Cycling commuter Graham Hindle says he has been forced into driving 40 miles from Reading to Chiswick because First Great Western have introduced an unworkable cycle reservation system.
He used to ride to Reading station and board a train with his bike at about 6am. Then he would cycle from London Paddington across the city to his work at Canary Wharf, returning by the same means each evening.
But First Great Western struck a blow against this fine example of integrated travel recently by requiring cycle reservations. This ties the commuter to a particular train which they may miss because of variable commitments.
Mr Hindle, being resourceful, asked First Great Western for a cycle reservation for every weekday train, within their cycle carriage constraints. That appears to have foxed them for he has had no reply.
To make matters more confusing, he has discovered that the new Aliante trains with six bike spaces do not take reservations.
So he is now driving to Chiswick and cycling to work from there.
?I can provide a lift in my car from Reading to Chiswick,? he said, adding: ?A reservation is required!?
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Keith Bingham joined the Cycling Weekly team in the summer of 1971, and retired in 2011. During his time, he covered numerous Tours de France, Milk Races and everything in-between. He was well known for his long-running 'Bikewatch' column, and played a pivotal role in fighting for the future of once at-threat cycling venues such as Hog Hill and Herne Hill Velodrome.
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