Pity there was no Booby Prize at the recent National Cycle-Rail awards. There could have been plenty of nominations!
Instead, the competition is all about providing a positive spin to those companies encouraging cycle-rail integration in the hope it might catch on.
But that?s no excuse for not naming and shaming the anti-cycling train operators, according to Lord Berkeley, who does just that in his amusing rant on the subject published in our sister publication, The Railway Magazine, a well respected monthly serving both the rail industry and enthusiast alike.
Lord Berkeley is a committed cyclist and often to be seen taking part in the annual Parliamentarians Bike Ride to publicise National Bike Week.
He praises the National Cycle Awards, but says that ?given the evidence amassing of a wave of anti-cycle hysteria among train operators? there should be a long list of entries in the booby prize categories.
He includes South Central, London Midland, South Central and Eurostar.
He suggests that GE and Euston lines should also be entered. ?These have all been reported for a number of heinous crimes, including banning of cycles even at off-peak times, requiring folding bikes to be carried from barriers to train, perhaps up and down stairs and several hundred yards along platforms.?
As for Eurostar, he criticises them for requiring folding bikes not just to be folded but also bagged ?to avoid getting tourists? suitcases dirty?.
Helpfully, Lord Berkeley singles out two rail companies showing willing to cater for passengers with cycles.
He suggests Merseyrail as an alternative winner of Operator of the Year, for having nothing to do with peak cycle bans. They got rid of this ban way back in May, 1996. As for Strathclyde, they?ve never had a ban.
? it would appear that a self-regulating effect with from fellow passengers, friendly staff intervention, or plain commonsense avoids the perceived problems of other operators.?
This year, in contrast to Southern which banned all cycles from every station and train on its network during the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton bike ride, Merseyrail did the complete opposite for the Liverpool to Chester bike ride.
Instead of the usual three-car service between the two cities, Merseyrail ran six-car sets, one train carrying 47 bikes and riders home.