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WÖHR Autoparksysteme GmbH
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Medium-sized family business provides solution for bicycle parking: "A beacon of the traffic turnaround"
244 secure, dry and free bike parking spaces: New bike tower at Wunstorf railway station sets milestone for a bike-friendly future.
While the mobility transition is being discussed throughout Germany, it has already taken a decisive step forward in Hanover-Wunstorf. Since the beginning of the month, residents and commuters in the Lower Saxony municipality have been able to enjoy a free automatic bicycle car park with 244 secure and weather-protected parking spaces. The Bikesafe is located directly on the north side of Wunstorf railway station - the station most used by commuters from the surrounding area after Hanover Central Station.
After a year and a half of intensive construction and several months of trial operation, Wunstorf Mayor Carsten Piellusch and Ulf-Birger Franz, Head of Transport for the Hannover Region, officially opened the facility on 2 November 2023. A benefit for the entire region and an essential building block for a sustainable mobility concept. After all, the smart bike car park is a central component of the Hannover Region's 2035 transport development plan (VEP) - with the aim of becoming climate-neutral by 2035.
Wunstorf Bikesafe utilises innovative technology from WÖHR
244 bicycles and e-bikes can be stored in the Wunstorf Bikesafe at the same time. To make this large number of parking spaces possible, the municipality has put two examples of the internationally proven "WÖHR Bikesafe 885" into operation - each with eight levels and a height of twelve metres with a footprint of just around 36 square metres per tower.
In just a few seconds, users can safely park their bike in one of the two "twin towers" and pick it up again - regardless of size, design and accessories such as child seats or saddlebags - any standard bike with a handlebar width of up to 76 centimetres fits in here. The equipment also includes lockers and sockets for e-bike batteries. Thanks to the simple use and operation via app, the fully automatic bike parking system is accessible around the clock.
The innovative design was developed by WÖHR Autoparksysteme GmbH. The traditional Swabian company that once laid the foundations for a globally successful standard in car parking. With the "Parklift" series, the 120-year-old family business became one of the world's leading manufacturers of intelligent parking systems in the mid-1970s. And WÖHR Autoparksysteme GmbH is adapting to the trends of urban mobility: The WÖHR Bikesafe was presented to the public for the first time in 2015 and is now available in various versions. The tower version "Bikesafe 885", which is also used in Wunstorf, has been successfully in operation at the BOSCH company sites in Reutlingen and Kusterdingen as well as other locations in Germany since 2020.
Around 600,000 bikes are stolen every year in Germany alone: the WÖHR Biketower offers secure, free protection for bikes and e-bikes.
With its compact design, the new bicycle car park solves the parking space problem at Wunstorf railway station in an architecturally appealing way and visually enhances the site. At the same time, it is a real benefit for the users themselves. Cyclists and commuters finally have a simple and free way to reliably protect their bikes from theft, vandalism and the weather. With an average cost of around €2,800 for an e-bike and, according to crime statistics, around 600,000 bikes stolen nationwide every year, the Bikesafe represents a relevant and noticeable improvement in local safety - and another argument in favour of switching from car to bike.
Doubling bicycle use by 2030: mobility transition needs holistic solutions
With its innovative, sustainable and future-oriented approach, the Wunstorf Bikesafe is more than just a bicycle car park: it is a prime example of the mobility transition. After all, expanding the infrastructure for bicycles and e-bikes is a key element in achieving climate targets. According to the German government, the average distance travelled by bike is set to almost double by 2030: from 3.7 kilometres in 2017 to 6 kilometres. In addition, the number of bicycle journeys per inhabitant is to increase significantly: from 120 to 180 journeys per person per year.
Currently, 80 per cent of Germans already cycle regularly, and for 55 per cent it is even indispensable. If cycling is to become even more attractive in the future, holistic solutions are needed. In addition to a seamless expansion of the bicycle transport network, this includes, above all, sufficient public charging stations for e-bikes as well as secure and weather-protected parking spaces at central points and transport interfaces.
The "Bikesafe Wunstorf" at a glance:
WÖHR Bikesafe 885
Automatic bicycle car park consisting of 2 bicycle towers