Successful trial last year leads to permanent change in bike carriage rules

Bikes are to be allowed on Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains at off-peak times, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

A six-month trial began on July 1 last year and the clearance for cyclists to take non-folding bikes on the DLR outside of peak times has now been made permanent.

Tfl says that over 5,000 cyclists travelled with their bikes on the DLR during the trial period.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Opening up the Docklands Light Railway to cyclists will be a great boost to the cycling community and make it much more convenient for cyclists to cross the river.

“This is another important step forward in our mission to make it easier for more people to get cycling in the capital.”

DLR Director Rory O'Neill, said: “All cyclists are now welcome to use DLR services during off-peak hours and at all time on weekends and Bank Holidays.

“This follows our successful six-month trial during which the London Cycling Campaign provided advice and assistance.

“I'd like to thank them for their co-operation and input during the trial.”

When the trial was announced the London Cycling Campaign welcomed it, pointing out that it had been campaigning for bikes to be carried on the DLR ever since it opened in 1987.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said: “We're delighted to have participated in the trial, and that Transport for London has agreed to allow off-peak cycles on the DLR permanently. This measure will open up new areas of the city to the many Londoners who ride bicycles and provide valuable cross-river links, encouraging more daily cycle journeys.”

Active travel charity Sustrans also welcomed the move. Sustrans' London director, German Dector-Vega, said: “This is a real step forward that will benefit many Londoners, especially those who live further away from their workplaces and would like to cycle some of their journey, or people just being caught in the rain.

“We'd like to see more operating companies following this and other similar approaches, like more cycle hubs such as the one at Peckham Rye built in partnership between TfL, Southwark Council and Southern Railway to make it easier for people to bring bicycles on trains.”

While it’s nice to have another way of getting across the river in east London, road.cc nevertheless has a soft spot for the Greenwich Foot Tunnel and its splendid lifts.

Entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel (CC licensed image by frodefjeld/Flickr)

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.