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Author Topic: Up to 30 cycles per train - ban axed on next trains  (Read 6166 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 04:52:39 pm »

I'd imagine your chap in G was breaking the rules, but more than that, I think he was breaking common sense! Not only cos it's obvious that if you've brought a folding bike into the carriage, the whole point of it is that it goes in the luggage rack, but also I can't see how he gained from it. Unless he was planning to ride it down the platform at his destination.  Shocked
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2015, 05:16:45 pm »

As to charging for bikes, it sounds good in theory but I'm not sure how it would work in practice. Yes, it should encourage commuters to either use a folder or get a station bike, but it's the effect on occasional bike+train users I'm not sure about. I'm one of them and I find provision varies from really quite good (HSTs have room for 6, which is usually enough) to rather bad (Voyagers have too few spaces and moreover they are too small and totally unusable for anyone who is short, lacking in upper-body strength or has a "non-standard" cycle, such as a recumbent or a trike; worth noting that these are often effectively mobility aids for people with problems walking). The little Pacers or whatever they're called, such as on the Portsmouth to Cardiff and Bristol to Malvern services, with their corridor spaces and flip-up seats respectively, are easy to use but demand on the former does outstrip supply at times.

The problems with a bike ticket system are:
Would you have to book on to a specified service? If not, it obviously can't guarantee a space, which means the problem is not solved. If you do, then what happens to someone turning up and wanting to travel? There are reasons you might not be able to book in advance: eg irreparable breakdown mid-ride or simply end-of-tour fatigue. And of course, there are unbookable services (I once asked about booking a bike space on the Malvern service mentioned and was told it's not possible). And there would need to be some way of ensuring people don't book spaces on the off-chance: at present, you can, I understand, book a bike space without a ticket (on some services/operators at least) and some people do book several consecutive trains, knowing they'll be on either this, that or the next, but not which one. Very annoying. I don't think a fare of ^2 would necessarily deter this.

How would it be enforced? Is a member of staff going to check tickets at the guard's door of an HST? Could be a big delay. What about other trains? Once a train is on board, it's really not possible to ascertain for sure whose it is.

If you have booked a place and there is no space on your booked train (because of the situations above) how do you claim your space? Of course, this happens at present, but if you've had to pay for it, even a small amount, it makes things more "precious".

Finally, a flat fare would be fine on longer services, but paying an extra ^2 on, say, the Severn Beach line? It's going to seem... silly or extortionate, depending on your PoV.

In short, it's an idea I'd like to work, but I don't see how it would.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2015, 07:31:53 pm »

I'd imagine your chap in G was breaking the rules, but more than that, I think he was breaking common sense! Not only cos it's obvious that if you've brought a folding bike into the carriage, the whole point of it is that it goes in the luggage rack, but also I can't see how he gained from it.

Depends on the circumstances. I was on an HST the other day with my folder, and unfolded it on the train just before arrival - because it was a lightly loaded train from Charlbury, pulling into Oxford, and I figured it would cause less disruption that way (not least because I'm nimbler moving through the station pushing a little bike than carrying one). I'd deliberately chosen carriage C, the one with the disabled toilet, which has more room. Would I do the same in carriage A in a morning peak arrival at Paddington? Of course not. Smiley
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