Sustainable UCL


Cycle Parking

As part of UCL's green recovery from COVID we are introducing 600 new cycle parking spaces on campus.

Click on the interactive map below for cycling parking and showers

This interactive map shows you where to find cycle parking spaces and cycle-hire racks across Bloomsbury, as well as the location of showers and lockers in UCL buildings.

  • Currently showers will NOT be accessible to cyclists or anyone else in the short term. This relates to the cleaning regime and concerns around the spread of COVID-19. We would recommend that people consider this before cycling to UCL campuses, shower at home and cycle slower.
  • The additional 600 cycle parking spaces will be added to the map in August when they will be in place on campus.

> View map


Types of Locks

Once you have found the right bike for you, it’s time to think about locking it securely. There are many different types of locks you can purchase. 

Cable locks

These are metal wires within a plastic coating. They come as key locks, combination locks or extender locks (to be used in conjunction with a D-lock). They are suitable as a secondary lock for wheels only. It is important to use them in combination with another lock because they can be cut easily, using small bolt cutters.  

Chain locks

These locks are strong and can easily secure bikes to many different objects. They are very heavy and perfect for home use. They can only be cut with larger full bolt cutters.  


These locks are just as strong as chain locks, but much lighter. They are the go-to solution for commuting and cycling in London. But they can restrict you to whre you can park your bike, if the pole is bigger than the lock. They can only be cut with larger full bolt cutters.  

What to look for in a lock

We recommend that you buy a D-lock or chain lock as your primary locks for commuting, and a secondary lock to enable both wheels and frame to be locked at all times.  

Only buy a lock which is Gold Sold Secure. This is an industry standard, which rates how hard a lock is to brake. See a list of gold sold secure D-locks here

Make sure the main lock is 13mm or higher and made from hardened steel. This makes it is resistant to all but the largest bolt cutters and angle grinders. 

How to Lock a Bike

Lock your frame to an immovable object 

Always lock your frame to an immovable object. If you only secure your bike through the wheel, a thief will simply remove your wheel and walk off with the rest of the bike. 

Keep the lock off the ground 

Try to keep the lock away from the ground. If it’s on the ground, a thief can use a hammer to smash the lock against the hard floor and this will break cheaper models. 

Fill the space 

If you’re using a D-lock, try to fill as much of the space within the D with the bike and the object it’s attached to. This reduces the ability for locks being broken by banging the lock against something. 

Lock your frame and wheels 

Use two locks or a cable lock to lock both wheels and the frame. Alternatively, take the front wheel off your bike. 

Remove accessories 

A bike is less attractive without lights, bags, and other accessories, so make sure you remove these if you have room to carry them with you. 

Replace quick release parts

Check whether your bike has quick release wheels or seats as they can be easily stolen. Remove the seat and take it with you, or consider another lock to put though the seat rails to secure it. Put a lock through both wheels if they are quick release.

Alternatively you can replace them with wheels and seats which require a spanner or Allen key to be removed. You can also purchase special locking nuts which can only be undone with a specific tool which is sold with the bolt. If you don't feel confident doing this yourself (some bikes will be more straight forward than others), then you should go to a bike shop to get these fitted. It is important that they are correctly fitted as you don't want your wheels coming loose as you ride along! 

Parking Your bike

Parking on the street 

Choose a busy area 
Try to choose a busy location with lots of people walking past. If it’s an area well covered by CCTV, even better. Other people and CCTV make thieves nervous. They’d much prefer to be hidden away while they “work”. 

Lock your bike next to other bikes
Choose a place where lots of other bikes are already locked up. Firstly, there’s bound to be badly locked bikes that are more tempting to a thief. Secondly, lots of bikes crammed together give a thief less room to manoeuver and use their tools effectively. Thirdly, the comings and goings of other cyclists may disturb them. 

Check your immovable object 
Check the bike can’t be lifted over the top of whatever you’ve attached it to, or that the object can’t be easily unscrewed or dismantled. Avoid trees, aluminum or wooden posts, signposts, scaffolding and chain link fences. Remember, your lock is only as strong as what it is locked too. A thief may curt the object if it is not as strong as your lock and cycle off with your lock attached.  

Even check bicycle racks 
Make sure the bicycle rack is secure. Thieves have been known to cut through bicycle racks, tape over the cut and then return to simply remove locked bikes via the cut. So, check the object thoroughly.   

Parking at UCL 

UCL spaces 
Many of UCL's parking spaces are off street and therefore more secure. Do not park your bike on railings, pathways or stairways. Please also ensure that you do not park your bike next to or in front of fire exits. If you do so, this may result in your bicycle being removed by UCL Security. 

Parking at home

Inside your flat 
Inside your house or flat is the safest place to keep your bike. Gravity racks can save space and require no drilling to walls or the ground.  

Communal areas 
You may have communal bike storage or areas to keep a bike. Don’t be complacent, and always lock your bike up. If there are no fixed objects, lock your frame and wheels together. If you have a balcony, put it on the inside of the railing instead of the external side.

Install ground anchors or wall anchors to lock your bike to an immovable object.  

Sheds are not particularly secure, as it is hard to have a fixed anchor point installed. If using a shed, make sure bikes are not visible from the shed windows, cover up the bikes, and lock the bike and the shed door with quality locks. 

Registration and Insurance

Register your bike  

Register your bicycle on Bike Register and Immobilise. These are databases used by the police to identify owners of recovered stolen property. Every bike has a unique frame number, located underneath the frame. Include this number when you register, so in the event your bike is stolen and recovered it can be returned to you.  

Many local authorities put on bike register evets where you can bring your bike along, and have it marked with a unique code and listed on the Bike Register database. 


If you have a new bike, it may be worth looking at insurance. An easy way to do this is to extend your home contents insurance to cover your bicycle - but make sure it covers you for thefts outside the home too. If your bicycle is valuable you may need to insure it separately, with bicycle insurance. 


Theft at UCL - Contact UCL Security 

If you find you have any issues with bicycle theft, or you have any other security-related concerns please contact the Security Department on 020 7679 2222 or UCL ext 32108 for enquiries or 222 in an emergency. 

Report to the police 

Search for your nearest Metropolitan police station or nearest City of London police station. Once you report your theft, the police will provide you with a unique case reference number. Keep it safe and update the case if you have any further information. It’s very important to get this reference number quickly, especially if you have cycle insurance. 

By phone  

Call 101 to report a stolen bike. In an emergency, always dial 999 


You can also use the online Metropolitan Police Service (Greater London area – not City of London) to report your theft. For the City of London Police see here.   

Online Tools

There are some online tools which may increase the chances of your bike being spotted, recovered or returned to you: 

Bike register / Immobilise 

If your bicycle is listed on Immobilise or Bike Register then update it as “stolen” on these sites.  

Find That Bike

 Create a search on Find That Bike, which automatically searches online auction sites for matching items, so you may find your stolen bike for sale. 

Stolen Bike 

Report your bike on Stolen Bike, so people may know not to buy your bike or tell you if they see it.  

Stolen Ride 

Report your bike via Twitter or Instagram to Stolen Ride, so, people may know not to buy your bike or tell you if they see it.