Bicycles are banned from Metrolink
A transport study is expected to resolve the issue of whether bicycles can be taken on trams in Manchester.
Cycle groups claim that bikes are welcome on other tram systems in Europe and they want Metrolink to follow suit.
To highlight contradictions in the current ban which includes folding bikes, protestors took deckchairs and other folding items onto a tram.
Transport leaders say that, while the safety of passengers remains paramount, the matter will be considered.
Pete Abel of the Love Your Bike campaign has been cycling in and out of Manchester 'for decades'.
BIKES ON TRAMS
The study into whether bikes can be taken on Metrolink trams will consider the following:
other European tram systems;
cost implications of modifications to old and new trams;
advice from tram users, cycling organisations and the ten district authorities;
the potential for a pilot scheme.
Under current safety regulations, he's banned from boarding a Metrolink tram with his bike, or even a folding bike - unless it's in a special carrying case.
But he is allowed take on board any other large collapsible object.
Earlier this year, protesters turned up at a Metrolink station carrying deckchairs, ironing boards, and other folding items to highlight the anomaly.
Pete said the ban was not only unfair but discouraged people from using public transport.
"Not to allow a folding bike like this on a tram, but allow all these other items, is simply unfair."
"Ninety per cent of people live within two to three miles of a Metrolink station.
"To be able to get on a tram with your bike - whether folded or not - would allow many more people to travel that extra part of their journey.
"And that would help the city achieve its sustainable transport plans."
Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) had upheld the bike ban in January claiming that:
- bicycles on trams would lead to increased risk of injury to passengers from sharp points such as handlebars and pedals;
- emergency braking could cause passengers to fall onto or against bicycles.
They also cited issues such as the impact on passenger numbers; the need to ensure cycles are secured and the increased risk of delays and increased journey times.
However, following the deckchair demo on Friday 12 February 2010, transport officials agreed to review the policy.
"Councillor Keith Whitmore, Chair of GMITA, said: "We have received a lot of representations from members of cycling groups on this matter and we have now agreed to carry out a further detailed assessment of this issue."
Councillor Richard Cowell, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment welcomed the decision saying it was "the common sense thing to do."
"As well as setting up a working party to look at safe ways in which bikes could be taken on trams, GMITA officers are to draw up reports which will examine how this is done in other European cities and the cost implications of allowing cyclists on trams during off-peak hours."
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