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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 15:37 GMT
Protest held over train bike ban
Man taking a folding bike onto a Southern train
More than 100 bicycles were chained up outside Brighton station
A protest has taken place against a rail company's decision to ban bicycles from peak-time trains between Brighton and London.

Passengers on Southern trains are only allowed to take folding bikes on board.

The move has been criticised by councillors in Brighton and Hove, a city named as a "cycling demonstration town" to promote the mode of transport.

Members of the Cycle Train Commuter Group voiced their opposition at Brighton station on Monday morning.

Spokeswoman Gaynor Hartnell said: "The way the trains are designed doesn't really accommodate bicycles.

"When we had the slam-door trains there were many bicycles and there was absolutely no problem, so better design of trains could accommodate many more bicycles."

Bicycle storage

Southern said ordinary bicycles were now no longer permitted on trains travelling towards London or Brighton which were due to arrive at either destination between 0700 and 1000 GMT.

The ban will also be enforced on trains leaving London or Brighton between 1600 and 1900 GMT.

A Southern train
Southern said bicycles take up too much room on trains

It applies to the entire length of the route.

Southern's Vince Lucas said: "The growing number of passengers means that in the peak time there is much greater conflict between commuters and rigid-frame bicycles."

Folding bicycles are still allowed on board, the company added, while measures had been taken to improve cycle storage facilities at its stations.

Councillor Craig Turton, deputy chair of Brighton and Hove's environment committee, said: "Cycling should be fully integrated with public transport to facilitate cycle use as part of longer journeys."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch the reaction of cyclists to the firm's ban



SEE ALSO:
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Cycling city in 3m funding boost
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Cyclists 'ignored' by train firms
20 Jun 05 |  Southern Counties
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15 Jan 04 |  England


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