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Letter: I Do Not Apologise For Taking My Fold-up Bike Onto A Train

From Simon Schulz

In response to: There Is No Room For Folding Bikes On Crowded Trains

I find myself completely unapologetic for placing my Brompton bike on the train and thus avoiding 18km of motorised journeys each day, to and from the stations at either end.

We need more, not less, use of folding bikes. I hope that Thomas Hill is not clogging up the roads to the station, and the car parking near it, with a polluting automobile, thus making for a very unpleasant journey for everyone else.

One simple thing that SWR could do to improve space usage in the train is to install vertical folding bike storage in each carriage – three Bromptons could thus be fitted into the space currently occupied by one.

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6 Responses to Letter: I Do Not Apologise For Taking My Fold-up Bike Onto A Train

  1. Pete Knight Reply

    February 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    I completely agree with Thomas Hill.

    The last few weeks have been dogged with train problems. The carriages have been so busy that I’ve had to stand in the lobby part of the carriages. I searched high and low to find a doorway to stand in and thought I had found one only to find one completely filled with Brompton bikes which take up the same footprint of an average person but are invisible to anyone, like me, walking on the platform trying to find space.

    I then spent the next ten minutes explaining to people on the platform that there wasn’t space as the doorways were littered with bikes whilst people paying on average £3,500 for a season ticket are crammed like sardines.

    If we had more carriages then I wouldn’t have a problem but please get these things off our trains until we do. Also, for the record, I use my legs walking to my office from Waterloo and to my house in Guildford.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    February 12, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    In my experience, they are generally placed out of the way between seats, so is the issue the behaviour of some cyclists?

  3. Thomas Hill Reply

    February 13, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Pete Knight sums this up perfectly with his real-life example of the issues. I appreciate the healthy intentions of the cyclists however it is just not viable with the limited service capacity. In response to Simon Schulz, I too walk the mile or so to/from the station, which is actually the most enjoyable part of my commute. With so much motorised traffic my family are too valuable to me to risk cycling.

    In addition in the summer due to the heat and nature of their exercise make for very unpleasant travelling companions – again without suitable showers at the station this just isn’t workable with the UK transport system.

  4. Adam Aaronson Reply

    February 14, 2018 at 10:26 am

    What happens if I carry a suitcase or other luggage, where the volume is similar to or larger than a folding bike. Will that be banned too? Or if someone takes a pram onto the train will they also become a focus of commuter discontent?

    Surely all passengers are entitled to take some luggage on the train.

    I’m not a cyclist nor a Brompton bike owner. I’m also not convinced that trying to justify cycling as against walking or taking the bus to and from the station(s) is really valid. If the issue is overcrowded trains, then the train companies need to address this overall and provide suitable luggage solutions to adapt to the needs of the modern commuter.

  5. John Lomas Reply

    February 14, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I think the earlier green rolling stock which used to be on the Southern Region of BR had certain carriages in each trainset with a brakevan/luggage compartment.
    Was it the innovation of privatisation which removed this facility?

    • David Wragg Reply

      February 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      It had nothing to do with privatisation but rather the need to cram in more seats. There was also the fact that with newspaper and mail traffic being transferred to the roads, the luggage vans were often under-used.

      If extra space were to be provided for cycles, it would mean higher fares, just as some dedicated airport trains charge more than ordinary trains to allow for the lost revenue due to extra luggage space.

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