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To: Great Western Railways

Bike Reservations on Trains - the beginning of the end

Bike Reservations on Trains - the beginning of the end

Offer more bike storage on trains. And don't make bike reservation mandatory.

Why is this important?

I learnt yesterday coming from London to Bristol that it is now 'mandatory' to make bike reservations in advance for all travel on GWR trains, a policy I was told (by a guard) came into effect on 16th May, and is largely because of new high speed trains. Are GWR reducing storage on their trains? Probably, and down to 2 or 3 on some 'high speed' trains, instead of increasing to meet demand.

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?

Particularly on main routes like Bristol to London, a journey that is already a silly £56 at its cheapest (around 40% more expensive than a similar journey in Europe) for a 'flexible' OFF-PEAK return. Those who need to be flexible will no longer be able to be 'flexible' - and not everyone can afford a Brompton, or the additional charges of London public transport on top. UK rail travel seems to be increasingly inaccessible for most people.

I took a trip to Sheffield to cycle in the Peak District recently, and on a Bristol to Sheffield train (£93.80 for an OFF-PEAK advance) there were only 3 bike slots. It cost a friend who was driving £40 in fuel, he carried 3 people, 3 bikes and spent a good amount of time in traffic jams....


Reasons for signing

  • I bought a ticket through the train line and tried to book my bike on to the service with gwr only to be told there was no spaces avaliable. I asked how many bike spaces they offered on the service and the answer was 4! This in on a gwr cross country service with around 600 seats. Crazy! How is this useful let alone sustainable?
  • Waited 3 hours at a station with 3 trains going past all with bike spaces but the conductors ruling with an iron fist and not letting me on. Filled with luggage and prams. Funnily enough none of them looked like they had every ridden a bike so no respect. Rude. Unhelpful.
  • Trying to sort out using the train to get to my new job instead of driving everyday but it's not financially viable if I can't take my bike. Shame I can't be environmentally GWR not like money?


2016-06-22 12:30:44 +0100

Anyone in the Cornwall area and being affected? please call Hannah in the BBC newsroom on 01872 475263 - she'd love to hear from you!

2016-06-19 17:28:54 +0100

GWR say they will 'listen to their passengers and amend the policy if necessary in the coming months'

2016-06-15 14:40:04 +0100

Evening Post article today

2016-06-13 17:53:42 +0100

This article illustrates the issue with schematics of new high speed trains, the HST's are going to be, as predicted a major problem and seem to be the real reason this policy has been introduced now.
'For regular commuters, the answer is simply to buy a fold-up or store a bike at both ends'
'For somebody touring or travelling for leisure you are well and truly stuffed.'

2016-06-08 21:11:51 +0100

BBC coverage today
Video -
Feature -

2016-06-07 14:34:41 +0100

Issue now published by Parliamentary Trains Committee for improving rail passenger experience.

2016-06-05 17:50:11 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2016-06-02 15:03:56 +0100

Great article outlining the issue in more detail by road cc -

2016-05-31 09:11:59 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-05-28 09:27:06 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-05-27 15:49:57 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-05-27 14:02:00 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-05-27 10:11:20 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-05-27 09:12:48 +0100

10 signatures reached