Spotted on Lloyd Street, off Deansgate: a secure lock-up for bikes. To my knowledge such a facility is as rare as hen’s teeth in Manchester city centre. I’m assuming this one belongs to the adjacent St John’s House, and is available for employees only.
Take a 30-minute stroll through town on any given weekday and you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of bicycles you’ll see chained up. Manchester is to bikes as Vulgaria is to kids: they’re there, but hidden.
Bike theft is a real problem in the city, with thieves tooled up to crack most locks. (I had my bike nicked from outside the gym in February; the police did return my call but said I’d have more chance of winning the lottery than ever seeing the bike again. I bought a replacement off Gumtree, though I suspect the seller hadn’t ridden a bike in 20 years.)
I’m not convinced much is being done to deter thieves and help cyclists. A dozen more secure sheds around the city centre would be a start.
**Apologies. I’ve since discovered Manchester & Salford councils commissioned a feasibility study from Cycle England on secure cycle centres across the cities. The report can be downloaded here.