Don't take bikes to watch Tour in Yorkshire, say local train companies

No outright ban, but no extra provision for bicycles either

by Simon_MacMichael   May 22, 2014  

Catherine Murphy ' Waiting at the Station'

Local rail operators in Yorkshire are telling people who plan to use their trains to watch the Tour de France in July to leave their bikes at home. The news coincided with plans being announced this week of how they will deal with the influx of visitors to the region to attend the race.

Last month, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) announced details of the carriage of bicycles on long-distance services around the weekend of the Grand Depart on Saturday 5 July, saying that people without a reservation for their bike would be unlikely to be able to board the train they wanted.

Now, local operators including Northern Rail and Grand Central have confirmed that no reservations can be made for bikes on their services, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The newspaper says that none of the companies involved plan to provide additional carriages for bicycles, and that only two bikes are allowed on Northern Rail’s services. As a result, fans of the race travelling by train are being urged not to bring a bike with them.

ATOC said that its members had decided not to ban bicycles outright from Friday 4 July to Sunday 6 July, but said that people wanting to take their bike with them should travel early and expect a delay in boarding a train without a reservation.

In a statement, it said: “It is normal practice under franchise arrangements agreed with the Department for Transport to suspend cycle carriage on trains at times of expected exceptional passenger congestion, particularly for large sporting events.

“It is in recognition of the importance of cycle-rail passengers and of the nature of the Tour de France that train operating companies have chosen to maintain carriage during the event.”

However, First TransPennine Express has told travellers that “the Tour de France is a spectator event, and cycle carriage is not advised due to the busy nature of the event, stations and services.”

East Midlands Trains, East Coast and especially Northern Rail, which will be carrying most of the expected increase in passenger numbers, are among companies that will be providing extra services and carriages during the weekend.

Northern Rail’s service delivery director, Alan Chaplin, said: “It’s an honour for us, as well as the rest of the industry, to be part of this year’s Tour de France.

“Our services will provide an important lifeline throughout the weekend, connecting many spectators to viewpoints along the route, and we have sought to provide as much additional capacity as we can.

“We’ve been planning with our industry partners since last year on how to make Yorkshire’s Grand Depart an experience to remember for spectators, our people and most importantly, showcase a railway the north can be proud of.”

Network Rail, meanwhile, has suspended engineering works in the area for the weekend in question.

20 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Quote:
ATOC said that its members had decided not to ban bicycles outright from Friday 4 July to Sunday 6 July

...but we'll just make it as difficult as possible so that it has pretty much the same effect as an outright ban.

posted by dp24 [150 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:00

like this
Like (20)

I've often thought that when rail companies do stuff like this (e.g. then ban on bikes coming back from Brighton on the day of the BHF L2B) they are missing a trick. Get a guard's van (or something) a load of hooks on the roof, £5 a time for cycle carriage and it's a wad of cash. But no, that would require thinking and planning so they choose to make things difficult.

posted by SteppenHerring [169 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:23

like this
Like (31)

Anyone know how far ahead we'll be able to ride on the route before the race/promotional caravan comes through?

When I've watched it in France you can ride the route until the first baguette-shaped cars start coming.

BOOM

posted by hotspanners [3 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:40

like this
Like (15)

What do other countries' train companies offer when there is a big cycle sport event? Thinking

AndrewRH's picture

posted by AndrewRH [44 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:45

like this
Like (18)

we could always... ride there?

DaveO

posted by Dave Ody [15 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 11:53

like this
Like (15)

Le Grande Faux Pas !

Robert Worrall

velocibob's picture

posted by velocibob [6 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 12:03

like this
Like (12)

SteppenHerring wrote:
I've often thought that when rail companies do stuff like this (e.g. then ban on bikes coming back from Brighton on the day of the BHF L2B) they are missing a trick. Get a guard's van (or something) a load of hooks on the roof, £5 a time for cycle carriage and it's a wad of cash. But no, that would require thinking and planning so they choose to make things difficult.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPkT0paGEnQ

Ah the good ol' days.

posted by Dapper Giles [46 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 12:09

like this
Like (17)

hotspanners wrote:
Anyone know how far ahead we'll be able to ride on the route before the race/promotional caravan comes through?

When I've watched it in France you can ride the route until the first baguette-shaped cars start coming.

I asked Leeds council the same question, here is the fresh answer.

"Generally speaking pedestrians and individual cyclists will be able to access the route after the road closures have come into effect. They won’t be able to cycle on the route an hour before the publicity caravan is due as the roads are handed over to ASO then. There will be pedestrian crossing points which someone walking with their bike would be able to use. There will be local variations, particularly around start and finish areas where areas are more likely to be barriered."

posted by Leodis [173 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 12:17

like this
Like (13)

And no driving to Silverstone!

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [120 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 14:04

like this
Like (15)

Translink who operate the trains in Northern Ireland were exactly the same for the Giro. Bikes would not be banned but only the usual 4 bikes would be permitted, 2 at the front and 2 at the rear. Before the introduction of the new faster/quieter trains there used to be a guard car that could accommodate at least 15 to 20 bikes. "Use public transport more, cycle to work blah blah blah!!!" Progress in action not. Angry

Scott A. Harkins

scottharkins1971's picture

posted by scottharkins1971 [18 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 14:05

like this
Like (18)

So just a normal day of trying to get your bike on the train then, so no real disappointment!!

Chadders x

chadders's picture

posted by chadders [71 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 14:13

like this
Like (11)

Leodis wrote:
hotspanners wrote:
Anyone know how far ahead we'll be able to ride on the route before the race/promotional caravan comes through?

When I've watched it in France you can ride the route until the first baguette-shaped cars start coming.

I asked Leeds council the same question, here is the fresh answer.

"Generally speaking pedestrians and individual cyclists will be able to access the route after the road closures have come into effect. They won’t be able to cycle on the route an hour before the publicity caravan is due as the roads are handed over to ASO then. There will be pedestrian crossing points which someone walking with their bike would be able to use. There will be local variations, particularly around start and finish areas where areas are more likely to be barriered."

Better than Essex then, whose County Council dedicated TdeF website says:

Are bikes allowed through road closures and are bikes allowed to cycle on the closed route in front of the race?

Riders on bikes are not allowed through road closures. No bike riding is permitted on the route for the period of the road closures.

Are the roads going to be closed for walkers, cyclists and horse riders?

The roads remain open for walkers but cyclists will have to dismount and walk. Cyclists and horse riders will not be able to use the closed roads until they re-open. They need to be off the route some time before event arrives for safety purposes.

posted by racyrich [115 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 15:04

like this
Like (16)

How are they going to enforce the 'no cycling beyond the road block' rule?
That grumpy Yorkshireman in that video the other day will be nothing compared to thousands of cyclists being told by some kid in a vi-viz tabard they cant cycle up Holme Moss.

posted by Some Fella [720 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 15:52

like this
Like (14)

"Get a guard's van (or something) a load of hooks on the roof," ... and all trains are suspended when a bike takes out a power line / falls onto the track / etc : )

I'd like to see better provision for combined bike+train use in general (it's my only 2 transport options for longer distances) but this doesn't seem unreasonable - even if we had a Denmark-style utopia of a proper bike carriages it'd be over-subscribed during an event like this.

posted by james-o [188 posts]
22nd May 2014 - 20:44

like this
Like (11)

velocibob wrote:
Le Grande Faux Pas !

'grand'.

'Pas' is masculine. Smile

'It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning' (Henry Ford)

cyclingDMlondon's picture

posted by cyclingDMlondon [203 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 13:19

like this
Like (8)

SteppenHerring wrote:
Get a guard's van (or something)

Such things barely exist nowadays, although it might have been possible to run a small number of highly-publicised 'specials', gaining lots of publicity (and perhaps surcharged fares) into the bargain. Alternatively it wouldn't be difficult to unbolt a bay of seats either side of the gangway and fit temporary racks for a few days. They might get sponsorship, or have some other kind of related activity going on.

Or (another idea), hire a few trucks at mainline stations and charge cyclists to have their bikes transported to the station they travel to by train. Maybe some enterprising souls would try this independently?

posted by Duncann [13 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 15:19

like this
Like (10)

First time I did the London to Cambridge mass ride in 1992 there was a special train from Cambridge to London. Bikes were loaded into goods (mail?) carriages.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1332 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 17:46

like this
Like (11)

I've seen this attitude before, lady trying to take a pram and luggage on a train. She got abused by the guard. Bit of radical thinking required, rip up the track, lay tarmac and turn it into a road. At least you could ride it then.

posted by ARusty [1 posts]
23rd May 2014 - 19:52

like this
Like (11)

Seems to me the way to solve this problem , IS TO STAY HOME!
Would have enjoyed seeing cold ,rainy & misty Yorkshire , but the Giro in N.I. was enough for me .

One clown in Hi Vis , shouted " Get off your bike , or i'll push you off "! Jumped up twat made no move to leave the pavement . Of course his colleagues knew what he was like , so they left him alone in the middle of the country , with the cold rain för company . The Police on the other hand were " Nelson ? " Didn't see you mate " as they turned their back to look at the view .

Wonder if the people who btought " Le Tour " to Yorkshire , even thought about , How the Fans would TRAVEL ? Gary & his team enjoyed being chauffeured around France , as YIP s but how will they do in their backyard ?

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [378 posts]
24th May 2014 - 5:35

like this
Like (6)

They say 'until the road is handed over to the race' so I think that's the same thing. Round here it'd be shut to traffic at 7am but I'd expect you can ride till about nine. I'm sure clarity will be given nearer the time.

posted by fustuarium [10 posts]
24th May 2014 - 9:48

like this
Like (5)