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  • FIRST POST
    • Tofu eater
    • By Tofu eater 14th May 19, 9:49 PM
    • 81Posts
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    Tofu eater
    Train companies make it difficult to take bike when cyclists are potential good customers
    • #1
    • 14th May 19, 9:49 PM
    Train companies make it difficult to take bike when cyclists are potential good customers 14th May 19 at 9:49 PM
    Cyclists cannot get coaches or buses.So if they want to take their bike somewhere the ONLY thing they can do is get the train and buy a train ticket.
    This potentially makes them good customers that the train companies would want to encourage surely?
    So why,do they make it difficult and painful to get the train with a bike?
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 14th May 19, 11:52 PM
    • 15,431 Posts
    • 18,091 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 14th May 19, 11:52 PM
    • #2
    • 14th May 19, 11:52 PM
    Could it be because of the space a bike takes up?

    I imagine you could probably fit half a dozen fare paying passengers, albeit standing, in the space taken by one bike.
    .
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 15th May 19, 4:33 AM
    • 2,891 Posts
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    Richard53
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 4:33 AM
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 4:33 AM
    I imagine you could probably fit half a dozen fare paying passengers, albeit standing, in the space taken by one bike.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    No, it's three. I recently travelled from Paddington to West Wales on a train where GWR had taken bookings for 10 carriages but only supplied nine. Three of us became quite good friends while standing nose to nose in the cycle space of the carriage. We could perhaps have squeezed in a fourth if he/she had been a child, but no more. Half a dozen is a gross exaggeration.
    If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, they are not a nice person.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 15th May 19, 8:27 AM
    • 6,558 Posts
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    PompeyPete
    • #4
    • 15th May 19, 8:27 AM
    • #4
    • 15th May 19, 8:27 AM
    Difficult enough to get luggage on some trains.....you end up putting cases on seats that meant for passengers.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 15th May 19, 12:55 PM
    • 15,431 Posts
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    KeithP
    • #5
    • 15th May 19, 12:55 PM
    • #5
    • 15th May 19, 12:55 PM
    No, it's three. I recently travelled from Paddington to West Wales on a train where GWR had taken bookings for 10 carriages but only supplied nine. Three of us became quite good friends while standing nose to nose in the cycle space of the carriage. We could perhaps have squeezed in a fourth if he/she had been a child, but no more. Half a dozen is a gross exaggeration.
    Originally posted by Richard53
    OK, so three fare paying passengers can occupy the space taken by one bike.

    Is the fare for one bike three times the fare for a passenger?

    Or indeed, is there any fare for a bike?

    All I'm doing is addressing the question posed by the OP:
    So why,do they make it difficult and painful to get the train with a bike?
    .
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 15th May 19, 7:12 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
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    Johnmcl7
    • #6
    • 15th May 19, 7:12 PM
    • #6
    • 15th May 19, 7:12 PM
    OK, so three fare paying passengers can occupy the space taken by one bike.

    Is the fare for one bike three times the fare for a passenger?

    Or indeed, is there any fare for a bike?

    All I'm doing is addressing the question posed by the OP:
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Not really because that's almost entirely wrong since on many trains they have dedicated cycle areas that you won't be fitting any passengers into. Well unless it's people you really, really dislike and don't want them survive the journey and while I'd be happy for you to attempt to prove me wrong I suspect you'd get arrested if you tried to stuff any passengers into the cycle space on a class 43 power car or similar.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 15th May 19, 7:23 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
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    Johnmcl7
    • #7
    • 15th May 19, 7:23 PM
    • #7
    • 15th May 19, 7:23 PM
    Cyclists cannot get coaches or buses.So if they want to take their bike somewhere the ONLY thing they can do is get the train and buy a train ticket.
    This potentially makes them good customers that the train companies would want to encourage surely?
    So why,do they make it difficult and painful to get the train with a bike?
    Originally posted by Tofu eater
    It's something I've wondered myself as it's progressively become much worse. I was trying to book my bike onto a Virgin train and found firstly their site no longer allows you to see visibility of trains with free bike slots. I contacted them using their support form asking them if there's any way I can check without having to phone or contact them directly only to get an automated reply telling me they were busy and will try to reply within 25 days. They replied in 30 and told me to phone them to check, bad enough to take so long to reply but worse not to even bother reading the e-mail first.

    I managed to get a hold of someone from the company through Facebook who advised me every single train in that time frame was fully booked for bikes even though it was months in advance which I don't believe for a second but I couldn't gamble with my travel plans.

    With some of the daft responses above I should point out that the cycle spaces on this particular train are completely separate to the passenger space as they're fitted within each of the locomotives hauling the train.

    I find it frequently difficult to find availability of bike spaces as companies that do show the spaces often make it difficult and time consuming to do so. Taking public transport is limiting at the other end so being able to take the bike is a big advantage especially as it can't come by bus and it's too much of a hassle taking it by plane but each of the last few times I've tried to take it a longer distance I've had to give up trying.
    • YBR
    • By YBR 15th May 19, 7:31 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    YBR
    • #8
    • 15th May 19, 7:31 PM
    • #8
    • 15th May 19, 7:31 PM
    For the trains in my area there is an advertised limit of 2 bikes. They can't be too tall because the space is under luggage racks and cupboards, plus it's the crumple zone so you can't seat passengers there.

    We regularly got 3 or 4 bikes in that space without blocking the exit - provided it was the sensible regular cyclists who knew how best to stack various bikes - but just occasionally the Train Manager would throw them off anyway.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 17th May 19, 11:45 AM
    • 8,184 Posts
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    martindow
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 11:45 AM
    • #9
    • 17th May 19, 11:45 AM
    I suppose it's a commercial decision and they have decided that they would prefer to avoid complaints from passengers standing because of a lack of seats and field complaints from cyclists. The new trains to the SW can't take surfboards unlike the HSTs they are replacing so there's another group of people upset.


    On some journeys you may be able to travel on slower trains which allow you to take cycles without reservations.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 31st May 19, 11:00 PM
    • 5,623 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    The new trains to the SW can't take surfboards unlike the HSTs they are replacing so there's another group of people upset.
    Originally posted by martindow
    You need a VW camper van to take surfboards, everyone knows that!
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 3rd Jun 19, 9:50 AM
    • 11,674 Posts
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    Pennywise
    I believe there are a few trains in Scotland being modified to take more cycles.

    Unfortunately, there's already a serious shortage of train carriages and many trains are already full with standing passengers a common sight. Trying to fit in more cycles will just make it worse.

    The UK rail system was systematically run down in the 50s/60s/70s/80s, with lines and stations still being downgraded into the 90s. Stations were shortened so it's not just as easy to lengthen trains anymore. The cost of trains has risen massively due to disability accessibility, new regulations re toilet waste, diesel emission restrictions etc. It's going to take several decades to build it up again to get anywhere near the network and services we had mid 20th Century!

    Unfortunately, the UK rail service isn't particularly passenger focused and hasn't been for several decades and it takes years of campaigning to change the smallest of things. You can be excused for believing that the rail system is operated for it's own convenience rather than the travelling public.
    • Houbara
    • By Houbara 4th Jun 19, 9:36 AM
    • 4,565 Posts
    • 3,139 Thanks
    Houbara
    Some cyclists on trains are an absolute menace and display arrogance as if they have a right to push fare paying passengers around with their huge fat tyred muddy mountain bikes and oily gears.
    On a packed commuter train at rush hour from Sheffield we get the poseur mountain bike addicts who have been busy wrecking the footpaths on the Derbyshire hills returning at 5 pm in groups of three barging their way and tut tutting at paying commuters squashed up in the corridors who get in their way.
    The guards can and should refuse train access to these arrogant menaces at rush hours, but they are so rushed they miss them piling on in the last carriage.
    I have no objection to small wheeled folding bikes but these things are as big as a small motorbike.
    Last edited by Houbara; 04-06-2019 at 1:57 PM.
    • prowla
    • By prowla 4th Jun 19, 10:07 AM
    • 10,407 Posts
    • 8,901 Thanks
    prowla
    No, it's three. I recently travelled from Paddington to West Wales on a train where GWR had taken bookings for 10 carriages but only supplied nine. Three of us became quite good friends while standing nose to nose in the cycle space of the carriage. We could perhaps have squeezed in a fourth if he/she had been a child, but no more. Half a dozen is a gross exaggeration.
    Originally posted by Richard53
    So, that's 4 in total then; the person plus 3 for the bike.
    Plus the bike may be blocking access.
    The train companies are OK with folding bikes, tough.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 4th Jun 19, 7:00 PM
    • 11,674 Posts
    • 22,558 Thanks
    Pennywise
    This potentially makes them good customers that the train companies would want to encourage surely?
    Originally posted by Tofu eater
    Your fatal misunderstanding is that the train companies want more custom. An awful lot of services are already full to capacity, so the last thing anyone wants is more people on already overcrowded trains.

    There is also their funding formula, where each train operating company only gets a share of revenue generated on each route they travel and have to share it with other operators on the same route, so the operator of the train you want to travel on may not even get all the money you pay them to travel on it.

    The joys of pretend privatisation.
    • beefturnmail
    • By beefturnmail 5th Jun 19, 10:56 AM
    • 803 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    beefturnmail
    You could get a folding bike? These are allowed on rush hour services and I've never had any problems
    • Takmon
    • By Takmon 5th Jun 19, 3:21 PM
    • 604 Posts
    • 596 Thanks
    Takmon
    Cyclists cannot get coaches or buses.So if they want to take their bike somewhere the ONLY thing they can do is get the train and buy a train ticket.
    This potentially makes them good customers that the train companies would want to encourage surely?
    So why,do they make it difficult and painful to get the train with a bike?
    Originally posted by Tofu eater
    I disagree with this statement because obviously the most common way of taking a bike somewhere is actually riding it there

    The second most common way i would say is take it in a car because most journey's people make usually return the same way.

    I cycle and i would never take my bike on a train no matter how easy it is because i can't see any benefit to doing this considering that train tickets are more expensive than driving and a car can get far more places than a train!.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 6th Jun 19, 5:58 PM
    • 34,547 Posts
    • 29,281 Thanks
    custardy
    I disagree with this statement because obviously the most common way of taking a bike somewhere is actually riding it there

    The second most common way i would say is take it in a car because most journey's people make usually return the same way.

    I cycle and i would never take my bike on a train no matter how easy it is because i can't see any benefit to doing this considering that train tickets are more expensive than driving and a car can get far more places than a train!.
    Originally posted by Takmon
    and if you don't drive?
    • davenport151
    • By davenport151 8th Jun 19, 1:48 PM
    • 643 Posts
    • 868 Thanks
    davenport151
    Mmm... add up all your associated costs of owning a car plus your time and energy in driving it, finding somewhere to park and being stuck in traffic. sometimes the train journey is cheaper even without this.
    I know what i'd prefer.
    Self employed after redundancy



    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 9th Jun 19, 2:38 PM
    • 11,674 Posts
    • 22,558 Thanks
    Pennywise
    Mmm... add up all your associated costs of owning a car plus your time and energy in driving it, finding somewhere to park and being stuck in traffic. sometimes the train journey is cheaper even without this.
    I know what i'd prefer.
    Originally posted by davenport151
    But if you've already got a car and need it for other purposes, the only thing you need to compare is the cost of petrol and parking - all the others are fixed/spent costs that aren't changed. Train journeys are highly unlikely to be cheaper than driving, especially if there are more than one of you travelling.

    But, the reality is that with trains already busy/full, there's no incentive for them to offer cheaper fares or more convenient services.
    • davenport151
    • By davenport151 10th Jun 19, 7:18 AM
    • 643 Posts
    • 868 Thanks
    davenport151
    Fair point (geddit?)
    But it depends on costs in your area sometimes. I find a off peak return to some areas within 1/2 hour to 1 hour where I live are priced to make driving the better option.
    I consider the ability to sit back and watch out of the window a pleasure if I am not driving.
    By the by - Not sure I would like to take my bike by train either!
    Self employed after redundancy



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