Spokeswoman responds to 'rumours' that no bikes will be carried from 2015...

First Great Western has refuted claims that it is to ban all bikes from its trains from next year.

Rumours had been circulating that from January 1, 2015, no more bikes would be carried on any services.

Philip Hoare wrote in the Independent this week: :Yesterday in Brockenhurst, the railway station close to the site of the accident, I was trying to get my bike on the train back to Southampton.

“The two cyclists in front of me could make no headway, as the limited bike space was occupied by a woman and her pushchair. "What am I supposed to do?" she complained.

"A pair of onlookers to this confrontation – repeated, I’ll wager, in train carriages many times that day – noted that they’d witnessed a similar altercation on another train that week, which was brought to a conclusion by the guard informing the riders that First Great Western were about to ban all bikes on their trains from the first of January.”

But when road.cc contacted First Great Western for comment, a spokeswoman answered: “That’s all they are - rumours. There are no plans to change the current bicycle policy.”

When road.cc went online to check the terms of the current bicycle policy however, the webpage was down.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.