A campaign to allow bikes on to trams in Manchester has fallen on deaf ears following a meeting of the area's transport authority.
Presently, all bicycles are banned on Manchester's tram system, even Brompton-style folding bikes (unless they're in a case).
Campaigners including the Manchester-based Love Your Bike have objected vociferously to the on-going ban and have attempted to force a U-turn in policy. However, a meeting this week of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority, run by 10 district councils in the area, voted 7-5 in favour of keeping the ban, even in non-peak hours.
Pete Abel, from Love Your Bike campaign, told The Guardian he was very disappointed at the vote, particularly as a 2002 survey found that 85 per cent of tram passengers would welcome them.
"It seems to be a very hostile attitude overall towards cycling. The attitude seems to be that a bike is about as hazardous as a ticking bomb," he said. Those arguing at the meeting for a continuation of the policy said their main worry was what would happen if a tram made an emergency stop, he continued.
He added: "There are no seatbelts on the trams. If one of them does an emergency stop there will be plenty more things flying about, not least passengers."
A document supporting the case for retaining the ban was presented to representatives at the meeting. Among the reasons cited were:
'A bicycle within the saloon of a tram introduces objects that are hazardous to passengers, e.g. sharp points such as handlebars and pedals.'
'A high risk of damage and or soiling of passengers clothing will occur. This could be particularly prevalent given the Manchester climate.'
The report's conclusion read: “The current policy on Metrolink should remain unchanged as the measures possible to mitigate the risks of injury, damage and operational problems are not guaranteed to reduce the risk significantly enough to warrant a change in policy regarding the carriage of bicycles on trams and would incur additional costs.”