Cross Country Trains - due to ban bikes?

colema
colema Posts: 31
edited March 2008 in Commuting chat
Travellers with a bike at the end of last year on cross country trains on the service between Birmingham and the South coast may have noticed that increasing use of the service has led to the 4 bike limit being breached with regularity at peak times. Well, on my first use of the train of this New Year, the inevitable happened - the guard said the train was full. Offering to take the wheels off got me on, but what was strange was that the guard is usually at the first class end of the train...

The return journey this evening clarified things. Refused point blank - fair enough (although then had to wait 45 mins for another train), it was bound to happen sometime. I managed to get on the next one, but someone else nearly got bumped. I spoke to the guard to find out what was going on, and he said by half way through 2008, all the rolling stock will have NO bike space. This is because the buffet car is to be ripped out, and fridges etc will occupy the bike spaces.

Can anyone confirm this? Hardly integrated transport, especially considering how the demand for the 4 spaces has risen so noticeably.
M Cole
Oxfordshire

Comments

  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I'll bet they'll still let prams on, and they take far more space up.
    I like bikes...

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  • Matteeboy
    Matteeboy Posts: 996
    Our public transport system is becoming beyond a joke.

    No bikes, always late, horribly expensive.

    Sorry government, I'll be using a 4x4 to take my bike places if I need to.
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.

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  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    if you get on trains to commute you should have a folding bike

    that's my opinion anyway... if you don't like it cycle the whole way or *gulp* drive
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • Adamskii
    Adamskii Posts: 267
    I have to agree with Clever Pun. If use use trains on your daily commute get a folding bike.

    Or get a 2nd hand 'cheap' bike and leave it locked up at the other end.
    It's all good.
  • Cunobelin
    Cunobelin Posts: 11,792
    Clever Pun wrote:
    if you get on trains to commute you should have a folding bike

    that's my opinion anyway... if you don't like it cycle the whole way or *gulp* drive

    Excellent!

    We all just drive everywhere.......or buy a folding bike.

    Us old fogies can remember a time when Rail services used to have a concept called "a service" and meeting "the needs of their passengers"

    If a service is oversubscribed then - delete it would have been unacceptable.a bit like a few of the rmodifications like having luggage space, seats for the passengers and raising fares in line with inflation.

    Let's take another example and apply the option we are suggesting is acceptable here as this could solve the 4 hour wait in Casualty department though - withdraw your casually Department
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • Agreed. I think the problem is the cost of allowing enough space for bikes. They DO take lot of space. It would be difficult for the train companies to know how much space to provide as presumably, the number of cyclists depends (weather, days of the week etc).

    If they over-allocate, they lose money. If they under-allocate, then passengers run the risk of not being able to take the bike on. I would hate the uncertainty of knowing whether I could get to work on time (though maybe not as much as my boss ;) ).

    If they train companies are to run a consistent, and planned service, then maybe they could promote season tickets for bikes. Say 100 quid a month for the ticket * 10 cyclists would give them the certainty to convert half a carriage or whatever to proper bike facilities.

    However, having only really recently been introduced to rail travel, I am still frequently disappointed by their poor planning and low convenience.
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Agreed. I think the problem is the cost of allowing enough space for bikes. They DO take lot of space. It would be difficult for the train companies to know how much space to provide as presumably, the number of cyclists depends (weather, days of the week etc).

    Suitcases take a lot of space but you don't see TOCs refusing people with those bug wheelie suitcases on:

    "Sorry sir, only 3 suitcases allowed per train. You'll miss your flight but I couldn't give a toss, it's your own fault for choosing to use a suitcase..."

    Presumably people should either have a cheap old suitcase they can lock at the airport or get a folding suitcase that can be compressed down to the size of a small rucksack.

    I'm not saying it's a piece of cake to cater for bikes, and maybe the suggestion of a folder for commuters is valid, but we shouldn't be obliged by the train company refusing to carry bikes. That's blatantly unfair.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • TheBoyBilly
    TheBoyBilly Posts: 749
    It's really just a question of if this country of ours is seriously interested in "integrated Transport". Clearly it isn't. Most of our train companies are now a subsidiery of a bus/coach organisation but do they link up? For the most part the answer is no. If a train fails do they get coaches out as soon as possible... again no, mostly. When engineering works are on, double-decker buses replace trains. In my area this means folk travelling to the airport have no chance of boarding. Why not coaches with luggage space?
    Crossrail are shamefully not going to allow cycles on it's system. It really wouldn't be difficult to provide a luggage area on each train that would be of both use to both cyclists and those travelling with suitcases. But the companies are far too interested in profits over the demands of their customers. A very British trait I'm sorry to say. Other European rail networks put us to shame.
    Yet these companies, Stagecoach, FirstGroup, National Express, and the like, under-perform badly yet are given franchises elsewhere on the network. Why not some fresh blood instead of the same tired ideas?
    To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity - Oscar Wilde
  • sadjack
    sadjack Posts: 9
    Sorry to hark back.....

    In the early 80's I used to cycle to the train station and never give a second thought as to whether I could get my bike on the train.

    See they had this strange contraption, I think they called it a guards van, it had all the bulky items in it, leaving room for passengers to (gasp) have a seat. And there was this guy in there, a guard they called him if my memory serves right, you gave him your bike and when you got off he gave it you back!

    I still travel by train quite a bit, never take a bike any more. I've lost count of the time I have had to stand the whole length of my journey. If a driver were to carry passengers in a car or a bus in the way trains do they would be prosecuted for carrying them in a dangerous manner!

    Service has been sacrificed at the alter of making money. Making the railways public was supposed to create competition, improve services and reduce fares....Now because their service is crap and people only use them when they have to, their answer is to reduce the number of trains and raise fares making them even less of a service.

    Rant over, this is after all a cycle forum!! :roll:
  • Cunobelin
    Cunobelin Posts: 11,792
    Actually the limits on Suitcases are happening and being enforced. I was on a trip recently up North when we were all told to remove our bags into a carriage at the end of the train - we were not allowed to keep them with us as there is insufficient room!
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)