Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

dave holladay
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Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby dave holladay » 12 Nov 2012, 9:32am

I'm hoping to make some progress which should make the facility to take your bike on an express coach service more consistently available, with the key operators.

I'd be interested in hearing from those who already do this with National Express, Stagecoach, Megabus etc, and those who might use the service if it was guaranteed by a cycle reservation or ticket, probably for a small fee. Fares as some will already know can be as low as £1 or €1 including routes to Brussels,Amsterdam and Paris. Bikes will generally need to be packed flat and covered or wrapped to share the hold with other luggage.

Another development making some progress is cycle carriage in taxis with a survey noting that around 20% of regular cyclists are already doing this, without too many refusals. Formalising this, and ensuring all cabs are set up for the service is a detail currently being worked on. Indications are that it will encourage increased levels of cycling.

Richard Mann
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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby Richard Mann » 12 Nov 2012, 9:39am

Oxford Tube (Oxford-London coach) FAQ 12


dave holladay
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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby dave holladay » 12 Nov 2012, 11:55am

One of many already doing this - Most Stagecoach Express in Scotland do also with up to 10 bikes per coach (20% of seats filled) when kids use coaches to get to BMX or MTB facilities (Banchory-Aberdeen/Elgin-Fochabers). Given the typically 2-3 bikes per coach with 60-80 passengers on many peak period runs, this fits the 2-4% level of use typically seen on US bike-bus and bike-rail services.

Bikes are accepted on Megabus, Citylink, National Express already but with no guarantee that they will be taken if space not available in luggage hold, and requirements to pack/wrap bike are not always understood by drivers (most of whom work for the coach operators who contract to run the service for Megabus &c (Megabus employs a very small staff based mainly in Glasgow, and all their coaches are registered and operated by regional Stagecoach companies). My aim is to get a means to book a bike on a scheduled coach service, and if possible get tandems accepted (coaches are 2.55 metres wide, so most tandems should fit across the width). There is for example a London-Borders-Edinburgh Megabus route which may be attractive for those heading up to Glentress.

If anyone is a regular user of Oxford Tube do try and get spot counts of bikes/passengers to provide a picture of the typical % of cyclists on a journey.

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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby eileithyia » 14 Nov 2012, 6:52pm

We have a long way to go, all buses should take bikes and not necessarily by booking, comes back to the difference... most europena countries buses will take bikes if there is sufficient space. Buses are designed to do just this.

Black cabs are great for taking a bike as it fits crossways as you sit in the seat holding on to it...
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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby Vorpal » 14 Nov 2012, 7:54pm

I have been turned away from both taxis and coaches with my bike. I tried a few times and gave it up as a bad job. :(

One cold, rainy night, I was running late and discoverd a puncture when I got off the train. I asked all of the (5?) taxis on the stand & none would take me + bike. A couple, I mostly understood; it was marginal whether my bike would fit in the boot, though I offered to remove the front wheel. But the others were large vehicles. One taxi driver refused on the grounds that he had a new car & didn't want 'grease' in it. :evil:
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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby gordy » 14 Nov 2012, 9:16pm

Black cabs only exist in London and some other major cites, remember. The thousands of taxis around the towns of the West Midlands, as far as I can see, could be anything from a Toyota Corolla to a Ford Transit.

My experience is limited, but I've always found a taxi driver willing to take a bike, even if they have to put the rear seats down. Private hire vehicles are fine - you just say that you've got a bike when you phone up to book and they'll send something suitable.

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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby horizon » 14 Nov 2012, 10:34pm

Off the top of my head (IIRC), some Spanish coach companies accept bike bookings on their websites and at the coach stations. There is a charge (£10.00?) nowdays and the bike must be wrapped but the reservation stands. Given that AFAIK these same coach operators are owned by National Express it might be worth pointing this out to them.
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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby johnsouthwales » 20 Nov 2012, 7:29pm

occasionally i went on our local first cymru bus with my bike - the driver used a bit of discretion as it's quiet enough anyway even if it was 5 miles up the road.
It would have been handy for other places but there is a no bike rule. if the bus was empty or just a couple of passengers at the back, what harm is there?
they do say foldups are allowed providing it will fit into the luggage rack.

the only other one they say a cyclist can go on is the swansea-cardiff shuttle (i'm sure that bus is the same type that bans the others)

Bikes can be carried on National Express Coaches if they are wrapped or packed in a purpose built case or bag

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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby redway_charley » 20 Nov 2012, 9:45pm

Stagecoach X5 which goes Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge takes bicycles without charge in the luggage hold. Stagecoach 99 (former VT99) between Milton Keynes - Luton used to, but since neither service as classed as Virgin Trains (despite being in the National Rail timetable) anymore, they don't let you reserve bikes.

Some local Arriva MK Metro drivers will take BMX or kids' bikes (if late at night/poor weather/suffered a punct*re), purely at driver discretion.

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Re: Cycle Carriage with taxis and coaches

Postby johnsouthwales » 20 Nov 2012, 10:37pm

the only other coach i can think of is when the local coach tour goes somewhere for a day out, and the driver said i can put the bike in the boot if i wanted to.
if they were going to tenby for the day, i can go off to other areas providing i get back in time or i'd be well stuffed for getting home