A plan for free secure cycle parking in Reading looks set to go ahead in a bid to encourage people to bike into the town centre.

Reading Borough Council’s application to turn part of the former Primark shop in West Street into the new cycle hub, operating from 7am – 7pm, seven days a week, has been recommended for approval ahead of the planning application committee’s November 2 meeting.

The council has applied for temporary use of 154 sq m of the ground floor which has been empty for six years and has Primark’s head offices above.

It will provide 82 secure parking spaces for bikes and a cycle loan/donation scheme will operate. The council has funding from the Department for Transport to operate the hub for one year but has applied for permission to last three years so that it can seek to extend the scheme if it is successful.

There will be a maintenance rack for inflating tyres as well as a number of minor maintenance procedures. Access to use the hub is likely to be via an app.

A report to the November 2 meeting states: “The purpose of the ‘cycle hub’ is to provide free, safe and secure cycle storage and maintenance facilities to encourage people with concerns of theft or vandalism to be able to bring their bicycles into Reading.

“The aim is to support those travelling to town for work or for leisure, who may ordinarily have chosen an alternative form of transport.”

There would be no physical changes to the existing shop or shopfront.

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