This is awkward

We launched our #ThisIsAwkward campaign in 2022 to demonstrate the chronic shortage of spaces available for people to store their bicycles at home in London. 

From the bedroom to the balcony and even in the toilet, the ‘awkward’ photos submitted through the campaign showed it all. Keep scrolling to get all the facts and figures, and to see some of the photos we received!

We got huge commitments from local authorities as a result of our campaign. But our efforts aren’t over!

For 2023, we brought the campaign back – this time to highlight the thousands of bikes that are stolen in London every year, often meaning someone losing a piece of their world.

Bike theft is more than a petty crime; it’s heartache for those who rely on their bikes to get to work, school or go to the shops.

All of us who have had our bikes stolen know what it feels like.

We need to work together to ensure safe, secure and affordable bike storage options are made available.

Awkward hall of fame

Check out some of the challenging places people have to store their bike due to a lack of convenient and affordable cycle parking…


Why does this matter?

If city officials are serious about helping people to jump on a bike and use their car less, they have to make it as easy as possible. Forcing people to do the ‘cycle salsa’ at home isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s unfair given how much space is given to cars. In London, it has been shown that more than half of people see a lack of cycle parking as a key deterrent to cycling


Our work revealed a backlog of more than 60,000 Londoners waiting for a secure cycle space - and people told us they had been waiting for years! We also believe the actual waiting figures are an underestimation of the demand for spaces. We commissioned our campaign partner FareCity to look into this issue more closely.

5 x more

We also exposed the huge variation and unfairness in the cost of cycle spaces in London. The average cost of renting a space in a cycle hangar in London is £57.90. This means a family of four would spend on average £231.60 a year parking four cycles, which is nearly five (4.6) times the average cost of parking a petrol car (£50) and seven times an electric car (£29).


Our campaign gained significant attention and, following the local elections, our review found that authorities in London had committed to deliver a total of 30,000 cycle hangar spaces, with several authorities addressing inequalities by working to reduce the cost of spaces. Halfway there but that waiting list is no doubt growing! Watch this space...

Awkward media coverage

i news logo

Cyclists up and down the country complain of a lack of storage space for their bikes that for many is highly inconvenient and puts many others off owning a bike altogether. 

bbc news uk twitter profile pic

Londoners have been posting images of the awkward places they have to keep their bikes, as part of a campaign to improve cycle storage in the capital.

Evening Standard logo - twitter / x profile

Newly-elected councillors in London have pledged to install a total of 30,000 new cycle parking spaces across the capital in a bid to cut long waiting lists.

Join the awkward conversation

Share the materials below and post them (or, even better, your own bike photos!) on social media using the hashtag #ThisIsAwkward. 

This project is brought to you by

Impact on Urban Health

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