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Great Western Railway introduces mandatory cycle reservations for high speed routes

Bookings can be made online, over the phone, or at the station ticket office

From Monday May 16, any passenger travelling with a non-folding bike on one of Great Western Railway’s (GWR) high speed routes will need a cycle reservation. The firm says it is making the change due to limited space on trains.

Anyone wishing to travel with a bike can reserve a space when they book online, over the phone, or at a station ticket office. GWR say you should ideally do this by 6pm the day before, although some services have availability up to two hours before departure.

The firm’s website states:

From Monday 16 May 2016, reservations for bikes will be mandatory on all our high speed trains.

  • storage is in Carriage A; secure your bike with the strap provided, but don’t lock it up
  • tell the train manager your destination
  • remind them when your stop is coming up and they’ll make sure you can leave the train safely

When the decision was announced earlier in the year, Sam Jones from what was then CTC (now Cycling UK) said he feared that commuters would be worst hit - particularly those who may not always know what time they will be returning from work.

There was a suggestion at that time that there wouldn’t even be an online booking system. While this has been addressed, Jones points out that bike reservations can still only be made with a train ticket - not separately - which will have a particular impact on season ticket holders.

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