Cyclists are concerned Great Western Railway’s new advanced reservation system will make flexible travel impossible with a bike…
Dawlish Railway Station (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 on Wikimedia Commons by Geof Sheppard)
A petition launched against Great Western Railway’s new cycle reservation policy has received 1,200 signatures amid fears the changes will prevent cyclists making open return journeys.
The petition, Bike Reservations on Trains – the Beginning of the End, was started by Gary Fawle after the new policy came in on May 16, where any passenger travelling with a non-folding bike on one of GWR’s high speed routes now needs a cycle reservation. The firm says it has made the change due to limited space on trains.
Concerns have been raised about the effect of the rules on commuters who don’t know what time they will return home, along with the fact the rules are open to interpretation by rail staff.
Fawle says: “This will obviously discourage bike use with great implications, particularly on rural routes, and turning up to catch a train anywhere will be really difficult. What about workers cycling several miles to and from stations to get to work?
“Isn’t it government policy to encourage less car use, supporting more sustainable, less damaging, and healthier modes of transport?”
GWR told Ben Bradshaw, MP, cyclists without a reservation will be able to put their bikes on services where there is space. However, on Sunday a GWR staff member at Bath Spa station threatened to refuse a road.cc journalist entry to the London service with an open return ticket because she failed to make a reservation – despite the fact there were five free bike spaces on the train. The staff member told our journalist without a bike reservation she should not be allowed on the service, regardless of how much space there is.