Call to let bikes on tram-trains

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TRANSPORT bosses are being urged to rethink plans to ban bikes from new tram-trains between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Campaign group CycleSheffield and councillors have joined forces to call for the change ahead of the service’s launch in 2015.

Cycles are currently allowed on trains but not on Supertram services in the city.

The decision not to allow them on tram-trains has been made by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Stagecoach, which is likely to operate the service - and comes despite a commitment by Sheffield Council to ‘make efforts’ to ensure bikes can be carried.

Mick Nott, CycleSheffield chairman, said: “Light rail systems across the world allow the carriage of bicycles with no evidence it is hazardous to passengers or difficult for staff to operate with the competing need to accommodate wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters.

“CycleSheffield is calling on Stagecoach and SYPTE to reconsider their decision.”

CycleSheffield is planning to set up an e-petition calling for Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to step-in and ensure the issue is looked at again.

Motions are being discussed at Sheffield Council’s meeting on Wednesday supporting the cyclists. Coun Jillian Creasy, Green Party member for Central, who has proposed one of the motions, said: “The point of a pilot scheme is to test out new ways of doing things.

“Bicycles are ideal for travelling short distances, from home to station or station to work, and really should be part of an integrated transport system.”

Coun Peter Price, Labour member for Shiregreen and Brightside and a keen cyclist, who has proposed the other motion, said: “Many European cities allow bicycles on their trams without any problems.”

Stagecoach said it has never allowed bicycles on trams due to limited space.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s director of customer experience, David Young, said: “The existing conditions of carriage in the Supertram policy will be applied to tram-trains. All tram-train vehicles will be compliant with accessibility regulations.”

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