While vertical storage is an effective use of space, it deters cyclists from using trains
Robyn Jankel and Peter Walker
Mon 4 Nov 2019 08.02 GMT
Do you ever get the feeling you’re not wanted?
I recently took a trip to Sheffield from my home in York. My plan was to travel by train and cycle at each end.
Tickets purchased, I tweeted CrossCountry for a bike reservation, adding that I’m unable to use a vertical hanging hook and asking whether alternative storage would be available. The answer was no. As a follow-up came the unexpectedly hostile: “You’ll need to find a way of hanging it up yourself, or seek help in doing so. Otherwise, it doesn’t come onboard.”
In theory, vertical storage allows for two bicycles to be stored upright, tucked into a narrow cupboard, front wheels hung on ceiling hooks. The space is minimal, allowing train operators to claim cycle storage is provided, whilse stretching the technical definition to its absolute limit.
The fact so few bicycles are narrow or light enough to fit into this crevice seems of minor concern to the rail companies. That still fewer people are physically capable of wrestling them in appears of even less interest.