Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bike racks on buses allowed!

In 2009 I investigated why UK buses don't have the sort of bike racks they do in the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Bus bike racks in New Zealand
I found there was a UK pressure group that was trying to do this but apparently bike racks were not allowed under EU legislation. A few petitions and I banged on about this for a bit and then gave up as the various authorities' advice was adamant it wasn't permitted.

Now somebody at the DfT has had another look at the issue and on October 17th the IVS unit informed Bikes On Buses UK that buses CAN have a bike rack on the front or back as long as the vehicle remains within its maximum permitted length. 
The moral of this story: never take no for an answer.

This breakthrough could have a real impact on the use of rural buses as it will extend their range and ridership. Like Bike Aid, it will help shift our dependence and mindset of a car-centric transport culture.

For years I took the 521 bus between Halesworth and Saxmundham and then would ride three miles by bicycle to my work at Snape as no practicable buses went there, so I bought a folding bike to take on the bus specially to do this. If the weather was fine or I had to stay late or had missed the bus, I would ride the bike the whole way. What was important was that I had many more choices enabled by combining bike and/or bus for my journey.

I am told that the Belgian coachmaker Van Hool already installs the mounting brackets on their UK-bound buses as 90% of their vehicles go to the USA where most bus operators allow bike racks.

http://www.bikesonbuses.com/recent-news/

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