This week on the Wareham to Bournemouth service I've now experienced the new cycle storage on the 5 carriage trains. The old racks for 3 bikes have been replaced with a cycle storage area with foldable seats as on the 4 carriage trains. I can understand SWT wanting to provide seats if there are no cycles but in my experience it is unlikely for there to be lack of seats in the main carriage AND no cycles so I suspect these seats will be little used. In the past there were always problems with luggage in the 3 rack area preventing the storage of bikes. By having clear space I'm sure this problem will increase. There is no signage in this area giving priority to cycles over passengers sitting or luggage and so I'm sure there will be more arguments between cycle users and other passengers. By removing the 3 racks it will make it more difficult for cycle users to retrieve their bikes from behind a pile of others. At least on the 4 carriage trains there are seats adjacent to the bikes so a cyclist can see and assist others in moving their bike. On the 5 carriage trains cyclists may end up standing by their bikes or if sitting in the main carriage continually checking if they need to move their bikes (or if completely anti-social just forgetting about it until their stop!) . This reconfiguration will not work and I wonder if any advice was sought with cycle users, groups or forums.
I completely agree. The tip ups were only put in to comply with a franchise agreement for seating. It was originally proposed that one of the bike racks were to be replaced with 4 seats around a table, which would've been even worse. But yes, I think they should've kept the bike racks, and I highly doubt any advice was undertaken from any cycle groups.
Replacing just one rack would have probably been better, to be honest. If you take your bike on a train that is busy (as I do, even though it's empty when I get on), by the time you get close to Waterloo the abuse from other passengers for "blocking the seats" is often stressful. Especially when I am only using the bike space as it is meant to be used and on a train that full-size bikes are explicitly allowed on. At least with the racks no one moaned about me stopping them from sitting down.
Yes but you are taking up 4 seats for the bike plus one seat for yourself, whilst only paying a single fare. Other passengers that have paid for a ticket are unsurprisingly annoyed that someone could be so selfish and take up five seats. Or are your needs more important than theirs? The bike area just needs removing and converting into proper seating. Get a folding bike, use a Borris Bike or leave a “station bike” at the other end like most do.
As per my reply to your other comment. Only two folding seats are installed in the 444 (white train) cycle storage areas. You have a slightly strange definition of "selfish": using a cycle storage area that is clearly marked "bicycles" on a train that bicycles are explicitly allowed in a space that I have used for 10 years without any issues because it is only in the last couple of months that SWR have removed the dedicated racks.
I'll ask also, again: do you think the problem of overcrowding on trains is due to a cycle being in front of two folding seats (which face the toilet, btw), or maybe, perhaps, there is another reason trains are so overcrowded?
You seem to think you warrant special treatment. If everyone tried to bring a bike there wouldn’t be room. No doubt you get annoyed if some other non-regular cyclist takes your spot. Assuming you don’t warrant special treatment the only logical thing to do is remove the pointless bike storage and ban non-folding bikes as this is the only fair thing for all passengers.
You seem very angry about this. How is your life, generally? If it all seems too much, always remember that there are people you can talk to about your feelings.