scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Cycling Matters

Rolf Schmidt, one of our members, has sent to the Editor a copy of Highland Cycle Campaign Newsletter, Number 8 January 1998. In it he wrote a very interesting article "TAKING BICYCLES ON TRAINS - A HARD COMPROMISE." This suggested ways by which the transport of bicycles could be made easier with compromises being made by the train operators and the cyclists themselves.

In the introduction the following passage caught my attention: "A modern, high-tech bicycle can be thought of as a combination of metal mesh and protruding barbed spikes; a kind of giant scale velcro. Train crews complain about delays caused by separating these things, also referred to as 'mating hedgehogs', before they can be unloaded."

Rolf also sent in a copy of a letter sent to Mr. Alan Chapman, Head of Engineering ScotRail, giving detailed drawings of all the various options available to ScotRail to accommodate bicycles on the various classes of trains we have in the North. One hopes that this very constructive advice is taken in the way it is meant and that everyone can be accommodated to best advantage. The Friends are certainly keen to encourage cyclists onto the trains, perhaps not necessarily with their bikes but attracted to take advantage of the superb cycling facilities in and around Thurso on bicycles provided by local outlets.

More Cycling Matters

Connex South Eastern have introduced a scheme to encourage travellers to combine rail travel with hiring a cycle. The 'all-in-one ticket to ride' is based on Canterbury and Tonbridge stations. An adult can travel from London to Canterbury for a return fare of £21.80, reserving a modern, multi-speed bike which will be ready for collection. Also included are free helmets for any children in the group, a comprehensive information pack, suggested routes, cycle lock and special discounted admission to local places of interest.