Why is taking a bike in the train made so bloody difficult?

Home Forum Bike Forum Why is taking a bike in the train made so bloody difficult?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)
  • Why is taking a bike in the train made so bloody difficult?
  • dsb181
    Member

    Cross country trains are worse, they only allow room for 2 bikes and can refuse to let you on if the spaces are already full. You can reserve a space for your bike by calling the 0845 customer service number the day before you travel.

    I agree it’s made much harder than it needs to be.

    crispy1970
    Member

    Polar opposite to the Nordic countries. They have carriages that are kitted out with bike racks the full length of the carriages. Piss poor over here.

    rogerthecat
    Member

    @crispy1970 – could be joined up thinking.

    Premier Icon mountainman
    Subscriber

    They don’t want to provide a customer service,which is psh poor as the price you pay for a ticket .

    Nearly empty train Carmarthen to pemb dock and you have to pre book bike space (sorry sir you didn’t book)

    PAIN IN THE A__E !!!

    rogerthecat
    Member

    The whole system is FUBAR.
    It is one of the services that needs re nationalising, having massive investment and being linked up to other systems of public transport so that we can get cars with one person in them, off the road.

    Helios
    Member

    This was my train yesterday 11 bikes here, another 3 I saw getting off other cars…

    Today there is a manager on the train apparently – so they came down and kicked us all off…

    Why? There are rarely less than 7 bikes when I commute… And there is never a problem…

    I’ll drive tomorrow

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Well I’d have thrown that lime green fixie out of the window for starters! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In reality we’ve got a rail industry that is just a private monopoly, with not the remotest interest in John Prescott’s famous ‘Integrated Transport Policy’. And why would they? They exist purely to maximise profits for their shareholders. There are no other considerations. Certainly not cyclists.

    As the transport needs of the country point to increasingly towards more cycling, the rail industry should be hand-in-hand with promoting that. Its obvious to anyone with anything between their ears. Its a match made in heaven, surely? But the exclusive profit motive means they increasingly consider cyclists to be an unfortunate inconvenience, to be barely tollerated, at best!

    The way its going at the moment, with increased train use, and subsequent fight for space, I’ll give it another couple of years before one of the major train operators announces it won’t be carrying bikes at all on trains, from now on. Would you bet against it?

    The whole system is completely ****ed!! But hey…. a few companies are making a very tidy profit, so its all good, right?

    andyl
    Member

    The whole system is FUBAR

    +1000000000000000 to that.

    Too expensive, too restrictive, too much of a PITA.

    Premier Icon annebr
    Subscriber

    Because bicycles take up room that could be sold to fare paying passengers.

    They should just sell bicycle tickets.

    Premier Icon cakefacesmallblock
    Subscriber

    Way back in the 70s , when apparently the railways and public transport were in a mess. Me and a mate ( we were too young to drive then),used to simply turn up at the station and take bikes laden with panniers and camping kit, on trips , for example from Worcester to Settle, which involved 3 changes of train. Proper guards vans on passenger trains with loads of room. Bike went for free, you could usually find a seat, or if the train was full, guard was always quite happy for you to pull out a roll mat and sit with the bikes. IIRC, ยฃ7 midweek return too !
    As ever, random ramblings of a cynical old b*****d !

    asterix
    Member

    I blame Margaret Thatcher

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Sorted.

    Or get a Birdy if you want something that rides like a normal bike…

    Premier Icon cakefacesmallblock
    Subscriber

    I blame the great unwashed for having more kids than is truly sensible, who in turn…….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    svalgis
    Member

    crispy1970 – Member
    Polar opposite to the Nordic countries. They have carriages that are kitted out with bike racks the full length of the carriages. Piss poor over here.

    Not in Sweden, here you’re not allowed to bring bikes at all unless you pack them in a bag and lie about the content if you’re asked…

    grum
    Member

    The whole system is FUBAR.
    It is one of the services that needs re nationalising, having massive investment and being linked up to other systems of public transport so that we can get cars with one person in them, off the road.

    The one train service that was renationalised is the only one not receiving massive public subsidy, ie it pays for itself.

    The Tories are planning to privatise it again ASAP – cant have the mantra of privatisation undermined by inconvenient evidence can we?

    ndthornton
    Member

    Last time I went on a train it had carriage for bikes.
    Why not all trains?

    warpcow
    Member

    svalgis – Member
    crispy1970 – Member
    Polar opposite to the Nordic countries. They have carriages that are kitted out with bike racks the full length of the carriages. Piss poor over here.

    Not in Sweden, here you’re not allowed to bring bikes at all unless you pack them in a bag and lie about the content if you’re asked…

    The best one is that you can take on a bike bag as long as there is not a bike in it, which you may need to prove if asked. Local commuter trains are a little better, in that they allow bikes, but at peak times you’re expected to disembark if the space is needed for other, non-biking, passengers.

    mk1fan
    Member

    For thesme reason they use seats barely big enough for a child let alone a human.

    I’m assuming it’s too far to do the commute all by bike? . . . lovely day yesterday too… ๐Ÿ™‚

    i drove to work today, it’s 35 mins by bike . . . the shame . . ๐Ÿ˜• But i did do 28k off road last night . . my excuse and i’m sticking to it

    IA
    Member

    barely big enough for a child let alone a human.

    What species are your “children”?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    About

    That is all.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Sometimes I would take the early train from Hastings to Bexhill. Most days I would be the only person in the carriage. One day the guard left a leaflet on my bike.
    I expected it to be a days out thing. It said that as the train arrived in London at a certain time I couldn’t take my bike.
    Couldn’t bloody believe it.

    project
    Member

    Merseyrail our local train company. has 4 dedicated spaces per train , and usually no problem getting more bikes on, just in the doorways.

    Secure parking at some train stations, and lifts, along with a new bike hire scheme starting soon.

    Oh and car parking is free at a lot of stations.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Or get a Birdy if you want something that rides like a normal bike…

    Was half considering this exact brand for distant day trips and overnighters, mostly on road, bike path, gravel etc. And the ability to hop on any train (including ICE) without worry.

    Think they use 18in wheels. Anyone know a decent supplier of 18in bits?

    Was a ‘mare getting tram yesterday. Had a chain snap, then a multitool chain breaker snap too. Couldn’t beleive how many people were getting on with bikes (much like 1st pic in fact, but with added jumbo double width off-road pushchairs too).

    Helios
    Member

    The green fixie belonged to a very trendy looking young chap. He had a hat on.

    It isn’t really too far to do the whole thing by bike – about 75 minutes… But it can’t really face doing it both ways.

    What really puts me off however is that the roads I’d need to cycle on are suidically dangerous: country roads with people doing 70-80 mph and overtaking far too close… Scary…

    I was in Copenhagen a few months ago – they seemed to have a carriage just for bikes – it was a beautiful sight…

    Doug
    Member

    Company rules say I can’t carry bikes on my bus. Wheels off and fits in the luggage rack then it’s just a collection of bicycle parts until I’m told otherwise by management.

    svalgis
    Member

    The best one is that you can take on a bike bag as long as there is not a bike in it, which you may need to prove if asked.

    Yeah, it makes perfect sense!

    Premier Icon HansRey
    Subscriber

    you need to get a biketicket for the national lines in Finland. Still, barely anyone will take a bike on the train so it’s usually ok to get one on the day you travel. On the local trains, you can often take a bike if you can squeeze it in.

    andeh
    Member

    but with added jumbo double width off-road pushchairs too

    Spacious train, 3 bikes needing to fit in, 1 gigantic pushchair sat in the, usually ample, bike space. We were forced stand in the corridor between carriages, blocking the toilet completely. When I asked the lady if she could fold the pushchair and sit in an actual seat, of which there were plenty, she yelled some incoherent vowels at me ๐Ÿ˜

    The best feature of babies is their portability, do they really need a buggy with an NCAP safety rating for meandering around shopping centres?

    Anyway, trains around me are OK, I guess. They’re hugely outdated, break down regularly and smell like cow shit, but there’s normally space for a few bikes.

    I think it’s the East Coast ones which you have to book bikes on, despite them having a huge guards van with bike racks. The guards relish the moments where they ask you if you have a reservation.

    Premier Icon unklehomered
    Subscriber

    Proper guards vans on passenger trains

    This.

    Main problem tbh is trains are now run for a [subsidised] profit, not for the good of the population.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    The bikes in that photo look pretty obstructive to people getting off and on the train, and it’d be an ambulance chasers wet dream if there was an accident.

    Guard vans cost money, and would mostly be empty. Commercial companies don’t want to spend money.

    From the train co’s POV their rules make sense on a macro scale (eg 2 bikes per train even if it’s empty).

    That’s the problem here.

    I dearly wish I could roll down to the station and sling my bike on!

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    What really puts me off however is that the roads I’d need to cycle on are suidically dangerous: country roads with people doing 70-80 mph and overtaking far too close… Scary…

    Ok so here’s the root cause of the problem. Back to square 1.

    I’ve nearly been wiped out twice now by people cutting the corner at the top of my quiet residential street. Now I ride down the footpath instead. (Sorry off-topic side rant). But if loads of people turned up at the station wanting to put bikes on, there’d be a sizeable customer base the train co’s would want to serve).

    Helios
    Member

    mattjg – Member

    The bikes in that photo look pretty obstructive to people getting off and on the train, and it’d be an ambulance chasers wet dream if there was an accident.

    There was actually a decent bit of space, or there would have been if the knob in the orange jacket hadn’t just dumped his bike on without putting it in carefully and leaving more room. Plus, there was no-one behind where i took the photo from, and even if there was they could have gone off the other set of doors.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Fair dos.

    It looks a mess in the photo, and it’s that way because there is no proper system for carrying bikes conveniently on rail.

    There is no proper system for carrying bikes conveniently because … train companies believe it’s too much hassle to deal with at current demand, with no worthwhile financial return.

    Deveron53
    Member

    I used to commute on Northern Rail out of Sheffield. It was all down to how much of a chunt the ‘train manager’ was.
    Nice one: train would be packed with bikes.
    Total Chunt: max 2 bikes and some stinky old lady that used to work for BR saying “you tell him, 2 bikes max…”
    I had a stand up row with the worst train manager one morning. Commuters to Leeds all looks round as I called him something naughty (I’ve got a loud voice).
    Commuted the 8 miles most of the time after that BUT no showers at work and I got bad saddlesores quite often.
    Commuting between Sheffield and Rotherham via the mostly off-road path was not uneventful though.
    A disgruntled walking commuter said “you shouldn’t be riding your bike over the bridge” I pointed to the clear sign that said ‘national cycle route’.
    I managed to hit a pikey’s dog while trying to get away from the stink of cables having their insulation burnt off.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I reckon it a Public sector procurement thing, they simply can’t do procurement very effectively…

    Unfortunately the “Get Britain Cycling recommendations” Don’t seem to explicitly include much about improving train operators accommodation of bicycle commuters.

    As Discussed here

    But it’s actually quite a key part of any long term strategy to promoting and support cycling IMO.

    Any Government truly committed to the goals of that report would add a requirement for any one bidding for a Rail franchise to demonstrate adequate provision for the safe and convenient carriage of bicycles at all times on all services.

    Lacking this as part of a bid or having prior form for turning away bikes/cramming them into passenger carriages should be a big black mark, DfT should have a Name and Shame hotline/inbox and appropriate, fines for any upheld complaints on this issue should be written into the franchise agreements.
    The number and nature of any such complaints past can be referenced when tender time rolls round to beat them over the head with…

    Sorry first group, while your bid was the lowest priced, it makes no provisions to accommodate the government’s integrated cycling policy, the number of previous upheld complaints against you as an operator, for failing to meet the needs of cyclist-passengers leads us to believe the service you would provide, if awarded a franchise renewal, would fall below the minimum expected standards

    Shake ’em up a bit!

    asterix
    Member

    unfortunately more likely we might see:

    We are pleased to inform you that your tender was the lowest price and has been successful. We were particularly impressed with your innovative proposal to streamlining service provision by eliminating all cycle carriage and ensuring promptness and value for money by phasing out of station stops and customers.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    I had a stand up row with the worst train manager one morning. Commuters to Leeds all looks round as I called him something naughty (I’ve got a loud voice).

    That’s not really going to help though is it. For better or worse that person was probably doing their job as written down in a rule book by someone else. What happens if they don’t follow it? They get disciplined, moved … fired. They have a mortgage to pay too.

    On the whole I think staff are as helpful as they can be, within the system they’re bound to (sure there are the odd exceptions).

    stevieeeh
    Member

    Probably not going to be a popular view point but I think if you bring a bike on a train you should pay for it.

    Before the flaming begins, by putting a price and creating a market for bikes, if there is demand on certain routes for bringing bikes, there is then incentive for operators to include carriages specifically for bikes in which you could buy a ticket for your bike.

    You wouldn’t expect to use the train for free so why should something you bring, which essentially takes the place of another passenger, be free?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)

The topic ‘Why is taking a bike in the train made so bloody difficult?’ is closed to new replies.