year, Chris Werry from Bike Devonport and I were told that the revamp of the terminal will include a new public entry on the northern side of the building. As luck would have it, the new entry will be right at the ‘elbow’ on the boardwalk… right where the most popular bike racks are.

Parking on the north side – jam-packed on a regular day.

Chris and I were appalled by this news, as this is the most popular bike parking for good reasons: it’s undercover, conveniently close to the ferry berth, well lit and, most importantly, has good passive surveillance from a constant stream of people walking past to and from the ferries.

We were assured the designers would do their best to expand and upgrade the existing undercover bike parking on the southern side. Chris and I immediately pointed out this is far from ideal, as the southern area is frequently targeted by bike thieves precisely because it has such poor public surveillance.


The designers acknowledged our concern and said they were intending to open up the building to give views to the south from inside the terminal, as well as revamping the public toilets and relocating public entries closer to the bike parking area.

We’ve just received a section of the Stage 2 floor plan, showing the new bike parking on the southern side:

A section of the plan. A bit hard to make out, so we’ve zoomed in and annotated it below…
Green is the new entrance door. Red denotes two back to back rows of bi-level bike racks. And blue is an additional row of Sheffield bike stands (the metal staple shaped ones).

We asked the designers to increase the total number of bike parks – because we know the number of people biking to the ferry is increasing year on year – and they have done their best to meet our brief.

They’ve proposed three rows of bike racks: two back-to-back rows of the same ‘up/down’ racks that are in use now (marked in red) with the first row set 2m from the wall for more comfortable access. The third row (marked in blue) will be new Sheffield stands.

Theoretically, having two rows of up/down racks will double the current bike parking. However –  if they’re placed too close together, some slots can’t be used because they are blocked by the handlebars (or basket, or panniers) on the bike next door.

This conflict can be reduced by providing a gap between each of the 4 stand bike rack units, as has been done at AUT. This means slightly fewer bikes can be accommodated across the available space, but it seems to be a practical partial solution to make best use of the racks themselves.

Up/down racks at AUT – note the gap between units, to make each unit fully usable and avoid conflicting handlebars. (At Devonport, you won’t be able to do what the second bike from the left is doing, as there will be two rows of stands back to back).

The Sheffield bike racks, supplementing the up/down ones, are less space-efficient – but they’re easy to use, and we know they’re popular as they topped the poll in AT’s 2015 survey of preferred bike racks. Their length gives good support to the bike when it’s parked, and to further the risk of bikes slipping and scrapping against the stand, we’ve asked for the Sheffield stands with rubber covers.

Sheffield rack with a sleeve

Here’s a rendering of the proposed new southern bike parking area. All of the racks will be covered by a large sail. We’re also pleased to see new windows giving some passive supervision from inside the terminal, and a new entry door right beside the parking area.


So what do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback by 25th June so we can pass it on to the designers. Add your thoughts in the comments below, or email Barb directly


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