Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Newcastle Metro Declares War on Cyclists

During a recent visit to "Our Friends in the North" Politaholic discovered that the Metro in Newcastle (the Tyne and Wear Metro) has decided to prohibit the transportation of bicycles at all times. This edict is enforced with unflinching zeal (rarely can a body of men have been so dedicated to their work). Rather makes a mockery of "green" pretensions.


Blogger huw.lewis said...

Bikes (apart from folded bikes) have been banned from the Tyne and Wear Metro since it opened 30 years ago because the trains are busy at all times and stop very frequently; the size and shape of bikes makes them a potential obstruction to other passengers which could block exits or damage or stain clothes and other belongings.
You make it sound like we have recently introduced a ban, which is just silly. As for 'unflinching zeal' - well, our train drivers do ask cyclists to get off trains whenever they see them - but devote the same unflinching zeal to keeping to timetable, ensuring safe boarding and stopping at red lights. So we're happy with that.
Restrictions on bikes are quite usual on urban transit systems, including Manchester Metrolink and most of London Underground, so I'm surprised you single Tyne and Wear out.
Nexus, which owns, manages and is modernising Metro, provides a choice of bike racks or secure lockers at suburban stations and these are staff-monitored at busier interchanges for added security. We have also worked with local councils to open new bike routes into city centres and improve junctions with cyclists in mind.
We're shortly to refit all trains and will look at whether bike spaces can be incorporated as we do this.
Huw Lewis, Nexus

11:56 am  
Blogger Politaholic said...

On the day I attempted to board the Metro (Sunday 19th July at around 1 p.m. at St James) the carriage I boarded was almost completely empty. There was plenty of room for the bike which was an inconvenience to no one. Yet I was ordered to take it off the train.
I agree with you however that Tyne and Wear Metro are not the only villians - but the argument that "everyone else does it" is a poor line of defence. I have just holidayed in the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic (a cycling holiday) and, for example, I was able to take my bicycle on the Metro in Prague at no cost and with no trouble at all. Returning to England (first stop: Newcastle) is like stepping-back in time.

9:53 am  
Blogger CMS said...

There's no excuse to prohibit bikes on trains, especially at off-peak times. I too have had the same problem (at Tynemouth) - I was ordered off a virtually empty train. Some common sense is needed.

8:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a disgrace that bikes are not allowed on the Metro at off peak times. Most cyclists I know in Newcastle just don't understand it. The metro is more often empty than full, particularly at off peak times. Always the same old excuses..... also, @Huw Lewis, bike racks, staff monitored and secure are certainly words I wouldn't associate with the rare bike lock-up facilities at Newcastle stations. Who is their right mind would leave a bike at a metro or subuerban station, time to get real, talk to some cyclists and get your head out of the sand.

2:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger huw.lewis said...

Bikes (apart from folded bikes) have been banned from the Tyne and Wear Metro since it opened 30 years ago because the trains


that's the biggest lie I've ever heard. That's the reason they're not making money :D

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Katsdekker said...

This issue is something the Newcastle Cycling Campaign wants see addressed.

Cyclists have been pushed around far too long.

We never got to the bottom of WHY bicycles aren't allowed. Nexus, can you please tell the cycling community?

12:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the chap from NEXUS should get his head from out of his arse and have a look at the Metro - there would be no issue with allowing bikes on off-peak services.

1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huw Lewis used to have a backing group called "The News" - he was shit then and he's not much better in his new job at Nexus!

1:49 pm  

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