Too many bikes on trains - ATW

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by paulfoel, 23 Apr 2015.

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  1. paulfoel

    paulfoel Member

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    Got a big issue with this.

    Regularly see 5-6 bikes on one train (sprinter). I got once and aisle was so packed with these 5 bikes that it was totally blocked. People were literally climbing over the bikes to get off the train.

    I planned to speak to the guard but he popped his head into carriage, saw he couldn't get through and just waved and said 'everyone got tickets yeh?'.

    I complained to ATW but same thing happened a few times for next few weeks.
    I complained again and said something needed to be done. ATWs answer - we've flagged the issue but it takes a few weeks for staff training to cascade down.

    I pointed out that we'd better hope there are no emergency situations in the next few weeks then.

    Since ATW are not taking this seriously, I would like to escalate this if it continues to happen. What route can I take?

    I have no wish to involved in an incident on a train and not be able to escape because safety rules are being ignored.
     
  2. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Indeed bikes are a major problem but I stress as a guard unless there are platform staff we do not have eyes everywhere and it can be easy in a sea of people to miss a bike getting on

    Bikes at the very front and rear are always blocked but it can be hard to stop an overflow in other areas.

    Bikes are a major headache for railway staff not just passengers something needs to be done.. There are more and more of them about

    Will the IEP have good provision?
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2015
  3. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Member

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    Although ATW's policy is generally to only permit a maximum of 2 cycles on a train, it's up to the guard as to how many he allows on his train.

    I've taken my bike on a Northern Settle-Carlisle train before when the guard allowed no less than 9 cycles on (158+153 formation) - there were no problems, everyone was civil to each other and no-one blocked any entrances or exits.

    Without wishing to be rude, unless you actually are a train guard, what's it got to do with you how many bikes the guard permits on a train?
     
  4. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    Because he is a paying passenger who has concerns about the safety issue with not being able to egress the train in an emergency. If you have a bike cycle! I have had bikes getting on at Harwarden Bridge on a Sunday and getting off at Shotton, it's a 3 minute cycle ride.

    I think that when a ticket is purchased and for bikes a ticket should be purchased in advance the recommended maximum should be limited. I know this will not be easy however they manage reservations OK so why not reservations for bikes. You are not being rude with your comment just naïve.
     
  5. paulfoel

    paulfoel Member

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    Because I want to be able to get out of the train in the event of an emergency. Surely this is not too much to ask.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    EXACTLY. Airlines wont let you pile bags in the aisle because its convenient so I dont see why my safety should be compromised on a train.

    Hmmm. I can see how difficult it is to count and check but surely same could be said about airlines? "Sorry the plane had to make an emergency landing, 15 passengers couldnt get out because there were bags blocking the aisle, but there were 200 passengers on board how are we supposed to check everyone?"
     
  6. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    What would your attitude be, if the guard declined you permission to board with your bicycle, on the grounds that in his opinion, it was unsafe for you and the other customers? Would you have an issue if you could only see, say perhaps four bikes already, which is already potentially exceeding the company policy perhaps, and you have been carried by another guard previously, with more cycles? You'd happily await the next service, to be hopefully carried on that?

    Put yourself in the guards shoes, before you answer...
     
  7. broadgage

    broadgage Member

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    An excessive number of cycles on a train could, in theory impede escape in any emergency situation. That could have most serious consequences, but I suspect that the risk is more theoretical than actual.

    In an emergency, it only takes two or three people to stand for a moment, in order that a cycle blocking the gangway may be placed on the seats out of the way. I must stress that I am in no way suggesting that cycles be placed on seats normally, but to clear the way in an emergency it would be fine.

    In other emergencies, if life be at stake, breaking the windows and throwing the cycles out is another possibility.

    Excessive numbers of cycles, or inadequate cycle provision on new trains concerns me from a passenger comfort point of view, but the actual safety risks are minute. Railway accidents are very rare indeed and are a long way down my list of concerns.
     
  8. TDK

    TDK Established Member

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    If the company says 2 cycles then it should be 2 cycles and advertising posters should be put up to advertise this fact. If I was a guard I would contact the unions and through management try to get a solid compromise of as many cycles as the guard feels is safe without compromising safety, now if there is an incident and it is cycles that causes any injury or worse in an emergency then the guard should be responsible.

    If this was the case then in the shoes of the guard I would refuse anything that I felt would compromise the safety of the train.
     
  9. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Looking at this issue with a slightly longer-term view, perhaps all those redundant pacers we'll have in a few years could have their seats removed and replaced by bike racks. On routes like the Hope Valley, Settle to Carlisle these could then be coupled to the rear of the service train to free up space for passengers. As long as crews retained the traction knowledge for the return journey of course! It wouldn't work everywhere due to increased dwells (Hope Valley might have to be weekends only) but on some of the routes that see the highest demand for cycle spaces it could be a limited solution.
     
  10. paulfoel

    paulfoel Member

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    Agree with you. There'd possibly be a riot. BUT, again going back to the airline thing. You can't dodge safety issues because its a bit problematic or hassle surely?

    But I agree its a bit of a shambles.
     
  11. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    That suggestion reminds me of the trailers attached to tourist buses with canoes, bikes, whatever the trip is. Sounds good to me. It could be advertised as a benefit of rail. Train up the dale, bike down the dale.
     
  12. theshillito

    theshillito Member

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    I would argue against 142s due to reliability and the fact the TOCs would lose money by having to lease a train for bikes (unless they start charging for carrying bikes, but I would get lynched for suggesting that :lol:) but I like the idea in principal. Platform lengths may be a problem though if you start attaching carriages.
     
  13. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    What stations are you travelling from-to?
     
  14. thelongestroad

    thelongestroad Member

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    If I'd enforced the two bike only rule today I would have been in several arguements today.

    I wish it was that simple.
     
  15. Arglwydd Golau

    Arglwydd Golau Established Member

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    What a good idea! Perhaps they might even take bulky parcels for dropping off and collection at stations! Can't recall that this has ever been done before!
     
  16. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    let alone suffering the wrath of your direct line manager's displeasure at creating the delay paperwork, which has inconvenienced them greater..:roll:

    Even when posters are in place, and a polite attitude shown, let alone justifying a valid reason or two, for non carriage, you are still the 'jobsworth'. Maybe it's 'today's attitude' shown towards company policies and staff. Either way, personally, i wouldn't be prepared to risk my livelihood, for the sake of a bicycle or two. Just because this ignorance has taken place for years, doesn't mean, it's a safe practise.
     
  17. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Trying to move a bike out of the way in an emergency will be easier said than done. In the highly unlikely (but entirely possible) example of a fire breaking out and rendering the passenger areas unsafe, getting people co-ordinated to lift a bike onto a set of seats will be a big enough challenge in just one instance, but try it for a whole train when there's a cycle event and loads of bikes onboard, and you have a disaster on your hands!

    As for throwing a bike through a window...
     
  18. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    Some bikes are probably worth more than a pacer...<D
     
  19. CaptainHaddock

    CaptainHaddock Member

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    It's happened before and I have accepted the guard's decision with good grace. I've been taking my bike on trains for years and am fully aware that what the guard says goes, even if I personally may feel there is space available.

    Perhaps the problem here is not the cyclists but ATW's poor interior design that often means idiotic people fill the cycle space with luggage, meaning the poor cyclist has to find somewhere else to put his bike, making him out to be the villain of the piece when he's the innocent party.

    But if we're throwing hypothetical situations at each other, I'd like to ask the OP if he feels the same about wheelchair and would he attempt to get a disabled person thrown off the train if he felt it was unsafe?
     
  20. ANorthernGuard

    ANorthernGuard Established Member

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    Its all down to common sense. ex fnw 150's have space for at least 4-5 bikes so do ex fnw 142's. However the ex central 150's and the eastern 142's have hardly any space. If the guard feels that its unsafe he would/should take action, I know I would.
     
  21. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    The most vicious abusive I've received has been from louts with their bikes when I've said no, not drunks or footballists.
     
  22. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    If we're going to have restrictions on bikes, then let's also have restrictions for pushchairs and large suitcases - all of which can get in the way and be a nuisance on busy trains.

    There is a partial solution to the bike issue - get a folding bike. But even then you can't win with some people - on the First Capital Connect online forums there used to be a lot of complaints saying folding bikes should also be banned because they take up standing space. I bet the self-same people hadn't considered that these folding bikes might be saving journeys on the Underground giving *them* more chance of being able to board for that part of their journey?

    The cause of most issues is overcrowding, so the priority should be to lengthen trains, rather than scrap Pacers by an a given date. Or, if these issues are causing so much trouble, perhaps more people could embrace UKIP's ideas for attempting to reduce the rate of population growth?
     
  23. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That would mean a change in the NRCoC. Passengers can carry two cases sized 300mmx700mmx900mm, which is quite large. Take services at Gatwick Airport. Mostly Electrostar, with virtually no low-level luggage space, no door setbacks and of course no brake van space. So where are all passengers supposed to put their luggage, it is an airport service after all? As you imply, would guards/inspectors throw passengers off or charge them extra for their luggage when the stock is patently unsuitable. Pushchairs are an increasing problem. They are getting larger and incredibly, their owners seem to be less willing to fold them up.

    Forget the rants of selfish commuters, folding bikes are luggage. With the current NRCoC provide trains that are fit for purpose. If not then change the NRCoC, - that would be a big battle! I imagine that the 700s will be better for luggage for their first few years anyway.
     
  24. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    Why? Bikes - and for that matter those ridiculously oversize suitcases people seem to insist on dragging and certainly have no chance of passing the "comfortably carry" requirement - take up huge amounts of space on a train, why shouldn't they pay for that space?

    The rules on bikes and luggage really, really do need to be made into proper rules that are actually enforced. Sadly, excuses are easy to make :(

    Unfortunately the vocal minority of cyclists who appear to believe they are more important than the moon (if you fancy being bombarded with swear words and abuse, just politely point out to any cyclist in London when they are breaking the law jumping a red light or riding on the pavement!) will always make it impossible for such rules to be reliably enforced, in the same way they make it impossible to pin the blame for RTAs involving cyclists on the cyclist. I realise that is probably a contentious topic, so I feel I should enforce that it is only my opinion formed from personal experience and an objective look at what I read in the press. I realise that the majority of cyclists have excellent manners and are lovely people, and a lot of the time I feel embarrassed to be a car driver based on what I hear from cyclist friends.

    It isn't just a matter of safety - there is basic manners to consider too. On trains where there simply isn't the space to put a bike/massive suitcase, why has it recently become acceptable to make it as difficult as possible for other passengers to use the train? There is always somebody here complaining about how overcrowded trains are everywhere - so why is it acceptable to fill the things up with stuff instead of people, when we seem to so desperately need to be able to fit more people on?
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2015
  25. M7R

    M7R Member

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    Dwell times can be kept down by having limited seats in the cycle carriage and the cyclist travels with their bike..

    On 3rd rail lines could this be a use for 442s? (Yeah didn't think we would find a way of getting the 442 issue into this thread, but there you go...:lol: )
     
  26. paulfoel

    paulfoel Member

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    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It is though. Surely the rule is there for a reason i.e. to ensure safety.

    I dont see how you can argue against it if thats the rule even if it does cause arguments. Of course, I would expect your employer to stick up for you as well in enforcing this.

    Its like saying I didnt make 10 people pay for their tickets today because they would have kicked off so I didnt bother.
     
  27. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    Both are manned stations so it would in large part be down to the platform staff to enforce boarding. Gloucester is an FGW station, try an e-mail to FGW customer services. Newport is an ATW station, but unless the train is going off platform 2 or 3 there are no station staff involved.
     
  28. scott118

    scott118 Member

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    Or consider the thoughts of the wheelchair bound passenger who has been declined carriage, because their allocated area, has been overfilled with cycle misuse..

    Safety is put in to place for a reason, not for the hindrance it causes some..
     
  29. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    ATW's Sprinters aren't that bike friendly in the first place, as I know from experience. Not all units have the sticker advertising which of the four mid-carriage doors are for bicycles, and the bike space isn't that distinctive on board either. Even if you get the correct door, the allocated area isn't long enough to take an adult bicycle parallel to the wall, so any bike will be jutting out toward the gangway.

    Compare this with a 158 or 175, where there's a well-defined bike area for 2 cycles, can take three at a push, and blocking the gangway just seems to be "not the done thing". A cyclist in the know can just aim for the centre of the unit, knowing that they'll need to board one of two adjacent doors.
     
  30. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    Bikes are a health and safety problem if they stick out in the aisle, you only need someone to go arse over tit and they're in hospital with a broken neck!

    CrossCountry enforce mandatory bike reservations; can't see why other TOCs can't do the same.
     
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