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Sheffield City Region: Dan Jarvis to challenge Stagecoach Supertram bike ban

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South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis wants a 'change in policy' if Stagecoach can't give a 'very good reason' why bikes are banned on Sheffield trams.

Mr Jarvis, who was elected last month as Sheffield City Region mayor, said he was told about the ban by a cyclist and said he 'didn't understand' why the travel operator had the rule in place.

At present, only folding bikes are allowed on trams and Stagecoach has previously cited the carriage of bikes could lead to ‘access issues’ and 'safety concerns outnumber the benefits'.

Tram in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester allow passengers to carry bikes on board.

Speaking to The Star, Mr Jarvis said: "It was pointed out to me the other day that you can't take a bike on the Supertram. I don't understand, why can't you?

I personally don't get why this is the case when you can do that when you are in other parts of the country.

"To some people it may seem like a small issue but as part of my wider commitment to active travel I will raising my concerns and asking questions about why it is that in other parts of the country people can take their bike onto the tram but you can't do that here.

"I'll be expecting a very good reason why you cant do that and if there isn't, I expect a change of policy. "

Dexter Johnstone, secretary of Cycle Sheffield said he welcomed Mr Jarvis's comments.

"You can take your bike on the London Underground, the Metro in Newcastle changed their policy and it would be great news if this would happen in Sheffield," he said.

"There is no real reason why you can't do it as long as it's reasonable. I understand if the tram is full of people then you wouldn't be allowed on with your bike - I have no issue with that.

"But other times of the day if there's room then why not?"

James Stewart, customer services manager at Stagecoach, said: "We do accept folding bicycles on our tram services, but it is not currently possible for us to accept unsecured, traditional bikes for space and safety reasons. This policy, which we regularly review with SYPTE, has been in place for almost 20 years, since before we began operating the Supertram network.

"This position has also been adopted by many other light rail operators in the UK, including Manchester Metrolink, Midland Metro and Tramlink in London. There is a limited amount of space available on board our trams and our most recent review concluded that the carriage of bikes could result in potential accessibility issues for our other customers such as wheelchair users and people with pushchairs.

"Supertram services provide vital transport links for more than 34,000 people every day and we believe this decision is in the best interests of the majority of our passengers."