Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

atoz
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Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby atoz » 22 May 2018, 8:23am

Given the East Coast renationalisation, and the farce yesterday of "Meltdown Monday" it's pretty clear that the private rail industry in the UK probably has cycle carriage on trains right at the bottom of it's list of priorities. So now is surely the time for Cycling UK to put it right at the top.

Yet if you look on the website, all you get is an out of date policy that is in process of review, along with a reference back to 2004. I also looked on Youtube to see if Cycling UK had anything useful to say or promote on this subject there. Not that I could find.

There was a time not so long ago when you could reliably cycle to your station and put your bike on the train. Not any more. There is no consistency of approach. The only thing that is consistent is the lack of space on rolling stock these days. Of course, this could be changed. Seats can be moved or adapted. Policies can be changed, with the right political pressure. Laws can be enacted. However, you know the government doesn't want to do anything, because the root of the problem is privatisation. It has to be, as before privatisation there simply wasn't the problems we now have. There is simply no point in wasting time with the government, as they are ideologically opposed to public transport- period.

Until we have proper provision for bikes on trains there will be no real incentive for rail commuters to ditch their cars. And don't think that if we all turned up on folding bikes that would help. The railway companies would simply ban them wholesale.

And we are now in the position that to cycle tour in this country you now need in practice a driving licence and full use of a car. it is simply impractical to cycle tour in the Uk without one now.

I'm not suggesting we can only wait for a different government, since the other guys in the past have not been pro cycles on trains either. But we definitely need a national campaign now.

So where's Cycle UK's campaign? Where are the interviews with the media? Where is the campaign on social media? Where are the links with railway development organisations? Where are the conversations with other organisations and individuals eg sympathetic opposition politicians, trade unions, environmental groups, other margninalised groups eg disabled users, that are poorly served by the railways? In a word, nowhere. It simply isn't happening.

If the reason for all this inaction is simply Cycling UK's charitable status limiting their freedom of action, that means it's mission as a cycling organisation has failed in a major area. But the other question that has to be asked- are some people at the top of Cycling UK so simpatico with the ideological stance of the government that they don't want to challenge the status quo? Either way, what future does Cycling UK have as a cycling organisation under these circumstances?

ubert767
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby ubert767 » 22 May 2018, 9:20am

I too have been puzzled by the near total silence on this topic by CyclingUK.

reohn2
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby reohn2 » 22 May 2018, 9:26am

Why is it so puzzling?
CUK isn't the CTC,the CTC was hijacked some years ago when it became the farcical "charity" it is now,you've no chance of CUK biting the hand that feeds it.
It's why I left when it became the farce it is.
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PH
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby PH » 22 May 2018, 12:20pm

reohn2 wrote:Why is it so puzzling?
CUK isn't the CTC,the CTC was hijacked some years ago when it became the farcical "charity" it is now,you've no chance of CUK biting the hand that feeds it.
It's why I left when it became the farce it is.

As you are fond of asking when others rant - evidence please!
Maybe just the highlights, say the top ten successful CTC campaigns in the last thirty years?

I'd like to see more campaigning for bikes on trains, it's something that effects me and the current system where a single journey may involve several different operators with different policies is farcical. That situation predates the charity conversion by a couple of decades. I don't know what Cycling UK can do about it or if they have any policy or plans to do anything, it's something that would be worth talking with them about. I don't do much cycle campaigning, I ought to do more, from what little I know the successful campaigns have been led by very determined individuals, that seems to have always been the case.

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mjr
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby mjr » 22 May 2018, 12:32pm

I don't know but CycleNation groups have been active in some sort of rail industry liaison thingy (I'm not personally involved due to lack of time) and I would hate to see CUK try to take it over, cut us out, lose interest and then let it flounder, which is what I feel they've pretty much done to space4cycling.org at least outside of the blessed cities.

If anyone wants to help campaign, please contact your local CN group www.cyclenation.org.uk/groups or if you don't have one, let me know and I'll put you in touch with the rail group directly.
Last edited by mjr on 22 May 2018, 12:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PH
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby PH » 22 May 2018, 12:33pm

atoz wrote:And we are now in the position that to cycle tour in this country you now need in practice a driving licence and full use of a car. it is simply impractical to cycle tour in the Uk without one now.

While it could and should be better, I've found it sometimes inconvenient rather than impossible. So far this year I've toured or been to Audaxes by train from and/or to Derby at
Huntingdon
Newcastle
Stratford on Avon
London (3)
Cambridge
New Mills
Lincoln
Lancaster

I have tickets booked for Edinburgh, York and Newcastle for trips in the next few weeks.
I'm either on my own or with one other cyclist, we are more often than not the only people with bikes on the trains.
I'm not suggesting we can only wait for a different government, since the other guys in the past have not been pro cycles on trains either. But we definitely need a national campaign now.

If you're a Labour supporter this organisation might be of interest to you, it seeks to influence party policy. At the Inaugural meeting, Rachael Maskell MP, Shadow Minister for Transport was well aware of the need to integrate transport.
https://labourcycles.org/

jgurney
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby jgurney » 22 May 2018, 12:47pm

atoz wrote:Given the East Coast renationalisation, and the farce yesterday of "Meltdown Monday" it's pretty clear that the private rail industry in the UK probably has cycle carriage on trains right at the bottom of it's list of priorities. So now is surely the time for Cycling UK to put it right at the top.


I absolutely agree that CUK should be taking a lead on this.

There was a time not so long ago when you could reliably cycle to your station and put your bike on the train. Not any more.


Debatable, at least. I recall when Regional Railways charged a flat £5.00 cycle fee (often more than the passenger's fare) and when bookings were a lot more tiresome to make, when station clerks had to 'phone an office somewhere in pre-computer days. The loss of guards vans on the former Southern Region has been a real problem there.

The only thing that is consistent is the lack of space on rolling stock these days. Of course, this could be changed.


That is the cause, a big and unforeseen rise in passengers. It can be dealt with, but not overnight. Railway managers arguably should have foreseen the surge in use, but they did not and given the time needed to build trains they won't solve it quickly.

the root of the problem is privatisation. It has to be, as before privatisation there simply wasn't the problems we now have.


Privatisation might be the cause of the rise in passengers.

Until we have proper provision for bikes on trains there will be no real incentive for rail commuters to ditch their cars.


That is a different issue. Enabling even a small proportion of current commuters to bring bikes on busy peak-hour trains would need a huge increase in capacity.

Where are the conversations with other organisations and individuals eg sympathetic opposition politicians, trade unions, environmental groups, other marginalised groups eg disabled users, that are poorly served by the railways?


Sometimes other campaigners are either not interested in cyclists, misunderstand cyclists aims or see cyclists as rival claimants for the same scarce space. E.g. those mainly concerned with getting a seat rather than standing will not be keen on seats being removed to make more cycle spaces.

The are a number of points to be raised around the principle of cycle carriage, whether there should be fees for it, and what physical form it should take (e.g. in passenger accommodation or separate, vertical hanging or ro-ro, etc).

On the last point, I sometimes get the impression that those responsible for designing cycle facilities on both road and rail have no idea about cycling and when told to draw up plans went into the garage and measured up their teenager's mountain bike. All too many cycle stores on recent trains seem designed for stripped-down short-wheelbase machines. The designer does not seem to have considered the possibility that many people taking bikes on long train journeys will be tourers with panniers, etc.

reohn2
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby reohn2 » 22 May 2018, 8:24pm

PH wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Why is it so puzzling?
CUK isn't the CTC,the CTC was hijacked some years ago when it became the farcical "charity" it is now,you've no chance of CUK biting the hand that feeds it.
It's why I left when it became the farce it is.

As you are fond of asking when others rant - evidence please!
Maybe just the highlights, say the top ten successful CTC campaigns in the last thirty years?

There aren't any!

I'd like to see more campaigning for bikes on trains, it's something that effects me and the current system where a single journey may involve several different operators with different policies is farcical.

Exactly.
That situation predates the charity conversion by a couple of decades. I don't know what Cycling UK can do about it or if they have any policy or plans to do anything, it's something that would be worth talking with them about. I don't do much cycle campaigning, I ought to do more, from what little I know the successful campaigns have been led by very determined individuals, that seems to have always been the case.

I know little of the campaign for cycle spaces on trains but I do know that CUK isn't involved in many/any and that it's an impotant force with no radical ideas or intentions due it being bought out,that's why I left,nothing's happened in the CUK to make me change my mind.It ceased being a club when it became a 'charity' which is a farce in itself IMO.
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horizon
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby horizon » 22 May 2018, 10:11pm

OK, CUK is the obvious body to deal with this. But let's leave it there (unless that was the main point the OP wanted to make).

The topic is tricky because it encompasses some very different issues:

1. Are we talking about accommodating those who currently wish to travel with their bikes or trying to encourage more (e.g to reduce congestion)?
2. Are we talking about peak-time travel or about off-peak?
3. Are we talking about policies and rules or just about space?

My own view is that bike space on trains is nearly adequate. I reckon that 2 spaces per carriage will cover 99% of needs outside rush hours. That makes campaigning somewhat dubious as things are almost OK, most of the time.

I'm also going to suggest that the same proportion applies at peak times: the problem is overall capacity not bike capacity.

Please do read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=121202
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 22 May 2018, 11:26pm

I wholeheartedly agree we need more campaigning from any/all of the cycling promoting organizations.
So easy and simple to provide bike hooks/space ,a child could do it better.
Maybe more than two spaces, flexible use of space.
Such a fantastic combination of (potentially!) green sustainable transport methods.
But it's long been sidelined and overlooked.

Our railways are in a very poor state after years of underinvestment.
Stinking diesel still rules the roost, trains leak oil, the stations are often dirty. Track sides are disgracefully littered and not cleaned.

Add in a dogmatic present Govt., the very worst imaginable, and it's a disaster;
Failure to go ahead with electrification in S.Wales.
Eastern lines in chaos.
Present franchise holder (Arriva) in Wales about to throw in the towel.
Poor service and often super expensive for the "turn up and go" traveller. ((Yesterday's fare, Llandudno Junction to Chester over £20 one way! Train was late too)).

It's just a litany of disasters.
Chris Grayling (Transport Minister)?should resign.


The Europeans have left us far behind.
Perhaps we will never catch up now.

Psamathe
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby Psamathe » 23 May 2018, 11:41am

I think better provision for bikes on our railways is broader than cycle touring (e.g. commuting greater distances where a bike to and from stations at both ends is practical (with many benefits)).

Also, from CUK's perspective, campaigning for improvements should not conflict with government policy and thus not jeopardise their potential hush money from government.

Ian

Littgull
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby Littgull » 23 May 2018, 8:27pm

Cycling UK (Publicity Dept) are, apparently, pursuing this with T.P.E (Trans Pennine Express).

See link below to 'York Rally' thread.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=117661&p=1236768#p1236768

ChrisButch
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby ChrisButch » 23 May 2018, 9:07pm

The notion that charities are inhibited from criticising government policy by their receipt, directly or indirectly, of public funds is completely at odds with my own experience of working in and with a wide variety of charities and the third sector over many years. Although I took no part in the campaigning at the time, I always found it strange that the fear of this consequence seemed to loom so large in the arguments for and against the CTC's conversion to charitable status: and I can see no reason why it should in any way influence CUK campaigning on this issue now. Incidentally worth remembering that it was thanks to the CTC that fees for cycle carriage on trains were abolished in the 1976 centenary year, and this led to a substantial, but sadly short-lived increase in the number of bikes carried.

jgurney
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby jgurney » 24 May 2018, 12:49am

Psamathe wrote: commuting greater distances where a bike to and from stations at both ends is practical (with many benefits)


Unfortunately it is not practical in most cases because the railways don't have the capacity. Most commuter trains are full of standing passengers. Providing enough space to seat those and then also carry any significant number of bikes would need an expansion of capacity on the scale of converting double track lines to quadruple track, rather than just running more or longer trains on existing tracks.

Even the Dutch railways restrict cycle carriage on short haul trains at rush hours.

thirdcrank
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Re: Why isn't there a cycles on trains campaigns from Cycling UK?

Postby thirdcrank » 24 May 2018, 7:20am

The overcrowding of trains seems to be a direct result of the increasing impossibility of commuting by car, combined with increasing house prices, especially in London. This isn't going to be reduced.

Whether charities are reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them must be open to debate, but a ban on charities using government subsidies to lobby the government was announced a couple of years ago.

https://fundraising.co.uk/2016/02/06/ch ... wZYsvZFwcQ