Bicycles WILL be allowed on trains in Yorkshire next month when the region hosts the UCI Road Cycling World Championships – but if you’re planning on travelling with one to watch the event, you are strongly advised to check with the relevant operating company first.
As we reported on our live blog last week, the official spectator guide for the championships, which run from 22-29 September and are preceded by para-cycling races on Saturday 21 September, said that no bikes would be allowed on trains anywhere in Yorkshire for the duration of the event.
That struck us as strange; restrictions on trains in and out of Harrogate, which hosts the finish of all the events, would perhaps be understandable, but apart from the start of one of the para-cycling races in Beverley, the East Riding doesn’t host any event, so would someone be banned from taking their bike on a train from there to Hull, say?
We checked the situation with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), formerly the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), and with the organisers of the world championships, and the wording in the spectator guide has now been changed to read:
Bikes on trains – with the increase in passenger demand during the Championships, it may not always be possible to travel with bikes on trains. Please plan ahead and check with your local rail provider first.
Ahead of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire in 2014, ATOC did not impose a blanket ban, but did strongly advise people not to travel on trains with their bikes.
Last week, an RDG spokesman told us: “In general, there is limited space for bikes on trains and while we welcome people with bikes onto services where possible, though not necessarily during peak times when trains are already busy, for major cycling events it could cause disappointment if people expect more room than there is.”
While there will be extra services from both Leeds and York to and from Harrogate during the championships, we would expect those to be very busy, and similarly services to stations hosting the start of the various races, or at intermediate points on the routes.
So if you do plan on taking your bike, check with the applicable provider beforehand, be prepared for not being able to board a train with it should the services be particularly busy or the bike storage areas already full, and bring a decent lock should you need to leave your bike at the station where you are getting on.
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.