A number of tube stations have been chosen for a year-long trial of two different locker services aimed at improving facilities for cyclists, and temporary storage.

One of the firms selected, Spokesafe will supply secure secure cycle parking lockers to make it easier for people who currently drive to the tube station to switch to cycling instead. Customers can choose to use the lockers on a pay as you go basis or by signing up to its membership scheme.

Existing Spokesafe depot in Waterloo

The other firm, Lovespace will provide warehouse storage for local residents to drop off packages at the tube station that are collected and taken to Lovespace’s remote storage facility. It’s similar to the storage depots that people can rent space in, but without the hassle of driving to them to drop off or collect your items. The way it works is that you rent a locker at the station for a day, and inside is a cage that you can fill with domestic items. The following day they move your cage to their warehouse to keep it in storage. They charge £50 per month for space equivalent to a large storage cupboard in your home.

Lovespace graphic

The trials are part of a call put out by TfL in November 2020 to find additional uses for its car park spaces, and they evaluated over 50 suggestions before settling on the two companies. As part of the evaluation, the companies needed to show a viable revenue stream, as well as how their service wouldn’t affect the existing car park.

The year-long trial will help TfL explore how space within its car parks can be used to provide more than just space to store cars during the daytimes.

Nigel Pickup, Head of Commercial Property at TfL, said: “We’re looking forward to working with both LOVESPACE and Spokesafe as they take forward their proposals with us as part of this innovation trial. By working with innovators, we can put ideas that help customers into practice, while also exploring how we can use our space and assets more efficiently and in a way that helps us to generate value that can be reinvested into the transport network.”

Subject to planning permission, the two companies will be set up in the following stations:

Lovespace

  • Leytonstone – now live

Followed by (dates to be confirmed):

  • South Woodford
  • South Harrow
  • Morden
  • Queensbury

Spokesafe (dates to be confirmed):

  • East Finchley
  • Highgate
  • Leytonstone
  • South Woodford
  • Woodford
  • North Greenwich

TfL’s car parking portfolio consists of 79 car parks at London Underground, Overground and Rail stations, providing more than 10,500 parking bays in total. NCP has managed the car parks since December 2014.

Last year, TfL also signed a deal with InPost to expand a parcel collection locker service to 60 locations across London.

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8 comments
  1. Ariel says:

    Not sure why home storage but if the idea is successful and is rolled out networkwide I think it will make the tube even more interconnected.

    • ianVisits says:

      Why not home storage? Plenty of people in small flats rent space in places such as the Big Yellow Box, and this offer from Lovespace would be more convenient for many people who don’t drive.

  2. MilesT says:

    On street cycle storage has sadly proven to be vulnerable to angle grinder attacks.

    Maybe proximity to the station, people, and CCTV will deter this, but maybe not overnight.

    • ianVisits says:

      Almost anything can be attacked with an angle grinder — what’s the balance point between building secure storage that’s secure against 99.999% of attacks, and making it 100% secure, which would probably need a nuclear bunker grade of construction.

  3. Juan says:

    As part of the evaluation, the companies needed to show a viable revenue stream, as well as how their service wouldn’t affect the existing car park.

    That seems pretty stupid, I know TFL is on a budget these days, but options that don’t generate their own money but get people onto the tube would be pretty good. BART have fairly cheep bike storage (as do Japan & Amsterdam), that I suspect pay for themselves in reduces road wear & tear from cars, less traffic, etc).

    It’s a shame to see TFL fall for short term privatized profits over delivering their own long term solutions, but I guess it was inevitable given the state of the country.

    • ianVisits says:

      You say that you “suspect pay for themselves” — have you checked? To paraphrase Chesterton’s Fence, you shouldn’t criticise a decision unless you understand why it was taken.

  4. JP says:

    Chesterton’s fence, eh? Thank you. You learn something new every day.

  5. SteveP says:

    It’s a fine balance in London – you need a bike good enough to carry you to the station and back, but not so good as to attract thieves. A lock better than average helps, so if you have a dedicated storage space where the heavy lock can remain, the crooks may move on to easier pickings. CCTV is of minimal use unless monitored and able to respond quickly which may be a possibility at staffed stations?

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