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No rethink of Sheffield tram bike ban

South Yorkshire PTE had been urged to reconsider stance after successful bike trial on London's DLR...

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) has said that non-folding bicycles won’t be allowed on Sheffield’s Supertram – despite being urged to follow the example of the Docklands Light Railway in London, which will now allow them to be taken on trains outside peak hours following a successful trial.

A spokeswoman for Supertram told the Sheffield Telegraph: “There is a limited amount of space available on board our trams and our review found the carriage of bikes could result in potential accessibility issues for our other customers.”

However, Paul Blomfield, the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central, maintained that the South Yorkshire city should learn from the example of the DLR.

He said: “Its successful trial has shown bikes can be taken on to light railways and trams without any problems, which is common across Europe,” adding that a trial should be undertaken on the proposed Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train route.

SYPTE’s policy that only folding bicycles can be carried reflects the stance taken by other tram operators in England – and in Manchester, even those must be covered while in transit.

Last November, Supertram operator Stagecoach said in a report to councillors who oversee SYTPE that it believed there were “safety risks” associated with the carriage of full-size bicycles.

Those included the “risk of conflict” between cyclist and other passengers, bikes turning into “projectiles” in the event of a crash, and the potential for other passengers’ clothes to become dirty if they brushed against a bicycle.

SYPTE has also highlighted that space on trams is needed for wheelchairs, buggies and seating for the elderly and other infirm passengers, and cannot be turned over to bicycles.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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