Meath County Council recently added 114 new free parking spaces in Navan, bringing the number of free spaces to 322. But what’s the catch?
The free parking is for bicycles!
Wheeling In The Years
Until recently, bike parking around Navan was very patchy – a few high-quality stands, and even two covered locations, but mostly wheel-benders hidden at the rear of buildings. Cast your mind back to the pre-COVID “beforetimes”. Where did you park your bike? Perhaps at the covered stand opposite Ulster Bank, or on Fair Green? Maybe at a “wheel-bender” in front of Navan Shopping Centre or Aura Swimming Pool?
Often there wasn’t a facility to properly park your bike, so a nearby fence or signpost had to do – or walk half way across town to where you want to go. So what are these “wheel bender” racks?
Let’s Go On A (Wheel) Bender
These aptly-named bike parking contraptions used to be the norm, and Navan was no different. These type of bike racks have been identified as insecure and insufficient for many years.
All racks, bicycle stands and clamps should provide enough support to preventThe National Cycle Manual (2013), cyclemanual.ie
any type of bicycle from falling over. This usually requires support for the frame
and/or forks. The Sheffield Stand (U-bar) will achieve this, but there are many other
architectural products on the market also.
Units that are designed to grab the front wheel only are not generally recommended
for public cycle parking. While they are often space efficient, they are ineffective
for many tyre widths
Most modern bicycles have quick-release front wheels, so that you can remove the wheel without any tools. Lock your front wheel to one of these racks, and your bike could be gone in seconds.
And of course, as the name suggests, these bike racks can very easily damage your wheel, especially heavier bikes such as e-bikes.
Rack to the Future
If you’ve been in Navan town centre in the past year, you’ll have noticed all the work in progress for “Navan 2030” – a huge redevelopment of the public spaces in the town. As the areas are finished, the “polish” is now being added, in the form of flowerbeds, benches and improved bike parking facilities.
Since the end of July we’ve seen over a dozen new bike parking facilities put in place by the Active Travel team in Meath County Council. Much as we like to give out, the pace that these new bike racks have gone in is incredible.
Solstice Arts Centre
Trimgate Street, Camile Thai
Market Square, Clonard House
Abbey Road Car Park
Bike Parking at Navan Shopping centre
Major thanks to the Transport team in Meath County Council for providing details of these new locations, and of course for getting all of this new bike parking installed.
But that’s not all. We’re aware that several more locations are planned, which we can’t yet reveal, but will be absolute game-changers for Navan. Refer to our Bike Parking map page for the latest up-to-date information: