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No bikes on trams says new review

£3m cost to Metrolink modifications means rule changes unlikely

Published on November 12th 2010.

No bikes on trams says new review

A change in the rules allowing bikes to be carried on trams would cost Metrolink at least £3m in modifications, according to a new review.

The review will disappoint lobbyists from cycling groups who have asked for a change in the current rules that only allow fully-encased folding bikes on board. It says the cost of removing seats to allow four bikes per tram across the network means the situation should stay as it is.

The study, carried out by a cross-party working group, will report to the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority’s (GMITA) Policy & Resources Committee on November 19.

A survey of 1,000 passengers' opinions found that more than half (56 per cent) thought bikes should be allowed on trams, but only seven per cent were in favour of removing enough seats to carry four bikes per tram.

Forty-three per cent were in favour of seats being removed, and 35 per cent said enough seats for two bikes per tram should be removed.

The survey said 773 people (71.4 per cent) want to see permits issued and/or charging cyclists to carry their bikes on trams (including regular cyclists).

Councillor Keith Whitmore, chair of the Policy and Resources Committee, said: “This review has not been about banning cyclists from Metrolink – indeed, there are cycle-parking facilities across the network, with more to come. It has been about whether bikes can safely be taken on to trams.

“The working group has taken a long, hard look at this issue, considered a great deal of information, including the safety implications, and asked tram passengers for their views, as well as cycle and environmental groups.

“The process has been open and thorough, with the benefit of views from all sides of the debate. When we make our decision on Friday I am satisfied that we will be doing so based on as much high quality information as possible.

“The committee now needs to consider the working group’s findings before this important matter can be resolved.”

Two Authority members from each of the three main parties made up the working group, which invited comments from tram users, cycling organisations and the ten district authorities.

Representations were made by Love Your Bike (Friends of the Earth), the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign, the Cyclist Touring Club, the Disability Design Reference Group and the operator, Stagecoach Metrolink.

A full copy of the review can be found at: www.gmita.go.uk

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 12th 2010.

The trams have been a poorly planned and executed enterprise from the start so this latest decision comes as no surprise. The shambolic, expensive and non-user friendly trams help make Manchester what it is today - a run down provincial city in a poor region of a country which is declining remorselessly.

John HarrisNovember 12th 2010.

I approve.

Cyclists are hateful and antisocial and should be discouraged wherever possible.

MR BLUE SKIESNovember 12th 2010.

Are cycles allowed to take a cycle on a bus, coach or taxi? No , on a train ? either a Ltd no or on some train companies (not during peak times , but trains are a lot bigger, the overcrowded trams do not have the capacity to carry cycles , if they did they should charge them the appropriate fare (reflecting the space it takes up ) ie around 20 pounds a journey!

M30November 12th 2010.

It's bad enough with the battering rams that are prams, pushchairs and buggies without bikes taking up valuable space on already cramped trams.

You can't take a bike on the tube in London, nor can you take them on any mass transit in the UK I'm familiar with.

AjbNovember 13th 2010.

Stop being selfish bikers...buy a Brompton!

AnonymousNovember 13th 2010.

Bikes are not allowed on the London Underground. That's very true. But bikes were allowed on the trains which the trams replaced in 2002.

Bikes are allowed on the trains which will shortly be replaced by the new Oldham and Rochdale trams, which won't allow bikes.

The ban on bikes is not too much of a problem though. The trams are so unreliable, crowded and expensive that they aren't worth using unless you are unable to drive or cycle for some reason.

J E SibberingNovember 14th 2010.

You're wrong M30 and anon. Bikes, including non-foldable ones, ARE allowed on the London Underground, with certain restrictions:


So why can't we have a similar solution in Manchester?

Ali McGowanNovember 15th 2010.

Don't buy a Brompton unless u want to look like a _ _ _.

M30November 15th 2010.

There's loads of "riders" on when and where you can take a bike on the tube, though. Seems like you can only take one on during a month with a Y in the name between two stations in Golders Green. Prams should definatley be banned on the Metrolink though.

train-friendly bikerzNovember 16th 2010.

@M30: In reality, there's *lots* of tube lines where bikes [including non-folders] OK at *any* non peak time. eg from link
<Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines
On these lines non-folding bicycles are permitted on all sections outside peak times.>
But as soon as a manc train line gets taken over by Metrolink: zilch, never, nada. Own-goal 4 integrated transport?

The Uni-cycling EunuchNovember 16th 2010.

I just wish the planners would engage in a bit of lateral thinking when they planned our 'intergrated' transport systems.

Surely if they made the tram lanes a little bit wider when they built them, they could have delivered the best cycle lanes in the country in one perfect and cost effective swoop.

Perhaps Metrolink were worried that the cyclists would outpace their trams and thus scupper their lofty pricing ambitions...?

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