Leeds & West Yorkshire

TransPennine Express bike reservation policy 'draconian'

Sian Hughes
Image caption Nurse Sian Hughes said she was angry and upset by the new policy

A train company's new policy forcing cyclists to reserve spaces for bikes on services 24 hours before travelling has been branded "backward and draconian".

From 20 May, cyclists cannot bring bikes on to TransPennine Express routes unless they have pre-booked.

Commuters said the changes removed flexibility and did little to promote the region's cycling legacy in the wake of the Tour de Yorkshire.

The rail firm said it would help reduce overcrowding on its trains.

Read more stories from across Yorkshire

Nurse Sian Hughes's commute involves train and bike, but she works in different hospitals each week.

"I cover when my colleagues are on leave or off sick so I can have a call from a manager the day before saying where I'm covering.

"Normally I would just turn up at the station. This is going to really affect my freedom and my choice of how I travel."

Image copyright SWpix
Image caption The change has been criticised as being counter to efforts to promote cycling in the wake of the Tour de Yorkshire

The planned-change comes ahead of the introduction of the rail company's new fleet of trains later this year, a move which will more than double the number of seats on its network.

The firm said there would be space for up to four bikes on the new trains, an increase from the current two, but there would be less open space.

TransPennine said cyclists could not make short-notice reservations but said the changes did not apply to folding bikes.

Councillor Martyn Bolt from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport committee described the policy as a backward step.

"Yorkshire is the foremost cycling region in the country We very much benefit from cycling tourism and I don't think TransPennine appreciate that."

He said the committee was lobbying MPs and cycling groups in the hope of getting the decision reversed.

"I would hope that TransPennine would take a step back and realise introducing this draconian measure just before the summer is not of benefit to our region."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites