No bikes on Melbourne trains during peak hour!

What is the Victorian Government thinking? As a wonderful New Years gift for the Melbourne cycling commuter they have banned bicycles from trains traveling through Zone 1 that arrive in Melbourne between 7am and 9am and depart Melbourne between 4pm and 7pm (Chapter 9 of the 2008 Fares and Ticketing Manual).

Did anyone apply the common sense test before this little gem found its way into the rule book? Given the crowding of Melbourne roads and the fact that people in the outer suburbs of Melbourne are being forced into their cars due to a lack of public transport I doubt it. As far as I can see, and I am a remote observer, the only real solution to overcrowded Melbourne trains is to improve the number and quality of train services.

I urge the Victorian Government to take a look at places like Germany where trains have dedicated bicycle parking racks.

German train bicycle carriage

German train bicycle carriage inside

Don’t screw the humble cyclist that is trying to do the right thing by the environment or has no choice but to pedal to work (previous post). Address the problem properly.

Source: Herald Sun

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10 Responses

  1. what a crock eh mate im with you on this ….. maybe we should oraganise a protest and all risk fines and take our bikes on a city bound train at the same time.

    safety in numbers eh

  2. Yes, it is a crock and I wouldn’t blame you if you organised a protest. Let’s hope your state cycling organisations make the appropriate amount of noise and get the decision reversed so you don’t have to.

    I’m getting tired of State Governments paying lip service to public transport. When you’ve seen what is available overseas you know Australia is a long way behind. Admittedly we don’t have a huge population but there is still no reason why I or anyone else living in a capital city shouldn’t be able to take efficient (time & cost) public transport to and from work. There is also no reason why we shouldn’t be able to ride our bikes safely to and from work.

    Luke

  3. Yes, I will be up for it if required

  4. While I don’t agree with the rule, if you’ve ever travelled on Melbourne’s trains when there are bikes blocking the way, you’ll know they can be an absolute pain. The government had two choices, essentially: convince the private train operator to install bike racks, or ban bikes in peak hour. Obviously they’ve gone for the cheaper option to keep the masses happy. It’s not the right option, but it was the politically expedient option.

    Given the state of Melbourne’s trains in peak hour, though, this would probably rank fairly low on the list of problems – let’s get more trains and connecting services first so that we can fit the bikes in the first place.

  5. Nathan,
    There is no doubt the cyclists are responsible for minimising the interference to other passengers by parking their bicycles on trains sensibly. I’m sure there are cyclists that consider others and those that don’t, just like any other group in society.

    If the peak hour situation is as bad as you and others say it is why are we still banging on about the need for more trains? What is stopping the operator and the Government servicing the needs of the population?

  6. You’d have to ask John Brumby, but I’d wager it’s the same reason most beneficial projects don’t go ahead – they don’t want to spend the money.

  7. I knew the state Government would do this they were looking for a scape goat
    this government current policy is to build more roads upgrade and widen freeways to in courage more pressure on the road system they still don’t get it
    Heres an Idea Sack all our state Governments spend the tax payers money saved on improving state public transport and other important things
    Critical Mass of bikes on a peak hour on a train but notify the public

  8. Also recommend a protest – I’ve tried contacting a few people who might be interested in organising one, including some of the Critical Mass people, but not having much luck so far. Contact me on wizofaus @ hotmail.com if interested.

  9. Check out http://binthebikeban.org/ .

  10. […] A few excessively narrow cycle lanes on main roads which require you to take your life in your hands to use them in peak hours is about the extent of it, though Melbourne has a modest network of off-road cycle paths if you know where to find them.   However, moving in the opposite direction of what’s needed, Melbourne recently put restrictions on cyclists taking their bikes on trains during peak hours. […]

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