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[personal profile] maleghasty
Via the "magic" of Facebook, I noticed that [ profile] hepstar posted about cycling and trains today (linky), and as well as making me sad for her and her plight, for good or ill it made me angry all over again that I cannot use my bike to get to and from work because of the crazy situation with South Eastern Trains.

So, in order to vent this feeling;

"South Eastern Trains, like many other UK train companies, are a bunch of ignorant, anti-cyclist, anti-green imbeciles who I would merrily boycott if it were not for my inescapable need for their monopolistic service. I AM NOT AMUSED!"

(I restrained the desire to use MUCH harsher language for the sake of hoping to retain a little of the high moral ground.)

Thanks, that is all
(deleted comment)

Date: 2012-05-29 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am not allowed to take a full-size bike on the train at any time that would be of use to me in any way shape or form vis à vis commuting to work.

I can take a folder, but __technically__ only if it is a Brompton, as that is the only folding cycle currently manufactured that fits South Eastern's size guidelines for a folding bike (I won't even suggest that this might be something to do with Brompton being the only manufacturer involved in the consultation process that gave rise to the regs), and I am not remotely interested in buying / owning / riding a Brompton, so that's not a lot of help...

I do own a folder that I can probably get away with, but the honest truth is that as a machine it is in no way suitable for the 7 mile ride from the nearest mainline station to my workplace in London and my workplace. I need to use fairly major roads, so I need stability and speed on my side if I'm going to be safe and considerate of other road users, and anyway that kind of distance on my folder is frankly hellish.

There is no provision on the services that I can choose from to even have a full-size bike go in a luggage or guard car, as the rolling stock in question does not have them, and even if that were not a bad enough obstacle, South Eastern have managed to institute a zero-tolerance policy for full-size bikes in the London Stations between 0700h and 1900h on weekdays, meaning that even if I were to take a slow train that __technically__ I ought to be allowed onto with a full-size bike, the station personnel would be within their rights to refuse me egress from the platform until 1000h (or perhaps at all), as apparently bicycles represent a "Health and Safety risk" (yes those were the exact words I was confronted with when I asked a station supervisor to explain the new policy).

All in all, I despair, and generally I just forget about it and go about my day, but your post made me think about it all again and I wanted to vent :-)

Date: 2012-05-29 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
if bored, ask the station supervisor/ SET for a copy of the relevant risk assessment that was carried out on this issue.

Or Boris it if there are any at the relevant station.


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