31 July 2023
South Coast call for secure bike sheds at train stations after resident has 7 bikes stolen
Fairy Meadow resident Phil Balding has expressed despair and frustration after having 7 around the illawarra, with 3 incidents of stolen parts.
Mr Balding said
“Riding my bike used to be a quick way to get to the train station for the commute to Sydney, but after having 7 bikes stolen, I’ve given up riding. I've tried using 2 d-locks, handlebar brake locks, Disc-brake locks, anti-theft skewers and an AirTag tracker, but still my bike would be stripped of parts or be stolen. By registering my bike on the Property Vault, and using the AirTag tracker the police were able to get a warrant to seize my bike, and I got it back. I want a Transport for NSW bike shed at the station to keep my bike safer from theft.”
“The car parking spaces at North Wollongong train station including street is full by 7:15am some mornings for the Sydney commute. Surely if there was somewhere more secure to lock up bikes there would be commuters that would ride instead of driving”.
Cr Blakey, who has a notice of motion on bike parking security for Monday night’s council meeting said:
“Council transport staff are currently developing an integrated cycling strategy, and it’s important that it includes advocacy for bike sheds at train stations so that residents can ride to the train station, and be confident that there bike will be there after a day at work for their return trip home.”
“Riding to the station is quicker and easy to go further than walking, and less space-intensive than car-parking. As e-bikes have grown in popularity, increasing the ease of riding for residents with escarpment foothills to navigate, the attractiveness to theft has also increased. We desperately need more secure ways to park bikes at the train station.”
“Since 2016 there have been 36 bike sheds installed across the City Rail network, but none in the Illawarra. I’m calling on the state government to make the Wollongong local government area the next location for a bike shed.”
“Bike theft is a rife in Wollongong, and a serious barrier to riding to the station, the shops, work or school – or anything other than recreation. PropertyVault is a partnership between Crime Stoppers, the Police, bike owners and the wider community – to expose and defeat the illicit trade in stolen bikes. If someone sees a bike for sale, they can check if it’s been stolen, removing pathways to profit from stolen bikes.”
END MEDIA RELEASE
There is a notice of motion on bike parking security for the Wollongong Council meeting on Monday 31st July.
Notice of Motion: Bicycle parking security
- Write to the new Minister for Transport, and local state members for Heathcote, Keira and Wollongong, requesting bicycle security sheds at train stations within the Wollongong Council area, noting the community priorities for
1. North Wollongong Station
2. Wollongong Station
3. Thirroul Station, and
4. Dapto Station.
- Include provisions for bicycle security and secure bicycle parking in the up-coming integrated transport strategy at railway stations.
- Work with state agencies and community partners to publicise Bike Vault, encouraging residents to register their bicycles on it, and report any theft.
For many people a bicycle is the only transport they can afford and the only exercise they get. Bike theft is a crime disproportionately visited on the young and the poor. Upwards of 30,000 bikes are stolen each year in Australia, and less than 10% recovered by police and returned to their rightful owners. That is 1 bike stolen every 20 minutes across the nation. Bike theft is a significant cost burden on the community, and a deterrent to riding for transport.
PropertyVault’s National Bike Register is a partnership between Crime Stoppers, the Police, bike owners and the wider community – to expose and defeat the illicit trade in stolen bikes. PropertyVault is free for bicycle owners to register their bicycles details in case their bike gets stolen, it can be tracked and returned to the owner. PropertyVault also helps bring awareness to the stolen bikes by having spotters who trawl for and report stolen bikes found for sale online and at second-hand dealer premises, removing pathways to safely sell and profit from stolen property is the ultimate deterrent to profit driven theft.
 Bike theft affects the young and poor most – why is it not taken seriously? 2019 by Laura Laker https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2019/feb/22/bike-theft-affects-the-young-and-poor-most-why-is-it-not-taken-seriously
 Why bike identification is key to combating bike theft! 2020 by Brad Kellas https://www.propertyvault.com.au/news/stolen-bikes/231/why-bike-identification-is-key-to-combatting-bike-theft