Carrying bicycles by train in the UK

The train services in the UK are hopeless. We recently went on a biking trip in New Forest. Apart from the dreadful train journey, where we were turned down twice to board the train with our bikes, it was a really great outing. Not knowing that we need to reserve places for our bikes in the bicycle carriage, we were denied access to the Virgin train direct to Brockenhurst as there were only two available spaces. There were four of us. Fair enough, we have not done our research properly. But it’s really petty that the train has only got one bicycle carriage, with only just four spaces. The demand definitely outstripped the supply on a few occasions during our trip. We later found out that the bicycle carriage can technically fit more than four bicycles, albeit only securely for four. Anyway some of the personnels working at the train stations or on the trains have very low awareness of how they are supposed to deal with people who want to take bicycles onto trains. Worst of all, their attitude towards bikers are really terrible, as if we are pests. Particularly this “train manager” from Southwest train at Basingstoke railway station. He was just plain rude. What a contrast to the services and facilities I found in some other European countries like Holland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. It’s little coincidence that the British have so much to moan about their country.

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