A new indoor cycle storage unit, the first of its kind in Newport, was officially opened this morning in Skinner Street.

Spokesafe Newport offers 24/7 access to cyclists looking for a safe place to store their bikes when visiting the city centre.

The unit has been set up by Gap Wales, a Newport-based grassroots charity that supports refugees and asylum seekers, homeless or vulnerably housed people, and victims of human trafficking, and works to make Newport a better place for all.

Gap Wales already runs several successful projects in the city, including the Newport Refugee Bike project, a scheme that recycles bikes and donates them to people in need of transport.

The cycle storage unit will offer space to store 40 bikes, including cargo and non-standard bikes, with the potential to increase if needed. Cyclists can book a space in the unit using the Spokesafe app from just one pound per day.

The unit has been funded by Welsh Government through the Burns Delivery Unit, which is resourced by Transport for Wales. The delivery unit has worked on this project alongside Newport City Council, Newport City Homes, Gwent Police, and Spokesafe, a UK-wide company who work with local organisations to provide online cycle storage booking platforms.

The Burns Delivery Unit’s work aims to provide alternatives to journeys on the M4 and encourage the use of public transport and active travel in the south east region.

Mark Seymour, project manager at Gap Wales, said: “We all know the benefits of cycling: exercise, a boost to mental health and wellbeing, and less pollution congestion and vehicles on the road. The risk of having your bike stolen has been a barrier to people who want to cycle into the city centre.

“This funding has enabled us as a charity to address this issue, by setting up a secure, dry, indoor, CCTV monitored city centre community bike hub, where people can leave their bikes in piece of mind that they are being carefully looked after.

“We’re grateful to Welsh Government and Transport for Wales for providing the funding for the unit, and to Newport City Council and Newport City Homes for their support and for believing in our vision.”

The deputy minister for climate change with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters MS, said: “This is great news, not only for the people who already who use bikes to get around Newport but also for those wishing to take up cycling.

“Having the right infrastructure in place makes cycling easier, so that people are encouraged to reduce the amount of journeys they take by car and travel in a way that is better, not only for their physical and mental wellbeing, but also for our planet.”

Councillor Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said “The opening of Spokesafe Newport will complement the work we have been doing to upgrade active travel routes into the city, as well as the work on the new Devon Place bridge.

“We are committed to making it easier for our residents and visitors to the city to walk or cycle to the city centre should they wish to, and we hope that the new unit will encourage more people to do just that.

“We are pleased to have supported the project, and we commend the excellent work done by Mark and his team to get the unit up and running.”

Professor Simon Gibson CBE, chair of the Burns Delivery Unit, said: “The Burns Delivery Unit is delighted to see Spokesafe open in Newport. Congratulations to the team for making this happen.

“Safe bike storage will make a huge difference in encouraging people to cycle in the city as part of their everyday travel.

“Making it easier to travel sustainably is key to delivering a cleaner, greener and more prosperous south-east Wales.”

For more information on how the scheme works or to book a space, visit www.spokesafe.com/newport.