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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: bobm on July 17, 2013, 10:26:25 pm



Title: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: bobm on July 17, 2013, 10:26:25 pm
FGW has announced changes to its cycle policy for the weekend of the 3/4 August because of the Prudential Ride London event.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/~/media/PDF/Cycle%20By%20Train%20May%202013/Ride%20London.ashx (http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/~/media/PDF/Cycle%20By%20Train%20May%202013/Ride%20London.ashx)

Reservations will be compulsory on all HST services while on London & Thames Valley services they will be banned completely on the Sunday - including services on the North Downs line.

On a separate note, is it me or are there more bikes on trains these days?  Even before the current hot weather I have been on half a dozen trains which have been delayed while bikes were loaded or unloaded. There have been arguments over people not being able to travel as there were no bike spaces. On one occasion we were treated to the spectacle of someone trying to wheel their bike through first class before discovering he couldn't get past the buffet!

I'm not against bikes on trains but they do seem to be causing problems at the moment.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 18, 2013, 04:06:23 pm
...while on London & Thames Valley services they will be banned completely on the Sunday - including services on the North Downs line.

I expect that will be enforced as strictly as it is on current peak services.  ::)


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on July 18, 2013, 04:14:49 pm
They'll have fun getting them home again then! - I'm sure the PAD barrier staff will be briefed to not allow them through....


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Electric train on July 18, 2013, 08:11:34 pm
This practice is not unusual Southern place a cycle ban on certain services every year when the London to Brighton is on.

There are more cycles, we are now plagued with fold up bikes on the TV services so much so that on some trains you struggle to get on and off, I think folks that have the contraptions if they have a seat have the bike on their lap or better still cycle the damn thing to work ........... and as for them half folding bike gerrrrrrrrrrrrr

Oh and then the owners of said bikes take up platform space putting the things together because they are to bone idle to carry them.

Via la pedestrian (well untill I get in my car  ;D )


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 22, 2013, 11:04:18 pm
Each person arriving by bicycle is probably one less car in the mostly-overstuffed car parks. It's rather irritating First train operators are so awful at accommodating bicycles, both at stations and on trains. Why is it? It's not like First Bus is competing with bicycles as First Bus usually fail to coordinate with the trains in my experience (Weston-super-Mare)...

Was it beyond First to arrange a few cycle specials for Ride London?  Hook a few extra guards vans onto that locomotive and coaches set that did Taunton-Cardiff (not seen it recently) or something. After all, the event's only been planned since a few years before the Olympics.  No, instead they take a page out of Southern's awful London-to-Brighton "How to Annoy Passengers" book.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ellendune on July 22, 2013, 11:22:39 pm
Each person arriving by bicycle is probably one less car in the mostly-overstuffed car parks. It's rather irritating First train operators are so awful at accommodating bicycles, both at stations and on trains. Why is it? It's not like First Bus is competing with bicycles as First Bus usually fail to coordinate with the trains in my experience (Weston-super-Mare)...

I agree that FGW and other companies should make more effort to provide secure cycle storage at stations with equal or greater priority than car parking.  I am not sure about on trains though.  They do take up a lot of space - something we are very short of on trains these days. The cost of this provision is not covered by additional fare income. The provision made therefore has to be limited.

Was it beyond First to arrange a few cycle specials for Ride London?  Hook a few extra guards vans onto that locomotive and coaches set that did Taunton-Cardiff (not seen it recently) or something. After all, the event's only been planned since a few years before the Olympics.  No, instead they take a page out of Southern's awful London-to-Brighton "How to Annoy Passengers" book.

The railway just does not have a few spare guards vans around for easy hire.  They did in the old BR days but those times have long gone. I am not saying it cannot be done, but it is not a trivial task and will not be cheap.  I assume that the additional passengers would want this service for just the cost of an ordinary (off peak) ticket.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 22, 2013, 11:43:12 pm
The railway just does not have a few spare guards vans around for easy hire.  They did in the old BR days but those times have long gone. I am not saying it cannot be done, but it is not a trivial task and will not be cheap.  I assume that the additional passengers would want this service for just the cost of an ordinary (off peak) ticket.
There must be some spare vehicles around. Sure, I'm not saying it's trivial, but does it really take more than three years to organise a special service? If so, I'm amazed that GW doesn't collapse every time something disrupts services and that Great Rail Journeys and other specials operators aren't out of business.

Why assume it would all be ordinary off-peak ticket costs? I don't remember if the Ride London sportive had an entry fee or just the ballot, but a lot of those people will be paying three figures to enter events where they ride their four-figure bicycles. I suspect there would be a healthy market for 1st class tickets on those specials.

In general, both on that special and on general services, bring back bicycle reservations and make them paid tickets. You can rack a lot of bicycles in the same space as a few seats, they're relatively light, they don't want toilets, heating and feeding... it should be possible to make that a profitable add-on.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: trainer on July 23, 2013, 08:51:15 am
There must be some spare vehicles around.

Why 'must' there be?  We have a railway run on an economic system counting the last penny and nothing is spare anymore.  Every last unit is 'sweated' for as much income as it can achieve.  Hence for summer peak services HSTs are shunted between routes and even companies and regular services reduced for the peak season.

Only in France are whole trains lying idle for months of the year waiting for specials or the peak and even there they are beginning to question the economics.  Ellendune is quite right in her comment about this.

It's good to welcome you mj: hope you enjoy the discussions.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: paul7755 on July 23, 2013, 11:10:10 am
Hook a few extra guards vans...

There are none though.   They are an anachronism, dating from the days of the railway as a parcel carrier.  They were NOT provided originally for the carriage of bikes.

This argument has been done to death regarding the London to Brighton ride.  Until the slam door stock was replaced for safety reasons, yes they did run specials.  They took out all the seat squabs from the Mk1 carriages and stacked bikes in the saloons.  However no-one thinks that easily removable seats are any good for safety these days, and it is not possible to remove seats in modern stock.

Paul


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 23, 2013, 11:45:59 am
There must be some spare vehicles around.

Why 'must' there be? [...]
Because there are more services at peak time than on a summer sunday afternoon/evening - logically they go somewhere and surely they're not all being serviced; because some services (especially specials) leave stuff sat around at Temple Meads; because we have heritage lines, some of whom might rather take the money than run all their stock for the whole day.  I accept there are logistical and maybe maintenance challenges, but events of this scale don't happen overnight.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: bignosemac on July 23, 2013, 01:58:18 pm
Can't comment on the servicing issues as I don't know the arrangements on a Sunday. Except to say that it's not just a rolling stock issue. There's staffing to consider. Marshalling additional stock requires additional drivers.

You most certainly cannot just pick up stock from a heritage railway and plonk on the national network. Each piece of stock needs to be certified for mainline running for a start. Then it needs to meet modern safety standards, and if it doesn't then it requires a barrier vehicle to run on the mainline.

Events of this scale do happen all the time and train operators do their very best to cater for them. A Sunday in August is already going to be extremely busy. In fact Sunday evenings are busy year round these days. Train operators can only do so much with the staff and stock available to them. There is no strategic reserve to call upon.

Now, in this cost dominated world then maybe, just maybe, some spot hire stock from a mainline certified supplier could be found. Perhaps with each cyclist paying the adult ticket price for the conveyance of their bicycle in addition to themselves, the hire cost could be covered. But what about the staffing costs... the track access charges...

Network Rail are amenable to charter trains. Perhaps these cyclists could band together and hire their own train of suitable stock.

Expecting scheduled services to accommodate them is expecting too much.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on July 23, 2013, 02:58:50 pm
As is all cyclists expecting their cycles be carried free of charge....


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 23, 2013, 03:27:43 pm
Events of this scale do happen all the time and train operators do their very best to cater for them.
Could you give an example? It seems like every time there is a bike ride or race, bicycles are banned from the adjacent part of the rail network - and sometimes completely unrelated parts.

I also don't see why there is such opposition on this forum to paying extra for bicycle reservation tickets. They used to exist, didn't they? I wouldn't mind it and it would be a lot better than the current "gamble whether you can get home again" practice on the Bristol metro services (needs less than two bikes per train or friendly staff).

Personally, I'm also in favour of large luggage tickets: if it doesn't fit above your head or under the seat in front, you buy a ticket. If that's accepted, maybe there's a chance that IEP trains will be fitted out with decent luggage and bicycle spaces.

It feels unreasonable to expect event organisers or participants to band together and hire their own train.  There seem to be quite a lot of general hoops to jump through to operate a train which would make the overheads prohibitive, so it would probably again boil down to trying to get one of the Big Six to run it. I bet First would be very helpful to a competitor using GW tracks...


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on July 23, 2013, 03:45:38 pm
Not opposition per se on this forum as far as I can see - but amongst cyclists who generally think that TOCs have an obligation to carry their cycle free of charge, on the basis that a) it's a green thing to do (cycling) and b) they pay enough for a ticket.

For something that's free to attend/partake in (I think), IMHO there'd be massive objection (if suitable stock could be found and service for bikes run) to paying for it - the fare likely to be close to an adult fare probably


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: paul7755 on July 23, 2013, 03:50:59 pm
I also don't see why there is such opposition on this forum to paying extra for bicycle reservation tickets. They used to exist, didn't they?

XC and SWT's west of England route both require bike reservations AFAIAA.  However it is fairly obvious that potential passengers just ignore the requirement and argue with staff. 

Regarding IEP, DfT's layout drawings and written specs require 'vertical' bike storage spaces in some of the vestibule areas - but not at the cost of providing seats for paying passengers.

Paul



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on July 23, 2013, 04:01:23 pm

Personally, I'm also in favour of large luggage tickets: if it doesn't fit above your had or under the seat in front, you buy a ticket. If that's accepted, maybe there's a chance that IEP trains will be fitted out with decent luggage and bicycle spaces.

There's a lot to be said for that ...

I have travelled in some awfully overluggaged HSTs in the last few years.  But then those same HSTs appear on commuter runs and the luggage rack if scarcely used.  Perhaps your idea should be pushed further - and say there's a per person fare (irrespective of age if they're going to be big enough to occupy a seat), and charge for large luggage, cycles, dogs, surfboard, wheelchairs and buggies at - say - half fare.   You can then get some income from that extra space - remodel all HST coaches based on coach C (though not such a big loo) and you have capacity for "whatever".  On "Toure de Devon" week it will be cycles, on "seaside specials" it will be buggies, and on long distance journeys it will be luggage.  On trains such as the 19:30 Paddington to Bristol, it will be standing space for lots more passengers!

Quote
It feels unreasonable to expect event organisers or participants to band together and hire their own train ...

It does indeed, but then you would expect organisers of a pop concert to band together and organise (usually road) transport for their acts ... so what feels unreasonable may not be so.

But - agreed - utterly frustrating where a major event such as happen from time to time in Cardiff result in no trains that evening.   I'm so glad that train services weren't cancelled all through the Olympics  ;D as that wouldn't have looked too good.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 23, 2013, 07:09:42 pm
Quote
It feels unreasonable to expect event organisers or participants to band together and hire their own train ...

It does indeed, but then you would expect organisers of a pop concert to band together and organise (usually road) transport for their acts ... so what feels unreasonable may not be so.
Acts maybe, but a big chunk of the audience? The few times it does happen, I suspect it's road transport because there's a lot less regulation and a lot more idle rolling stock. It's all rather frustrating when rails are so much nicer...
Quote
But - agreed - utterly frustrating where a major event such as happen from time to time in Cardiff result in no trains that evening.   I'm so glad that train services weren't cancelled all through the Olympics  ;D as that wouldn't have looked too good.
The cynic in me wonders whether that was purely First's choice to enter in the Olympic spirit, or did they get a load of GW upgrades for the Olympics like EC and others did? ;D


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 23, 2013, 10:52:56 pm
Cycles can be a real nuisance on Severn Beach trains. Pre-2008, there weren't enough passengers for it to be a problem, and some of the passengers took a bike as insurance against delay or cancellation. The piles of sharp metal, with accompanying lycra-clad fascists usually crowded around the doors is a phenomenon that owes much to the improved service over the past few years. Not sure whether "something must be done" or whether the root of the problem lies in the rolling stock.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: John R on July 23, 2013, 11:19:44 pm
The root of the problem lies in FGW (or was it Wessex Trains) caving in to the demand of cyclists who saw it as a right that they can occupy the space of 3 people and only pay for one in the rush hour when space (even standing space) is at a premium.



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjones on July 24, 2013, 07:15:22 am
Cycles can be a real nuisance on Severn Beach trains. Pre-2008, there weren't enough passengers for it to be a problem, and some of the passengers took a bike as insurance against delay or cancellation. The piles of sharp metal, with accompanying lycra-clad fascists usually crowded around the doors is a phenomenon that owes much to the improved service over the past few years. Not sure whether "something must be done" or whether the root of the problem lies in the rolling stock.

Is that really an appropriate way to describe a group of people?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjones on July 24, 2013, 07:26:34 am
The root of the problem lies in FGW (or was it Wessex Trains) caving in to the demand of cyclists who saw it as a right that they can occupy the space of 3 people and only pay for one in the rush hour when space (even standing space) is at a premium.



I rather doubt most bicycle users  have thought about it in any detail at all, never mind demanding any particular 'right'.  As FourTrackNow acknowledges in the reasonable part of his post, in the past there has been spare capacity, in which case it makes good business sense to allow passengers to bring bicycles with them. Clearly when trains get crowded then the argument is very different, but most people, whether cyclists or not, have very little knowledge (or interest) in the workings of the railway and don't fully appreciate just how expensive and impractical it is to provide lots of additional space for bikes on board trains. That said, I would still expect new trains to be designed to make best use of their internal space, including any space needed at the ends for crumple zones etc, because there are excellent synergies between bike and rail and it does bring people onto the railways in the off-peak.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 24, 2013, 08:59:46 am

...most people... ...don't fully appreciate just how expensive and impractical it is to provide lots of additional space for bikes on board trains. That said, I would still expect new trains to be designed to make best use of their internal space, including any space needed at the ends for crumple zones etc, because there are excellent synergies between bike and rail and it does bring people onto the railways in the off-peak.


I think I fall into the category 'most people' then! Can anyone tell me how much it would cost to do a minimal refit - basically stripping out all the seats -of a redundant Mk3 carriage? And then what would be the practicalities and costs of sandwiching it into a 158?

As to FT,N!'s rather unguarded comments about the lycra-clad folk who accompany bicycles: Well actually I suppose you have to bit a bit hard-nosed to take your bike on a train. I don't do it, because it's a lottery whether you get a place. So when, for example, my (lycra-clad) family went cycling along the Strawberry Line a few weeks ago, we strapped the bikes to the Mobile Death Greenhouse and drove to Yatton Station.

For rail to work, it has to be the best option. If it keeps chipping away at discretionary travellers or minorities, then one day the industry will wake up to find it has no punters.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 24, 2013, 11:14:40 am
The piles of sharp metal, with accompanying lycra-clad fascists usually crowded around the doors is a phenomenon that owes much to the improved service over the past few years. Not sure whether "something must be done" or whether the root of the problem lies in the rolling stock.
I think you may be misinterpreting a frustration with the broken transport system that put them in the way of other travellers.

The main reason riders tend to be crowded around the doors is a mixture of that being the only space for cycles on some trains and the confusing mismatch of platform signs (when they exist) and locations for where the proper bicycle storage spaces are (at one end of HSTs, in the middle on the old alphaline trains, at the ends of some railbuses...).

I can think of three more radical things that could be done if there was a will: paid bicycle tickets as mentioned above; I'd get a bike bag if there were consistently luggage racks that they could fit in (I've one quick-release wheel and would probably get another and QR handlebars if it would do any good); and maybe it would be possible to retrofit bike hangers with emergency releases across some unused doors, so at least bikes would be secure and not block ordinary use - ideally on some bar that can move side to side for the few times when the platform is on the "other" side - apart from Montpelier, all Severn Beach Line stations have platforms on the north/east side, although both are used at Clifton Down at peak.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: broadgage on July 24, 2013, 11:31:22 am
Adding a redundant MKIII coach to the middle of an existing DMU formation is no doubt doable, but remember that each existing vehicle has an engine and that adding an unpowered vehicle will reduce performance.
The added vehicle cant be heated or cooled without costly modifications, and only the most basic of lighting could be added to the electrical system of the adjacent powered vehicle.
A vehicle without heating or cooling, and with say 3 basic fluorescent lights might be OK for carrying cycles or luggage though ?



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on July 24, 2013, 11:31:42 am
As these mods would cost a lot of money, and the TOCs can't see a way of recouping these funds, I think it ain't happening any time soon....


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on July 24, 2013, 11:44:07 am
A vehicle without heating or cooling, and with say 3 basic fluorescent lights might be OK for carrying cycles or luggage though ?

Probably NOT in mid-formation these days though ... and unless you do complete fleets, you're going to end up with fragmented groups of trains and have to be very careful with stock rostering.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 24, 2013, 03:18:54 pm
Anyway, I'm thinking of buying a bike, so I may get to see the other side of the coin. It was a little intemperate, I grant, but I have seen some truly nasty behaviour by someone who truly deserves the sobriquet. It is to folk of that ilk, not cyclists generally, that my ire is directed.

That aside, you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Separating the cyclist from the cycle on an urban route like SVB will simply slow everything down, as people reclaim their bike. Vertical racks seem to work in some settings, but that of course means fewer seats for the pedestrian part of the client^le. Cyclists are made welcome at stations and on trains, says FGW, but the cycling policy leaflet is clear that there is a maximum (on 150, 153, 158) of 2 cycles - it doesn't say if it's per train or per carriage. It would be absurd to turn away the third cyclist on a lightly loaded train, but worse to let too many bikes on one of packed morning commuter trains. So  how is this policy implemented in practice? Not sure it is, really.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: brompton rail on July 24, 2013, 03:45:58 pm
Well, here in the gritty, but poorer, north (!), Northern Rail also have a two bikes per train policy, but encourage their staff to use their discretion. Clearly cyclists (and other passengers) will have a better experience if they travel in the opposite direction to the peak flow. I have travelled on busy trains (156/158) with upto 8 bikes, though there were few standing passengers.

For the past few years Northern have installed bike stands and self-lock lockers at many stations, mostly in urban areas. Leeds has seen the first Dutch style Cycle Point opened where secure undercover parking, repairs, shop and bike hire are integral. A similar Cycle point has opened at Chelmsford (same parent company to Merseyrail, Northern & Greater Angla = Abellio (Netherlands Railways). Government and local authorities have contributed.

Next month the TOCs (as mentioned) are rolling out Bike and Go www.bikeandgo.co.uk/ (http://www.bikeandgo.co.uk/) which is a Uk version of OV Fiets where you can hire a bike for the last mile (or more) of your journey. So ideal journey is bike home to station, park bike, train, hire B&G bike to destination(s).

I think this the model that most TOCs would wish to pursue, rather than make more space on trains. After all there are no spare carriages to convey bikes, otherwise they would be in service with seats (and bums on them!)


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: John R on July 24, 2013, 08:44:58 pm
The root of the problem lies in FGW (or was it Wessex Trains) caving in to the demand of cyclists who saw it as a right that they can occupy the space of 3 people and only pay for one in the rush hour when space (even standing space) is at a premium.



I rather doubt most bicycle users  have thought about it in any detail at all, never mind demanding any particular 'right'. 

They did actually. There was a protest, when cyclists took lots of bulky items onto local services to "prove" that if they could take these items without restriction then why not bikes. Nobody seemed to point out to them that actually there are restrictions on the size of items, but instead the TOC (Wessex or FGW) just caved in and acceded to their demand.  I can't find a link to it, although it was on the local news at the time, sometime around 05/06 I believe. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4202559.stm. Now found a link!


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 24, 2013, 08:51:19 pm
Y'know, I'm beginning to feel vindicated...


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Timmer on July 24, 2013, 09:27:10 pm
They did actually. There was a protest, when cyclists took lots of bulky items onto local services to "prove" that if they could take these items without restriction then why not bikes. Nobody seemed to point out to them that actually there are restrictions on the size of items, but instead the TOC (Wessex or FGW) just caved in and acceded to their demand.  I can't find a link to it, although it was on the local news at the time, sometime around 05/06 I believe. 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/4202559.stm. Now found a link!
Yes I remember that, someone travelled with an ironing board  :D


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 24, 2013, 10:00:42 pm
Blimey! An ironing board! Mrs FT, N! rang me a couple years back, asked me to pick one up from Sainsbury on my way home. Half-price, and we needed a new one. The lady on the check-out was impressed, thinking I was some sort of new man, until I asked if she knew what it was for. I don't think I'd risk taking one on public transport.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 24, 2013, 11:05:36 pm
Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on buses?  :o ::) :P


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 24, 2013, 11:12:43 pm
They do it on the Continent... there's an argument that long-distance buses could accommodate cycles (maybe on external racks), but presumably you wouldn't bother to get on a bus if you weren't going far?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: bignosemac on July 24, 2013, 11:23:08 pm
Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on buses?  :o ::) :P

A quick Google to answer that question and disprove the assertion.  :P ;) ;D

http://blog.golakes.co.uk/special-bike-ride-bus-service-set-to-launch-in-the-lake-district/

Having checked, the service is running again this year also:

http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_35679_800%20(Kendal%20Bike%20Bus).pdf

There's also another service which started this year:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-23110211

From tiny acorns.... :-\


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 24, 2013, 11:30:03 pm
Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on buses?  :o ::) :P

A quick Google to answer that question and disprove the assertion.  :P ;) ;D

Fair enough: I'll rephrase that.

Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on First buses?  :o ::) :P

After all, this particular topic started off with a query over First Great Western and their change in policy in the London area for one weekend - and then developed into a discussion over the lack of adequate provision on the Severn Beach Line.

Why do the railways get all the flak for not providing enough for their cycling passengers, when the buses (with your one honourable exception!) don't provide anything??  :o


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: bignosemac on July 24, 2013, 11:41:20 pm
First ran a trial in 2011 in Scotland. No idea whether it became a permanent thing:

http://www.goinggoingbike.com/blog/scottish-bus-firm-to-allow-bikes-on-buses/

Knowing FirstGroup, probably not. Innovative isn't in their dictionary.

Delving deeper into this it appears that there are a few schemes in parts of the UK. I've come across mentions of ones in The Yorkshire Dales, The Peak District and one in North Devon. That last one however is definitely no longer running:

http://www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/North-Devon-surf-bus-reaches-end-road/story-18587209-detail/story.html#axzz2a0OpfBpH


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on July 25, 2013, 01:28:57 am
Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on buses?  :o ::) :P

A quick Google to answer that question and disprove the assertion.  :P ;) ;D



There used to be one or two in our area

Quote
Devon Bike Bus
In the summer season the B1 Bike Bus services leaves Okehampton each morning from Tuesday to Sunday. So a one way cycle is possible to suit your time available and cycling prowess.

http://www.northlakedevon.co.uk/tourist-information/cycling/
and
http://buses.awardspace.com/Devon.htm  (picture too, scroll down)

and

Quote
North Devon's Surf and Cycle Bus has reached the end of the road because of funding shortfall.
The Surf Bus, as it is known by regular passengers, was launched in 2011 as part of a two year pilot scheme. The aim was to determine the need for bespoke transport for cyclists and surfers and to test the commercial viability of such an operation

http://www.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/North-Devon-surf-bus-reaches-end-road/story-18587209-detail/story.html#axzz2a0pfai1U




Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 25, 2013, 06:57:31 am
I recall weekend trains to Buxton in the Peak District from Manchester being run by old slam-door DMUs, even though weekday services were by more modern stock, simply because they held more bikes more easily. No doubt a thing of the past now.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 25, 2013, 10:00:50 am
Presumably the size restrictions not mentioned in the protest dates from when the railway had a parcel service which could carry larger items?

Meanwhile, in another place, Abellio's GA have just announced extra services for the London-Cambridge Bike Ride http://www.greateranglia.co.uk/travel-information/journey-planning/service-alterations/details?ew_id=654


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 29, 2013, 08:00:04 am
Away from the railway, but not completely, BBC Radio Bristol is leading its local news today with a report on the Bristol to Bath cycle path. Apparently, the safety and enjoyment of the path by the many is being ruined by what sounds like a few lycra-clad fascists.Dogs, cats, small children, and other more timorous cyclists have been run down here by wannabe Bradley Wiggins. About 3000 people use the path daily. Many say they would, but for the attitude of this selfish minority who see it as a speed trial track.

I offer two possible solutions. One involves piano wire, the other is to relay tracks and operate a light railway. That would carry much more than 3000 people daily, and the cyclists would have Fishponds Road, with its multi-million pound bus lane, to themselves.

Not just me, then.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: trainer on July 29, 2013, 09:27:06 am
I offer two possible solutions.

I know the first suggestion was made tongue-in-cheek, but I'm afraid some criminal elements have already tried it and caused serious injury to ordinary cyclists. This link takes you to one version of the story.

http://www.bristol-rail.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1613

I'm sure however much we abhor selfishness, we do not suggest GBH as an answer.

Your second suggestion suits me just fine.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 29, 2013, 09:43:15 am

...the cyclists would have Fishponds Road, with its multi-million pound bus lane, to themselves.


Fishponds Road (eastbound) is, IMO, one of the most dangerous stetches of road in Bristol for cyclists. I have on more than one occasion been quite deliberately run off the road, apparently for sport, by motorists there - and I wasn't (as I recall) wearing any Nazi regalia.

In truth what is required on NCN 4 is some local speed restrictions in those few areas where children and wobbly novices proliferate; for much of it there is no reason why more proficient cyclists should not safely ride at speed.

Of course were there to be a serious scheme to relay rails along this route, no-one would be happier than I.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on July 29, 2013, 09:59:21 am
Away from the railway ...

We have more cycles and walkers past our home than cars ... as there are three combined cycle routes / foot paths onto the road, in addition to the single motor vehicle entrance to the cul-de-sac.

The majority of walkers / cyclists are fine, though for the most part they don't treat the road as a road. When bringing a car in / out we have to be very careful indeed.  It's especially busy at school start and school end time; we were "warned" when the local secondary school moved up the road from us and we became the main route to school for most pupils who don't use Dad's Taxi about all sorts of problems but - full credit to Melksham's current youngsters - the only issue is that we need to be careful in the flood of them that simply wouldn't fit on the pavement.

There are a few cyclists ... not the schoolbound ones ... who travel greatly in excess of the speed I would consider sensible on a shared path.   And they act as if they own the footpath, ringing there bells as if ordering you to get out of their way, and passing very close at speed.  I have a degree of sympathy - but then when we drive cars (and those of us who drive trains) have to stick to speed limits and consider safety, even if our vehicles can go faster, and I think cyclists should follow a similar guide. And they should slow down where conditions dictate it fore safety.

Interestingly, there's another group who also cause safety issues thought their speed - the drivers of mobility scooters.   It's not such an issue at home, as there aren't many driver of such vehicles out from us.  However, nearer the town centre they're on the pavement and going at quite some speed. I understand there's a 4 m.p.h. limit on them, yet some travel at  over 10 m.p.h. (yes, I have checked with a stopwatch), including past a blind corner where a public footpath comes out. One day ...

I'm not commenting on the politics / views of these people  ;) ... but they are often through less, or else disregard the enjoyment and safety of those with whom they share facilities.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on July 29, 2013, 10:03:47 am
Speed humps....try cycling over a sharp one at over 4mph.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 29, 2013, 10:05:45 am
Speed humps....try cycling over a sharp one at over 4mph.


Only trouble with that idea is that the humps knock the wobbly novices and children off, and then the Wiggo wannabies plough into the wreckage...


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Lee on July 30, 2013, 03:42:58 am
Away from the railway, but not completely, BBC Radio Bristol is leading its local news today with a report on the Bristol to Bath cycle path. Apparently, the safety and enjoyment of the path by the many is being ruined by what sounds like a few lycra-clad fascists.Dogs, cats, small children, and other more timorous cyclists have been run down here by wannabe Bradley Wiggins. About 3000 people use the path daily. Many say they would, but for the attitude of this selfish minority who see it as a speed trial track.

I offer two possible solutions. One involves piano wire, the other is to relay tracks and operate a light railway. That would carry much more than 3000 people daily, and the cyclists would have Fishponds Road, with its multi-million pound bus lane, to themselves.

Not just me, then.

I speak as someone who has almost been knocked flying several times by the Wiggo brigade, and as someone who, in an ideal world, would welcome the railway back with open arms tomorrow.

However, we have discussed elsewhere the significant hurdles that would have to be overcome, and I quote my contribution to the debate here:

One thing that can be difficult to avoid when discussing this kind of topic is to assume that it would be easier to re-open certain routes because they are covered by a cycle/walking path. This is often not quite the case.

Take the Bath-Bristol via Mangotsfield route for example, which forms the latter day Bristol-Bath Railway Path, a route that I have traversed on several occasions. This is indeed relatively wide and potentially rail-viable from Newbridge (west of Bath) through Kelston/Saltford, Bitton, Oldland Common, Warmley right up to Siston. Indeed, the Avon Valley Railway have actually restored part of the route between Avon Riverside and Oldland Common, running through their HQ at Bitton station.

However, once you get to Siston, your problems begin. In 1999, South Gloucestershire Council began building part of the Ring Road on the former trackbed. They did divert the path, but as anyone who has used that section will testify, its new twists, turns, gradients and bridges are completely unsuitable for railway restoration.

That said, if there really was an iron will on the part of the powers that be to restore the route through here, then modern engineering technology could probably find a solution. Unfortunately, once you are across the Ring Road, you immediately hit another problem. Whilst the section of trackbed from the Ring Road through to Mangotsfield Station is still there and in use as part of the path, it has been severely squeezed by modern housing encroachment. Indeed, I would go so far as to say you would have to knock some of it down to restore a viable railway through here again, which probably rules it out for the short to medium term.

Once you get to Mangotsfield (a disused station gem ^ in my opinion well worth a visit) the trackbed opens out significantly to become rail-viable again through Staple Hill tunnel and on to Fishponds. However, the closer you get to the centre of Bristol from thereon, the more patchy things become. Wide expanse one minute, quite narrow the next. One of the biggest obstacles on this part of the route is the Clay Bottom housing estate which was built on the trackbed. Whilst the path does its best to snake through and around the housing, rail-viable it most certainly aint. Again, the only option for rail reinstatement would be to knock some of it down.

It^s not just the non rail-viable sections such as Mangotsfield and Clay Bottom that are problematic. When plans were mooted to partly convert more viable sections for BRT, it caused one of the biggest coalitions of campaigners and public to come together to oppose them. While I^m sure that a section of this coalition would switch sides if the plans were rail-based rather than BRT, it is very likely that public opinion would still be overwhelmingly against any change of use for the path.

I should point out at this stage (as anyone who knows me will testify) that I am generally hugely in favour of rail expansion. I^ve always felt that it was a great shame that when railway station openings/re-openings such as Melksham, Ivybridge, Worle, Yate and Cam & Dursley became cool again during the period between the mid-1980s and the early 1990^s, we didn^t capitalise on that by looking more into route re-openings such as this one, when there were more people around who remembered the railway being there and the benefits it could bring, and less development on the route to overcome as well.

The problem is that now two generations have grown up not remembering the route as a railway, and have grown fond of it as a cycle/walking path that provides a green and traffic-free route into the centre of their congested city.  While most are happy to learn about and commemorate its railway past, when it comes to resurrection there is just no appetite for it, and the perceived damage to or loss of the treasured amenity they feel it would involve.

Of course, by the 1990s one of these generations had already grown up not knowing the route as a railway, and residents in general along the route had grown used to the benefits of not having a railway close by. The Avon Valley Railway discovered this to their cost when they completed their northern extension from Bitton to Oldland Common, but were prevented for years from opening it due to legal action from local residents, who ironically lived further away from the trackbed than those in Mangotsfield or Clay Bottom do today.

The AVR did eventually open their Oldland extension, later adding a platform and run-round loop there in 1999, and followed this up in 2004 with a southern extension towards Bath which terminates at Avon Riverside, the current extent of operations. Having learnt from their previous experience, they also launched a consultation with residents and interested parties on whether to proceed with a further extension north towards Warmley, in the hope that a few years of successful operations may have softened the views of the locals towards the railway.

However, with a firm and clear ^No Way Jose!^ (or words to that effect) ringing in their ears, they quickly re-focused their plans southwards towards a proposed Bath Riverside station, probably close to the point grahame envisages a new junction to the west of Bath.

You would have thought that they would have been on safe ground with this one. The segregation of path and railway procedure with Sustrans is well-established south of Bitton, and the only settlement of note along the route is the Bird In Hand pub, who are pro-rail, advertising on the AVR and selling Saltford Station Campaign mugs behind the bar. They would most likely welcome the railway passing their doorstep, particularly if a halt were built capitalising on the picturesque location and bringing mutual business to both pub and railway.

So far though, it is not to be. In recent years the AVR has been the target of a graffiti-based ^Stop The Rail Expansion^ campaign, with messages scrawled on railway infrastructure, rolling stock and the path itself. Subjects range from Thomas causing global warming to the fence separating path and railway not being pleasing to the eye. Perhaps unsurprisingly, further line expansion is on hold for the foreseeable future, with the AVR concentrating on developing facilities at their Bitton base instead.

It also strikes me that this is the kind of conversation that the new S&D folks, much maligned in the past for alleged pie-in-the-sky ideas, have on a regular basis. Their defence is that they see things in the sense of the very long-term, a time when the political, financial, economic and social implications of knocking down in-the-way buildings, reinstating structures such as bridges/embankments, diverting utilities and everything else involved in achieving their aims is outweighed by the political, financial, economic and social implications of what they see as an inevitable energy crisis.

As an aside, even they don^t think reinstating to Bath Green Park is viable, instead endorsing a very similar route to Red Squirrel^s GW from Dundas/Midford incline.

The above said, I have often wondered exactly how much support/opposition a campaign to restore the railway and/or banish the cyclists (and I guess banishing walkers and other path users too if you are going the whole hog) would get, and I for one would watch with great interest if FTN/Red Squirrel/trainer were to start one up...


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 30, 2013, 12:04:56 pm
I think the route out through Fishponds to Mangotsfield, Yate and Bath will continue to raise its head as an under-used transport corridor, particularly when the denizens of East Bristol see the much of the rest of town getting good quality (i.e. rail-based) public transport.

I don't accept that any of the route is 'non-viable' for rail; a wrecking ball and a few earth-movers will soon resolve any obstructions. As to objections: People will always oppose development that changes their local environment, but I suspect that a light rail scheme would find fewer objectors than a concrete busway or the AVR.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Lee on July 30, 2013, 12:54:00 pm
 ;D ;D

If you read what I actually wrote, then you will see that I accept that sections such as Mangotsfield and Clay Bottom could be made rail-viable if you knocked down some of the encroaching development - I'm not disputing that.

However, until you actually get permission to rollout said earthmovers and wrecking ball to take out what in some places is very modern development indeed, then such sections will remain non rail-viable, light or heavy - that is a fact.

As for the public support question, I did accept in my original piece that a rail-based scheme would probably have fewer objectors than BRT, and I agree with your reply that light rail would probably have less objectors than heavy. Will "less objectors" translate into "majority public support" though? I still very much have my doubts, as much as I would love to be proved wrong.

Does that mean the Squirrel public campaign begins here? A petition on the HM Government website (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/), and an email to the Post introducing it will surely set the (metaphorical not wrecking) ball rolling nicely on that, and I very much look forward to the debate and outcome.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 30, 2013, 01:48:07 pm
;D ;D

If you read what I actually wrote, then you will see that I accept that sections such as Mangotsfield and Clay Bottom could be made rail-viable if you knocked down some of the encroaching development - I'm not disputing that.

However, until you actually get permission to rollout said earthmovers and wrecking ball to take out what in some places is very modern development indeed, then such sections will remain non rail-viable, light or heavy - that is a fact.


I think we are essentially in violent agreement here; though the age of the property that would have to be removed is only relevant inasmuch as that it shows how short-sighted the outcome of the planning process can be.


Does that mean the Squirrel public campaign begins here?
 

No. I think the people of East Bristol (or South-east South Gloucestershire) should fight that battle, when they are ready. The evidence suggests that, for now, they prefer their mobile death greenhouses.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 30, 2013, 02:19:11 pm

As for the public support question, I did accept in my original piece that a rail-based scheme would probably have fewer objectors than BRT,

As indeed would a charnel house, a home for convicted paedophiles, a nuclear waste dump or a fracking great big shale oil plant on the Downs.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Lee on July 30, 2013, 02:48:59 pm
Well I never - I appear to have been partially quoted to fit the point. Not like that's ever happened before  ;D ;D

FTN - Will you be fronting the campaign now that Red Squirrel has declined?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 31, 2013, 04:49:19 pm
Apparently, the safety and enjoyment of the path by the many is being ruined by what sounds like a few lycra-clad fascists. Dogs, cats, small children, and other more timorous cyclists have been run down here by wannabe Bradley Wiggins. About 3000 people use the path daily. Many say they would, but for the attitude of this selfish minority who see it as a speed trial track.
Actually, I'm pretty sure there have been fewer reported crashes on the B+B Railway Path than most urban roads.  What's actually gone on is an officer of the non-democratic Sustrans charity wrote a piece in the Bristol press http://www.bristol247.com/2013/07/17/all-cyclists-have-a-collective-responsibility-to-slow-down-61574/ claiming that cyclists have some sort of collective responsibility for path-hogs who don't give way to other path users, plus he singled out riders of road bikes for particular criticism... it then turned out in the comments (which are newest first, which makes some of the conversations a bit confusing) that one such path-hog was his younger self who used to "scalp" other commuters. I think somehow he thinks his road bike was to blame (he now has three bikes and doesn't ride the road bike on that path) rather than accepting his personal responsiblity.
I offer two possible solutions. One involves piano wire, the other is to relay tracks and operate a light railway. That would carry much more than 3000 people daily, and the cyclists would have Fishponds Road, with its multi-million pound bus lane, to themselves.
One, you do know that has happened around the country far too often to be funny?

Two, if you'd close Fishponds Road to motor traffic, then OK. ;-)


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on July 31, 2013, 05:02:47 pm
There are a few cyclists ... not the schoolbound ones ... who travel greatly in excess of the speed I would consider sensible on a shared path.   And they act as if they own the footpath, ringing there bells as if ordering you to get out of their way, and passing very close at speed.  I have a degree of sympathy - but then when we drive cars (and those of us who drive trains) have to stick to speed limits and consider safety, even if our vehicles can go faster, and I think cyclists should follow a similar guide. And they should slow down where conditions dictate it fore safety.
The design limit of most shared paths is only 15mph unladen, not much more than a mobility scooter (which is heavier and officially 8mph) and most are far lower, so if you try to do 15mph, you'll be rattled to heck. You're lucky to get above 10mph.

I quite agree with slowing down when conditions dictate - generally, animals before walkers and both before wheels - and that's a legal requirement (although enforcement is as weak as ever and legal right doesn't mean people should be idiots about it). Speed limits are unworkable as most people don't carry accurate speedometers and most of the ones I've seen are so low as to be dangerous because most riders wobble much more at low speeds.

One question though: did they ring the bell in some aggressive manner (not sure how you do that - mine just goes brrrring regardless) or do you object to all bell-ringing to warn you of their approach?  I used to think it was bad to ring the bell and make people jump, but now I think it's worse to make people jump as I overtake them quietly and there are more bikes around, so people are less surprised by a bell on a cycle track.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 31, 2013, 05:03:11 pm

I think somehow he thinks his road bike was to blame (he now has three bikes and doesn't ride the road bike on that path)...


Quote

It's not about the bike

Lance Armstrong



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2013, 05:16:05 pm
One question though: did they ring the bell in some aggressive manner (not sure how you do that - mine just goes brrrring regardless) ...

I'm not sure either ... but "brrrring brrrring brrrring brrrring" seems a bit too persistent to be "hey I'm here" and is rather more "get out my ****** way you *****" to me  ;) .    Quite happy with the "brrrring" brigade


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 31, 2013, 07:03:29 pm
This debate inspired me to borrow a bike, and ride one for the first time in 25 years. As soon as I set off, I remembered what to do - it was just like, er, riding a bike. More to the point, I simulated my journey to work by riding a similar distance, and finding similar hills. I got a bit sweaty and breathless, but I am seriously buying one of my own, on the assumption that this will improve with time. Whilst I would not feel happy on the B+B, I could well experience this debate from the other side.

Two Wheels, Now!, eh? Whodda thunk it?

Well I never - I appear to have been partially quoted to fit the point. Not like that's ever happened before  ;D ;D
 

My homage to your well-made point, Lee


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 31, 2013, 07:22:16 pm
This debate inspired me to borrow a bike, and ride one for the first time in 25 years. As soon as I set off, I remembered what to do - it was just like, er, riding a bike. More to the point, I simulated my journey to work by riding a similar distance, and finding similar hills. I got a bit sweaty and breathless, but I am seriously buying one of my own, on the assumption that this will improve with time. Whilst I would not feel happy on the B+B, I could well experience this debate from the other side.

Two Wheels, Now!, eh? Whodda thunk it.

Good for you! You'll be amazed how quickly your muscles get acclimatised to cycling again.

I presume you'll be in the market for lycra soon?

Why wouldn't you feel happy on the Bristol and Bath?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on July 31, 2013, 08:20:39 pm

Good for you! You'll be amazed how quickly your muscles get acclimatised to cycling again.

I presume you'll be in the market for lycra soon?

Why wouldn't you feel happy on the Bristol and Bath?

Muscles? I have aches in places where I didn't know I had places, let alone muscles.

Being serious about the Bristol and Bath, I have tried walking on it - it is strictly supposed to be an amenity shared by cyclists and pedestrians. It did not go well, and could go a long way to explain some of my earlier, somewhat intemperate, language.

As for Lycra, if it were all that there was to wear, I would go naked. People may say "Whatever he's wearing, he could've ironed it", and I may have to burn the saddle, but I draw the line before Lycra.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on August 01, 2013, 01:48:01 am
I'm not sure either ... but "brrrring brrrring brrrring brrrring" seems a bit too persistent to be "hey I'm here" and is rather more "get out my ****** way you *****" to me  ;) .    Quite happy with the "brrrring" brigade
I forgot, but mine rings twice with each push: one as I push the lever and, one as the spring pushes back. So "brrrring brrrring, brrrring brrrring" may be "hello" followed by "did you hear? I'm coming past!" because I really don't like startling people! Unless they mouth off at you as they ride past (in which case, I'd understand if you throw something back at them...), I wouldn't interpret too much feeling from it. The real aggressive people seem to be using those nasty air hooters at the moment anyway :/

I'm with FT,N! on the lycra dislike. Fortunately there are some rather nice cycle-friendly undergarments available these days from the likes of Endura which don't make trousers bulge where they oughtn't ;-)

Anyway, what's the best bike option for FGW then? More Brompton Docks?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: lordgoata on September 26, 2013, 12:22:40 pm
I'm sure there was a thread around regarding enforcement of bikes on trains that state no bikes, but I can't seem to find it now. However, I was pleased to see this being enforced this morning at Reading.

The 0721 (I think) from Oxford is usually a Class 180, and no bikes, but this morning it was a lovely cosy 2 carriage 166/165! Needless to say it was quite a squeeze. Anyway, we pulled into Reading (late) and a fair few passengers got off, then some bloke jumped on with his bike quicker than Mr Bolt. The rest of the passengers got on, and it wasn't too bad (reaching Twyford and Maidenhead would soon change that), and one of the dispatchers wandered up and, I assume as I was too far away to hear, asked the passenger to get off with the bike.

Needless to say he ignored him. Cue another dispatcher, who obviously repeated the request whilst said passenger ranted on. Dispatcher #2 then gets on train, grabs the bike and drags it towards the door. Passenger now quite angry, refusing to let go of the bike, or get off. After a few minutes the dispatcher just grabbed the darn thing and dragged him and the bike off the train, stood in front of the doors and sent us on our way, somewhat later than we already were.

Just as well, as Twyford was heaving, and as for Maidenhead, God knows how many were left behind!

The dispatchers did a great job getting the moron off, and getting us on our way as quickly as possible.

And before anyone says I am anti-bike, I've been cycling longer than I care to remember, but the arrogance of some of these cyclists on the train never ceases to amaze me.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on September 26, 2013, 12:30:37 pm
I couldn't help thinking of the wheelchair space post I made last night ...

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12974.msg140304#msg140304

... and wondering what the situation would be on this cosy 16x for a potential passenger in a wheelchair, who's chair for one person could have prevented another three or four from getting on at Maidenhead.



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on September 26, 2013, 12:33:36 pm
I don't believe 2car 166s actually exist (in normal formation - I guess the middle unit could be extracted for maintenance?)


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on September 27, 2013, 12:20:50 pm
The dispatchers did a great job getting the moron off, and getting us on our way as quickly as possible.

And before anyone says I am anti-bike, I've been cycling longer than I care to remember, but the arrogance of some of these cyclists on the train never ceases to amaze me.
Poor chap - he was probably just trying to get to his destination on time. There's a complete lack of clarity on cycles and trains, with several different rules across GW depending on stations, time of day, type of train and probably other stuff.  Sometimes even the staff get confused (like a 6 bike train substituting for a 2 bike one, as often happened on the Bristol-Taunton section - does the 2 bikes a train rule still apply?), so I can understand someone standing their ground to see if they get away with it.

Actually, I just checked http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/~/media/PDF/AboutUs/CyclingPolicy/Cycle-by-train-May-2013-for-Web.ashx and it mentions restrictions on arrivals at Paddington or Reading 0745-0945, but no restriction FROM Reading to stations other than Paddington at that time.  I can see how someone could interpret it as banning bikes from any train that would eventually go to Paddington at that time, but it's not clear. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that he had phoned up earlier and been told that you can take two bikes on a train, with no mention of peak time restrictions affecting his particular journey.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ChrisB on September 27, 2013, 12:26:17 pm
I can see how someone could interpret it as banning bikes from any train that would eventually go to Paddington at that time, but it's not clear.

I think it is clear with a tad of thought.

Why on earth would you be NOT allowed to take a bike on any train all the way to PAD, but be able to go to Ealing on the same train (assuming it stopped), for example? If they're banned from trains going to PAD, then that means any station it might stop at between you & PAD. Not simply PAD. Sorry, but that's just doh!


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on September 27, 2013, 12:53:15 pm
Why on earth would you be NOT allowed to take a bike on any train all the way to PAD, but be able to go to Ealing on the same train ...

Because the train gets fuller all the way in and on the very last leg wouldn't have the capacity, Chris!

Some odd rules about trains that originate at Westbury and Frome ... you can't board with a cycle onto trains which originate or terminate at those two specific places except at Newbury, Reading and Paddington.  So at Pewsey in the morning peak, with reservation, you can get on the 06:22 (from Bristol), 07:19 (from Exeter) and 08:09 (from Plymouth), but not the 06:33 from Frome.   And in the evening, the 18:06 to Frome isn't available for cycles to Pewsey (arr 19:35), but the 18:33 (are 19:47) is because that one goes on further.  I'm sure there's logic there, but I can't see it!




Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on September 27, 2013, 01:03:45 pm
Why on earth would you be NOT allowed to take a bike on any train all the way to PAD, but be able to go to Ealing on the same train (assuming it stopped), for example? If they're banned from trains going to PAD, then that means any station it might stop at between you & PAD. Not simply PAD. Sorry, but that's just doh!
You might think that it's only PAD because that's exactly a type of restriction that First Capital Connect uses! http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/static/filemanager/cycle_restrictions_map.jpg defines 3 levels of ban zone around London and one around Cambridge but says "Cycles are permitted at all times on trains between stations not in zones A, B, C or D".

First could learn something about clarity from... erm... First.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: TonyK on October 01, 2013, 05:51:51 pm

The above said, I have often wondered exactly how much support/opposition a campaign to restore the railway and/or banish the cyclists (and I guess banishing walkers and other path users too if you are going the whole hog) would get, and I for one would watch with great interest if FTN/Red Squirrel/trainer were to start one up...

I hope you don't see we cyclists as nothing but a load of lycra-clad fascists...


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on April 19, 2019, 08:38:36 am
Why are there no bike racks - or indeed any other provision at all - for the carriage of even one bicycle on buses?  :o ::) :P

A quick Google to answer that question and disprove the assertion.  :P ;) ;D

http://blog.golakes.co.uk/special-bike-ride-bus-service-set-to-launch-in-the-lake-district/

Having checked, the service is running again this year also:

http://www.stagecoachbus.com/PdfUploads/Timetable_35679_800%20(Kendal%20Bike%20Bus).pdf

There's also another service which started this year:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-23110211

From tiny acorns.... :-\

And another ...

http://www.focustransport.org/2019/04/borders-buses.html

Quote
Borders Buses

The company has acquired brand new bike friendly double-deck buses in the shape of three Alexander Dennis E40D Enviro400 MMC registered SK19 ELV/W/X. These custom built vehicles were designed with cyclists in mind and will operate on the route X62 between Edinburgh and Melrose.

continues


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: CyclingSid on April 19, 2019, 10:22:04 am
The former boss of Reading Buses, now with First West of England, has suggested bike trailers for buses https://road.cc/content/news/257482-buses-west-england-get-trailers-bikes (https://road.cc/content/news/257482-buses-west-england-get-trailers-bikes). Putting bikes on the front of buses American style is illegal in this country, and the requirement for wheelchairs and buggies in buses left trailers as the option.

I detect a certain lack of enthusiasm on his part, probably a case of showing willing to his political masters. Speaking to bus crew in Reading they laughed the idea out of court.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on April 26, 2019, 05:26:06 pm
Putting bikes on the front of buses American style is illegal in this country, and the requirement for wheelchairs and buggies in buses left trailers as the option.
Sort of. The obstacle is the DVSA irrationally refusing to approve the front racks permitted in the USA, Canada, NZ, Australia, Russia and probably other countries, based on a theoretical danger to pedestrians not realised anywhere the racks have been introduced, and it's illegal to operate them without that approval. So, we're limited to slow and unsafe rear racks or even slower loading/unloading trailers, which makes bikes on buses basically tourist-only.

www.bikesonbuses.com has a lot more info on the problem.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: grahame on April 26, 2019, 07:31:14 pm
The obstacle is the DVSA irrationally refusing to approve the front racks permitted in the USA, Canada, NZ, Australia, Russia ....

Where it seems to be a well used facility in the likes of Los Angeles, where (of all places / countries) you would expect hypercare to be taken to avoid any risk of litigation if anything went wrong.  If works in Los Angeles, why can't it work in Los Twithiel?


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ellendune on April 26, 2019, 09:02:51 pm
This follows a big campaign against SUV's fitted with so called bull bars due to higher fatalities and serious injuries from vehicle/pedestrian accidents.  I think that DVSA or whoever may have a point on this one.   



Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjones on April 27, 2019, 07:05:16 am
Although bull bars are still being used.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on May 10, 2019, 04:00:29 pm
Bus drivers are meant to be trained to a somewhat higher standard than SUV drivers and, as mjones says, plenty of bull bars are in use. As ever, the UK allows the near-useless, but bans things that would help cycling.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ellendune on May 10, 2019, 04:48:37 pm
Bus drivers are meant to be trained to a somewhat higher standard than SUV drivers and, as mjones says, plenty of bull bars are in use. As ever, the UK allows the near-useless, but bans things that would help cycling.

It doesn't matter how good a driver is if a pedestrian hits bull bars or any other similar feature on the front of a vehicle they will be much more seriously injured than if the hit a front end that is properly engineered for pedestrian safety.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on May 15, 2019, 02:21:12 pm
It doesn't matter how good a driver is if a pedestrian hits bull bars or any other similar feature on the front of a vehicle they will be much more seriously injured than if the hit a front end that is properly engineered for pedestrian safety.
If a bike rack is really like bull bars (and I think that's unproven) then either ban both or neither. The current situation is absurd.

Secondly, the reduced risk of collision with a vehicle driven by a higher-qualification driver should be factored in, no matter how much some try to pretend it's irrelevant.

And finally, once a vehicle hits a pedestrian (and that's the way round it usually is to cause injury, not what ellendune wrote!) then the pedestrian has basically lost anyway.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ellendune on May 15, 2019, 05:14:19 pm
It doesn't matter how good a driver is if a pedestrian hits bull bars or any other similar feature on the front of a vehicle they will be much more seriously injured than if the hit a front end that is properly engineered for pedestrian safety.
If a bike rack is really like bull bars (and I think that's unproven) then either ban both or neither. The current situation is absurd.

Secondly, the reduced risk of collision with a vehicle driven by a higher-qualification driver should be factored in, no matter how much some try to pretend it's irrelevant.

And finally, once a vehicle hits a pedestrian (and that's the way round it usually is to cause injury, not what ellendune wrote!) then the pedestrian has basically lost anyway.

There is research that demonstrates that solid bars and harder more concentrated edges like bars (such as are found on bikes when stowed sideways) considerably increase the injuries to pedestrians when there is an impact as they concentrate the loads on smaller areas of the body.  Ordinarily a pedestrian has a reasonable chance of survival with impact at 20mph, but with these sorts of things that reduces the chance of survival significantly so the vehicle would have to be going much slower. 

Here is an old article by Christian Woolmar (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/killer-car-fad-that-costs-lives-theyre-lethal-but-bull-bars-are-now-even-being-fitted-to-ambulances-1439275.html) from the independent  in 1994


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: mjray on May 16, 2019, 01:21:20 pm
If a bike rack is really like bull bars (and I think that's unproven) then either ban both or neither. The current situation is absurd.

Secondly, the reduced risk of collision with a vehicle driven by a higher-qualification driver should be factored in, no matter how much some try to pretend it's irrelevant.

And finally, once a vehicle hits a pedestrian (and that's the way round it usually is to cause injury, not what ellendune wrote!) then the pedestrian has basically lost anyway.

There is research that demonstrates that solid bars and harder more concentrated edges like bars (such as are found on bikes when stowed sideways) considerably increase the injuries to pedestrians when there is an impact as they concentrate the loads on smaller areas of the body.  Ordinarily a pedestrian has a reasonable chance of survival with impact at 20mph, but with these sorts of things that reduces the chance of survival significantly so the vehicle would have to be going much slower. 

Here is an old article by Christian Woolmar (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/killer-car-fad-that-costs-lives-theyre-lethal-but-bull-bars-are-now-even-being-fitted-to-ambulances-1439275.html) from the independent  in 1994
Nothing in that article about bike racks being like bull bars and on second look, there doesn't seem to be anything in your whole message replying to any point I made!

Also, if (and I say it's still unproven) current bike racks are like bull bars, it's surely not beyond the wit of man to invent a bike rack with a pedestrian protection panel on its front. Airbags, even. Short-haul buses are hardly as streamlined as trains to begin with.


Title: Re: Changes to cycle policy - 3/4 Aug 13
Post by: ellendune on May 16, 2019, 09:34:08 pm
Nothing in that article about bike racks being like bull bars and on second look, there doesn't seem to be anything in your whole message replying to any point I made!

Also, if (and I say it's still unproven) current bike racks are like bull bars, it's surely not beyond the wit of man to invent a bike rack with a pedestrian protection panel on its front. Airbags, even. Short-haul buses are hardly as streamlined as trains to begin with.

I didn't think I claimed it mentioned bikes.  I was using engineering judgement (I am an engineer after all) to make then connection. I am well disposed towards cyclists and as you say if you added a pedestrian protection panel with crumple zones that that could overcome the problem, but I somehow doubt that bus companies will make the effort.



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