“Please help me persuade First Capital Connect to allow bikes on trains at all times” – brian shipwright

Description

brian shipwright

I work at hatfield uni but i live in codicote (hitchin). I dont drive so i have to rely on a train to get me to work. i travel in the morning from welwyn north to hatfield i have to wake my mum up at 6 30 every morning to drip me off at the station and wait for her to finish work to pick me up i want to start riding to the station but it turns out i cant use my bike on the train after certian times i go 2 stops the train i get in the morning is not busy and the train i get home is not busy.So i cant ride to work and i have to get my mum up at 6 30 which i find unfair. People go on about using public transport but why would they if you cant take your bike on the train

Problem History

  • 1 brian shipwright reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 08:16 26 Jul 2012
  • 2 brian shipwright wrote to First Capital Connect close 08:16 26 Jul 2012

    Here is the letter that brian shipwright wrote.

    bikes

    I work at hatfield uni but i live in codicote (hitchin). I dont drive so i have to rely on a train to get me to work. i travel in the morning from welwyn north to hatfield i have to wake my mum up at 6 30 every morning to drip me off at the station and wait for her to finish work to pick me up i want to start riding to the station but it turns out i cant use my bike on the train after certian times i go 2 stops the train i get in the morning is not busy and the train i get home is not busy.So i cant ride to work and i have to get my mum up at 6 30 which i find unfair. People go on about using public transport but why would they if you cant take your bike on the train

  • 3 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 13:32 26 Jul 2012

    Brian,

    You can take a folding cycle on any First Capital Connect rail service, so this may be an option for you:
    http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/plan-your-journey/cyclists/cycle-restrictions/

    If the train you want to catch is not busy then it would be worth letting First Capital Connect know exactly which train you would like to travel on and between which two stations (was Hitchin to Hatfield?) as they may be able to relax the rule - a photo showing how full the train is may also help.

    Alternatively you could approch one of the local rail user groups.

    The there is mention of a Hitchin Rail User Group here:
    http://www.mnhertsfoe.ukf.net/transport.htm
    Hitchin Rail User Group (c/o 13 Uplands Avenue Hitchin SG4 9NH)

    and a Hatfield Association of Rail Travellers
    http://www.hertsdirect.org/your-community/comvol/travel2y/tvuser3y/755063
    hatfieldrail@yahoogroups.com

    I hope this helps and good luck with this.

    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

    anorak
    admin
  • 4 Dave H commented close 14:05 26 Jul 2012

    There are plenty of young riders (and a regular oldie) getting on the trains that are 'banned' to cyclists because they fill up dramatically South of Potters Bar/Enfield.

    I've done counts (sometimes I stay out at Watton) and even on the morning trains I'm getting 20% of passengers with bikes between Stevenage and Hertford. The oldie takes the train to Gordon Hill to avoid the unlit and fast lanes and then rides to Angel on 30-40mph urban streets which are all properly lit, the younger riders go to college in Hertford or Broxbourne.

    Worth a) doing some passenger counts b) seeking out a cheap but decent traditional folding bike c) lobby for decent secure parking in HAT rebuilding project d) make a submission to the refranchising consultation calling for a properly integrated cycle-rail operation offering carriage or secure parking or low cost hire at your destination.

    If train is near empty have a quiet word with local station staff, who generally like to make things work, or just get on - as you only go a 'few' stops HIT-SVG-KNW-WNW-WGC-HAT the chances of getting thrown off are low, and you can always play the card "OK I won't cause a delay whilst you wait to get assistance - I'll get off at Hatfield". A delay whilst they get assistance costs nearly £200/minute/train so avoiding this is essential.

    FCC has a good pragmatic attitude on sensible carriage. They carry up to 20 bikes per train on some services in to Cambridge and only had to clamp down on the HIT-CBG stopping train with 242 seats, that could not be made longer than 4 coaches, as tis arrived in CBG full and standing PLUS up to 23 bikes (folding and non folding) jammed on the train

    FCC also engages with local cycling groups, notably St Albans, but get in touch direct an I can offer some details.

    For a folding bike say £20-£50 for a Dawes Kingpin, which can be tricked up nicely with quality wheels, brakes and gears - see Sheldon Brown writing about the Raleigh 20 - which has basically same geometry as a Bike Friday, and just needs a rather drastic upgrade.

    SW Trains also tackled this issue by sorting out cordon points so that a substantial number of Hampshire commuters could continue to get to Farnborough, Woking and other major employment centres on trains which were barely filled.

    SWT has also pioneered 2 other areas - secure bike parking compounds (completely turning cycle crime around at some locations) and folding bike hire.

  • 5 Shaun McDonald commented close 15:08 26 Jul 2012

    I know some people have two bikes one for the home to station section, and another for the station to work/education section, however Dave H's suggestions are better longer term.

    anorak
  • 6 FCC Customer Relations responded to brian shipwright close 23:49 28 Jul 2012
    FREEPOST RRBR-REEJ-KTKY
    Customer Relations
    First Capital Connect
    PO Box 443
    Plymouth
    PL4 6WP
    Tel: 0845 0264700
    Fax: 0845 6769904
    Website: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk

    Ref: 6656990

    Dear Customer

    Thank you for getting in touch about our cycle policy onboard the First Capital Connect trains. We are committed to providing customers with a good service and bicycles are only allowed on services where they can be safely accommodated. I am sorry you and your mother are affected by this policy when you travel at peak times between Welwyn North and Hatfield.

    Folding bicycles can be carried on any service at any time provided they are folded before you board the train. The bicycle may be wheeled along the platform and folded before boarding the train. Please note that any lights on the bicycle must be switched off before reaching the platform.

    There are various restrictions attached to the carriage of non folding cycles but as a general rule, bikes that are non-folding bikes are not allowed on morning peak services south of Stevenage (or Hertford North on the Loop) which arrive at King's Cross between 07:00 - 09:30 (this policy stands for everyone - it doesn't matter if a customer is getting off at King's cross or another station between Stevenage and London).

    During the evening peak, customers cannot travel with non-folding bikes on services that depart King's Cross between 16:00 and 19.00 - even if the customer is not getting on at King's Cross.

    There are other restrictions that apply to our network and you can find out more detailed information from our timetables, our website at www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk or by ringing the Customer Relations Team on 0845 026 4700.

    I apologise for the inconvenience that this causes you and thank you for contacting us.

    Yours sincerely

    Customer Relations Advisor

    Avoid the queue go to FAQ. Lots of answers to everyday questions can be found on our website www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/FAQ

    First Capital Connect Limited. Registered in England & Wales No. 05281077.
    Registered office: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London, W2 6LG.

    First Rail Holdings Limited. Registered in England No. 5154485. Registered office: 50 Eastbourne Terrace, Paddington, London W2 6LG.

    This message is confidential. It may not be disclosed to, or used by, anyone other than the addressee. If you receive this message in error, please advise us immediately.

    Internet email is not necessarily secure. First does not accept responsibility for changes to any email which occur after the email has been sent. Attachments to this email could contain software viruses which could damage your system. First have checked the attachments for viruses before sending, but you should virus-check them before opening.

    For more information on our range of services or to book your tickets online, please visit:- http://www.firstgroup.com
  • 7 brian shipwright commented close 08:13 06 Sep 2012

    it still is a joke i go to the station now and i see people with kids who have bikes allowed to use the train i just dont understand. Also people with buggys whos kids are not sitting in them take up more room than a bike does they just leave them in the middle or the doorway with no care for anyone else. I have two kids myself and when they where in the buggy and i took them out on the train i folded it down. So in conclusion i have to bring my kids to work with ther bikes and then i can get on the train

  • 8 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 09:51 06 Sep 2012

    Brian,

    Just to repeat the advice I have earlier "If the train you want to catch is not busy then it would be worth letting First Capital Connect know exactly which train you would like to travel on and between which two stations (was it Hitchin to Hatfield?) as they may be able to relax the rule - a photo showing how full the train is may also help."

    I say this because First Capital Connect have relaxed the rules (and proposed new rules) covering trains between Royston and Cambridge when it was pointed out that some of the trains they were intending to ban cycles from were not busy. Passenger counts or photos will back this up; they may know the trains are busy when they arrive in London but may not be aware of details along the route.

    Dave H gives some good information in his message on 26th July.

    Good luck if you choose to pursue this further

    Best regards,

    Paul (FixMyTransport Volunteer)

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 26 July 2012
  • supporters 3
Hatfield (Herts) Rail Station in Hatfield operated by First Capital Connect
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