Bikes on trains: left in the lurch.

Have you ever tried to take your bike on a train? If the answer it 'yes' then you'll probably be all too aware that it is often a bit of a trauma. Bike space is limited and often you cannot book so there's a chance there'll be no room. Some train operating companies are better than others though, and in Leeds our very own Northern Rail are as good as they get. Part owned by Dutch Railways, Northern are doing their best with the rolling stock available, and were responsible for setting up Leeds Cyclepoint hub at the main railway station.

All that said, things are still not good for cyclists. What happens, for example, if your train is cancelled? If you are a foot passenger then the company is obliged to provide alternative transport. This might be another train, perhaps be a different route, or a later train, or sometimes a bus. Now, getting a bike on a bus is a problem, and in fact there is no obligation for train companies to provide alternative transport for cyclists. So, if there is no alternative train, and you cannot get your bike on the bus, what then? Well, what then is you getting back on your bike and cycling to wherever it is you want to go.

It is easy to sympathise with the train companies because finding a bus that can carry bikes must be hard. But not impossible surely. If Northern took it upon themselves to work with bus providers to find a cycle-friendly bus surely a solution could be found?  What a great step forward for Northern to be able to say "if you are on a bike we won't let you down", maybe the first UK train company to do this? 

The campaign will be talking to Northern about this, because at the moment, if something goes wrong, you'll be on your bike.