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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

Re: New Eurostar Bike Policy

17 October 2015 - 11:01am
Psamathe wrote:Re: Rail Regulation
iviehoff wrote:mjr wrote:I looked at http://www.ORR.gov.uk and I can't figure out what even requires them to take luggage at all! Is there a kindly railway expert here?
ORR is the wrong place to look. A train company's operating contract (franchise agreement) is with a funding body such as DfT, Scottish govt, etc. These vary considerably from case to case.

I've just downloaded Virgin Trains' franchise agreement https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... eement.pdf and the word bicycle does not appear in all 449 pages of it. The word "luggage" appears only once, where it clarifies that a fare can be charged for luggage.

However in Abellio Scotrail's franchise agreement, extending to over 600 pages, http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/sys ... ersion.pdf the word bicycle appears quite frequently. Condition 9 is entirely about bicycles. But ultimately all they really require is that so far as is reasonably practical, subject to availability, make reasonable provision for carriage of bicycles (unfortunately it isn't letting me copy the exact wording), which as we know means very little. Abellio have not always been very open-minded down at Anglia, where they brought in more restrictive rules than the preceding franchisee in relation to Stansted Express services. Which since they are nearly always very empty when I travel on them, is unnecessary.
I'm surprised the various cycle campaigning organisations have not been campaigning to ensure that the various rail contracts (which come-up for re-tendering periodically) do not include requirements to carry bikes and specify minimum cycle facilities, etc. I can see a lot of "transport" trips where people would take bikes on trains (e.g. into city centres) and cycle the shorter sections (home<->station, station<-> work). OK, it might be shorter distances but would help lower car volumes, pollution, parking needs/problems/etc.. More bikes as transport than bikes for sport.

(Ok, people could buy folders but a lot of people would probably not go and buy a new bike on-top of their already rather expensive season ticket - particularly when they have a perfectly good bike sitting unused at home ...)

Ian

The commute thing is handled by masses of people with a bike at each end of the journey (invariably an old hack) - just look at the racks and racks of bikes at Oxford and then Paddington, or at Marylebone ... makes sense and simpler than a folder. The stations manage bike storage very well with good racks that can be locked onto, a ticketing system and some security cameras.

Rob

Re: New Eurostar Bike Policy

17 October 2015 - 9:56am
Re: Rail Regulation
iviehoff wrote:mjr wrote:I looked at http://www.ORR.gov.uk and I can't figure out what even requires them to take luggage at all! Is there a kindly railway expert here?
ORR is the wrong place to look. A train company's operating contract (franchise agreement) is with a funding body such as DfT, Scottish govt, etc. These vary considerably from case to case.

I've just downloaded Virgin Trains' franchise agreement https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... eement.pdf and the word bicycle does not appear in all 449 pages of it. The word "luggage" appears only once, where it clarifies that a fare can be charged for luggage.

However in Abellio Scotrail's franchise agreement, extending to over 600 pages, http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/sys ... ersion.pdf the word bicycle appears quite frequently. Condition 9 is entirely about bicycles. But ultimately all they really require is that so far as is reasonably practical, subject to availability, make reasonable provision for carriage of bicycles (unfortunately it isn't letting me copy the exact wording), which as we know means very little. Abellio have not always been very open-minded down at Anglia, where they brought in more restrictive rules than the preceding franchisee in relation to Stansted Express services. Which since they are nearly always very empty when I travel on them, is unnecessary.
I'm surprised the various cycle campaigning organisations have not been campaigning to ensure that the various rail contracts (which come-up for re-tendering periodically) do not include requirements to carry bikes and specify minimum cycle facilities, etc. I can see a lot of "transport" trips where people would take bikes on trains (e.g. into city centres) and cycle the shorter sections (home<->station, station<-> work). OK, it might be shorter distances but would help lower car volumes, pollution, parking needs/problems/etc.. More bikes as transport than bikes for sport.

(Ok, people could buy folders but a lot of people would probably not go and buy a new bike on-top of their already rather expensive season ticket - particularly when they have a perfectly good bike sitting unused at home ...)

Ian

Re: Trip report - Faro to Porto

17 October 2015 - 7:36am
Thanks for the blog. Got me thinking...

Re: Somme tour

17 October 2015 - 6:25am
Oh, one thing I found out after cycling through there... The cycle route numbers (signed) are actually junction numbers. So each junction on the 'cycle routes' have a number, and paths around there point you at 52 or 64, etc. I had thought I was trying to follow 'route 52', which was wrong, I was actually cycling to junction 52 where the signs for it (obviously) stopped. You can get a map of all the junction numbers, and then you just do something like following the signs: junction 52, junction 14, junction 23, etc.

Hotels and Tourist Info have the maps, and, even if you're following a GPS route, they're worth carrying.

cheers,

Re: Somme tour

16 October 2015 - 11:45pm
David, I've not cycled the area but visited a few years ago when retracing my family's wartime connections in the area. I can only imagine cycling would be a joy as the roads are quiet and the scenery sublime. I think this is something I'd like to do and would be interested to hear how you get on.

I'd certainly recommend Beaumont Hamel park, scene of the slaughter of the brave Newfoundland regiment during the first day of the Somme. The trenches are still evident and along with the visitor centre there are guided tours which are very much worth joining. Thiepval memorial is something quite incredible, and nearby at The Ulster Memorial Tower dedicated volunteers lead facinating tours also. There is just so much to see so again like others I'd recommend a decent guide book such as Major and Mrs Holts to help you plan your trip. Best of luck, hope you have a great time.

Re: Somme tour

16 October 2015 - 9:19pm
Hi Thanks to you all for helping out. Ill take a look at all you say D

Re: National Cycle Route 7.

16 October 2015 - 9:01pm
The headwinds will probably be worse north to south. I would go the other way for that reason. Possibly less hilly south to north too - the climb out of Inverness is a bit of a pain. I cycled some parts recently and don't remember any major difficulties but I'm sure there will be a few. The Drumochter pass section along the A9 was in decent condition but getting into winter it may become impassible. Even in October there might be snow and ice.

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