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

Scotrail Takes To The Road

Faced with a growing summer demand from cyclists eager to catch the train from Inverness to Wick and pedal south from John O'Groats, ScotRail introduced a cycle carrying van service to run in parallel with the 1129 train from Inverness and the 1616 from Wick, serving Ardgay, Wick and Thurso. Passengers holding cycle reservations were met by the ScotRail van-driver whose vehicle could accommodate up to eight bicycles. The service ran up to Saturday 2 September.

ScotRail Commercial Manager Dave Prescott pointed out that, having scrapped the old British Rail £3 charge for accompanied cycles and spent £450,000 increasing cycle space on 70 trains, ScotRail had an excellent record of encouraging cyclists to travel by rail. "Figures show that the new trains, with a cycle capacity of 2 instead of the previous six, can handle cycling requirements satisfactorily on the Far North Line for ten months of the year," he says. "However, July and August always bring capacity problems so this year we've taken a temporary measure to eliminate the difficulty. We'll continue striving to balance the needs of regular passengers with those of the cycling fraternity."

Content taken from a ScotRail press release.

Editor's note: It is a pity that ScotRail didn't think to attach a rail van to the train and they could have kept another vehicle off the road; just think of all the backpacks and parcels that could have been kept out of the way of the passengers.