When riding my bicycle in London, I was wondering what I can chain it to.

Some railings have a sign as follows:


Other railings do not.

Sometimes a bike rack is hard to find, especially in the centre where they are all busy.

Is there any specific guidance to where I can chain my bicycle if there is no sign or no railings at all, only bike racks?

I am asking about Greater London and the legal way, I don’t want my bike taken away because I am not allowed to chain it there.

This question is not about how to prevent my bike from being stolen but how and where I can chain it and how to do so legally.

  • 1
    If you're not already aware of it, you might want to have a look at Bicycles.
    – phoog
    Sep 25, 2019 at 16:23
  • 3
    Such signs are not traffic signs - they are put there by the owner of the property. Whether they have the right to damage the lock and remove the bicycle is another matter. Sep 25, 2019 at 16:54
  • Don't want your bike taken away by who? Sep 25, 2019 at 17:04
  • Bringing bikes to London is like bringing coal to Newcastle. Sep 25, 2019 at 17:08
  • @WeatherVane taken away by the owners being chained illegally
    – Xnero
    Sep 25, 2019 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


If it is no bike rack, with or without signs you can expect your bike to be unwelcome.
They will not remove bikes in all locations but any place which is not an official bike rack can be seen as 'no bikes here'.

As there are not enough bike racks in most places, (not just London, not just the UK but everywhere bikes are popular,) you may have to park your bike in an unofficial place at times.

  • Never park it where there are 'no bikes' signs. Whether they are legal or not, there is a high risk the owner will get some officials to remove the bikes.
  • Never park your bike in a position where it will obstruct traffic in any form, including walking people.
  • If there are no official bike racks around or if those are all filled to capacity, look for out of the way places where you could park, check that your bike will not obstruct traffic, look for 'no parking here' signs, know the bike parking rules for the area (mostly announced at the edge of the area sometimes repeated where there are a lot of offenders) and if all clear you can park your bike there.

If it is just for a few minutes you can get away with a lot more than if it is for a day.
If you need to leave your bike for a long time, search on till you do find an official rack or a bike parking.

  • 1
    For a brief stop you can often find a sign or lamppost where it won't cause an obstruction - but I wouldn't leave mine there all day Sep 25, 2019 at 20:33

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