GMITA has decided not to change their policy excluding the carriage of bikes on trams but are waiting for a Government review on mobility scooter regulations before making a decision on whether mobility scooters should be allowed onboard. Cycling and disability campaigners were both left disappointed by the decision made on Friday last week.
Although wary of drawing the full weight of combined cycling and disability campaigners upon us, my personal opinion is that, for now, the correct decision was made. As a rail commuter, I see that even full-size trains have difficulty carrying bicycles during the peak hour, especially given the number of standees on the region’s rail services. Until we’re in a position where there is enough capacity for people on our train and tram services, it seems counter-intuitive to allow bicycles on board as well. Where cycle campaigners have a point is where rail lines are being converted into Metrolink lines, particularly given that GMITA is now considering the possibility of “tram-trains” – the operation of local rail services using vehicles akin to trams. Is it right that cyclists who have been taking their bicycles onto rail services are no longer allowed to bring them onto replacement services?
As for mobility scooters, not even our train operators have a consistent policy on the carriage of mobility scooters. Normal sized wheelchairs, even electric ones, are allowed onboard already, so this isn’t really a case of discrimination: rather these big motorised buggies are designed for outdoors use, and not for carriage on public transport.
- Metrolink ban on bikes and mobility scooters to stay at Manchester Evening News
- Metrolink tram bicycle ban stays in place at BBC
- GMITA is heading in the wrong direction says cycling group at Inside the M60
[Image credit: “metrolink” by David Poole on Flickr]
What’s your opinion on whether bikes and mobility scooters should be allowed onboard Metrolink services? Leave us a comment below.