Bicycle at the Dockyard

Cycling around Portsmouth

A cheap, easy and quick way to get around our flat city

Cycling local journeys is a great way to get more active. It can boost your physical and mental health, and has even been linked to better academic performance.

Portsmouth is a flat city, and most areas where students live are within short distance of the town centre and campus. Cycling can also be the quickest way to get around busy cities like Portsmouth, and you can pick quieter routes to get across the city while avoiding traffic.

There are also many on and off-road routes into the city from Emsworth, Waterlooville and Fareham. You can also take your bike on ferries and the hovercraft to improve your onward journey.

Cycle safely

  • Make sure your bike is fitted with front and back lights, especially when the nights get darker - it is the law
  • Wear a helmet
  • Wear hi-vis clothing such as a vest
  • Use the middle of the most appropriate lane on roundabouts and arrive at junctions in the middle of the lane
  • Look out for other vehicles coming from side roads
  • Wait in the traffic queue, unless it’s safe to move to the front
  • Cycle on the left hand side of the road, and one metre from the kerb - not in the gutter
  • Keep at least a door's width away from parked cars
  • Don't cut through on the inside of lorries or buses – they won't be able to see you
  • Remember that in wet weather you're harder to see, stopping takes longer and surfaces are slippery
  • Only cycle on the pavement when there is a sign which says you can use the pavement - use your bell or call out politely if needed

If you're a complete beginner and you need more advice to build your confidence before cycling in traffic, visit Cycling UK's website.

Looking after your bike

There are public bike repair stations, providing tools and a pump in case of breakdowns, around the city.

You can also receive a discount by showing your student or staff ID card at any of these local bike shops:

Bike U Like, 148 Albert Road, PO4 0JS - 5% off all services

SouthseaCycles, 235-237 Albert Road, PO4 0JR - 10% off all services

Portsmouth Cycle Exchange, Gothic Buildings, Victoria Road N, PO5 1PH - 10% off new bikes, servicing and repairs but NOT parts or accessories. Discounts are available on second hand bikes, but are dependent on the bikes and will be priced accordingly

Velopy, 151-153 New Road, PO2 7QS - same discounts as detailed under Portsmouth Cycle Exchange above.

Locking up your bike

Like many cities, bike theft does sometimes happen - but you can take some simple steps to keep your bike safe. 

  • Use an older bike as newer bikes are more valuable are more likely to be stolen.
  • Always secure the frame and both wheels of your bike with two good D-locks.
  • Lock your bike to an immovable object, ideally a proper bike stand and check your bike can't slip down and be damaged.
  • Take your valuables with you.
  • You can get your bike marked and registered to the National Cycle Database at our free bicycle events throughout the year.
  • If your bicycle is stolen on campus, report it to Halls reception or Security, who will assist you in obtaining a police crime number so you can make an insurance claim.

On-street bike storage

It can be difficult to store bikes securely in private rented accommodation. As a result, some roads in Portsmouth have on-street bike storage facilities called Bike Hangars, provided by Portsmouth City Council. If your road has one of these, you can apply to use them. You can also nominate your road for a new hangar, if you don't live near one.

Bike storage on campus

There are over 1,500 cycle hoops and two-tier cycle racks across campus to help you lock your bike securely. Please check our Google Active travel facilities map, which shows the current cycling, showering and locker facilities available. The map is updated as facilities and availability change.

The University also has a number of secure, covered cycle cages with swipe card access at these locations:

  • Burnaby Terrace Car Park
  • Eldon Building (Middle Street)
  • Harry Law Hall
  • Mercantile House

To gain access to the above cycle cages, email to request access via your student card, quoting the following details:

  • your student ID card number
  • your name


Active travel facilities

If you're cycling, running or using other active travel to get into campus, we've got a range of facilities for when you get here.

Check out our Active Travel Facilities Map to find your nearest cycle rack, lockers or showering facilities.