Lets get bikes on trams – Again!

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Consultation on Transporting Cycles by Tram

Taking your bike on public transport and cycling from where you get off to your final destination beats the car almost every time in terms of door-to-door speed and convenience, no matter how long the journey. This is the reason so many cities around the world have public transport systems that take bikes.

But on the Manchester Metro you can only take folding bikes, and even these have to be in a cover of some kind.

However, the Metro is set to expand and new carriages are being bought. These will be built to take buggies and wheelchairs, so why not bikes too?

It’s not just cyclists who would benefit. More people would be encouraged to use the Metro because the catchement area of each Metrolink station would increase ninefold.

Back in 2002 Manchester Metrolink conducted a survey (pdf) to see if people wanted Metrolink trams to carry bikes. Just over 1100 people responded and the main results were

question Yes No Don’t know
As a general principle, do you think it would be a good idea for all cycles to be transported by tram ? 956 85.6% 149 13.3% 12 1.1%
… on the Bury to Altrincham line 763 69.1% 33 3.0% 308 27.9%
…from the City Centre to Eccles 732 66.9% 37 3.4% 325 29.7%
…on the whole of the expanded network. 911 82.7% 29 2.6% 162 14.7%

Meanwhile, Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign produced this report (pdf) making the case for bikes to be allowed on Metrolink trams.

Later that year the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority’s Development Committee issued this press release saying the GMPTA had agreed unanimously in principle to allow cycles on Phase III (the planned expanded network) trams during non-peak hours.

But in 2004 the Department of Transport announced that it was suspending the planned expansion of the Metrolink. So everything was put on hold.

Now Metrolink is once more planning to expand, but they have a new director, Philip Purdy, and we think they have forgotten about their 2002 decision.

Earlier this summer campaigners from GMCC and Manchester Friends of the Earth argued for bikes on the Metro with some direct action and got publicity in the M.E.N. and the BBC

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