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Train company bans bikes

Cycle campaigning organisation the CTC have just given us the following warning.

“South West trains has banned hundreds of Surrey cyclists from morning
peak time trains with just one week’s notice – the week that includes
two bank holidays.

The company, which runs rail services from the south coast through
Guildford, Woking and Dorking, yesterday mounted signs at stations
ordering commuters to leave bikes at home if they were taking trains
that arrived in London between 7.45am and 9.45am, without consultation.
South West Trains is claiming that cyclists are causing trains to be
delayed.

Train users believe the cycle ban, an official company policy which has
never been enforced, has been introduced in anticipation of new rolling
stock in which space for bikes will be severely limited. Trains with
guards vans currently carry up to 12 bikes per van but new stock will
only house two bikes in each four carriage unit. User Mr Simpson said: “If
people do nothing about this ban then South West Trains will use the
claim of no demand to justify reduced bike space on new trains.

Sue Hall, CTC Public Transport Campaigner said: “The Government wants
more integrated transport and has set targets for cycle-usage which will
not be meet if rail companies take this action.

“Cyclists are being used as scapegoats for trains that are late for a
multitude of reasons, most of which are the responsibility of rail
operators not the passengers they are supposed to be serving. A blanket
ban is unreasonable when many peak hour trains are not full.”

After his morning commute, BMer Alex Hammond was handed a leaflet from the CTC this morning at Waterloo with the following address to contact at South West Trains to complain:

Martin Howard – Customer Relations
020-7983-6160
email:m.howard@swtrains.co.uk

So, is anybody else here on BikeMagic affected by this change to a two bikes per train policy? We know restricted bike space is very common elsewhere, but has anyone found ways round it? Bike bags, folding bikes etc.

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