Bicycle ban on the trains

Dear all,

As you may know, Southern Trains are to enforce their ban of cycles on trains at peak times from the 16th of January. I am writing for a couple of reasons – firstly, to make those of you who didn’t know aware of the changes, and secondly, to canvas opinions on issuing a statement on this matter.

This is the comment from Southern Customer Services

‘From 16 January we will be enforcing the cycle policy on Southern trains. This will mean that ordinary cycles are not permitted on trains travelling towards London or Brighton that are due to arrive at either destination between 0700 and 1000. Also ordinary cycles are not permitted on trains leaving London or Brighton between 1600 and 1900.

‘We are able to carry a limited number of ordinary cycles outside peak times where appropriate space is available.

‘We are enforcing this policy because Southern carries more than 120,000 people to and from work and with our much improved new trains and better punctuality, more people are travelling now than ever before. We want as many passengers as possible to be able to get on the train and travel safely and comfortably during the busy peak times.’

A small but regular group of cyclists, including several EGCC members, use the regular rail services on the East Grinstead line to get to and from work. This will be impossible with the forthcoming ban. It will also make it more difficult for those members to compete in the Evening Series or any other cycling related activities on weekday evenings. Moreover, it goes against government policy trying to encourage bicycle use as a regular part of commuting to increase public health, encourage interest in sport and exercise, and reduce pressure on roads and public transport.

I recommend that EGCC issues a statement in line with organisations such as Bike for Life, Bricycle and the CTC. I suggest something along the lines of:

“East Grinstead Cycling Club is disappointed that Southern has decided to enforce its ban on bicycles at peak times. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons. At a time when cycling is being encouraged both for public health and environmental reasons, this ban seems counter productive and discriminatory. Bicycles take up a negligible amount of space on the new trains running between East Grinstead and London, and banning them will prevent a number of EGCC members from taking part in competition or leisure rides”

A campaign group has been set up – for those of you who are concerned about this, see the following website – http://www.ctcg.org.uk/

Please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible,

Regards,
Matt

EGCC Press Secretary