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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.