Many people across East Renfrewshire are being deterred from taking up cycling because of a lack of places to park bikes, according to a new report.

A study by pressure group Cycling Scotland found that most people living in tenements and apartment blocks have nowhere they can safely store their bikes, particularly at night.

In East Renfrewshire, almost 10,000 households are flats, which is a quarter of all properties.

A lack of storage spaces means many cyclists have to leave their bikes in stairwells, balconies or against railings, where they are at risk of theft or vandalism.

The report calls for more parking and storage spaces for bike owners, particularly those in older buildings.

It also found that people living in flats have limited access to sheds or other storage spaces where they can leave their wheels.

Kath Brough, of Cycling Scotland, said: “Lack of safe, secure, covered, accessible and conveniently-located cycle storage is a barrier to owning and using a bike.

“We know from research that a third of people in Scotland say not having somewhere to store a bike prevents them from cycling for everyday journeys – and this particularly affects those from lower socio-economic groups.

“It’s urgent that we do everything we can to make it easier for people to make affordable journeys – and a bike helps people to reach employment, education and essential services reliably and cheaply.

“Residents in high-rise buildings, tenement flats and apartment blocks cannot reasonably be expected to keep cycles within the property and the availability of suitable secure cycle storage nearby is often scarce.”

Scottish Government minister Patrick Harvie said the report’s recommendations will be looked at closely.

He added: “We’re committed to making it easier for people to walk, wheel and cycle for everyday journeys.”