Campaigners aim to iron the kinks out of bikes on trams policy !


Photo Opportunity:Friday 12th Feb, 9.30am. Love Your Bike campaigners will betaking a range of folding items on a tram journey from St Peter’s Square to protest at ban on bicycles.

On Friday 12th February, Love Your Bike campaigners will be taking ironing boards and a range of other folding items on trams in Manchester to highlight the contradictions in the Metrolink policy that bans anyone from travelling with a folding bicycle. [2]
Later that morning the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA) committee will be meeting in Manchester Town Hall and the campaigners are hoping that the councillors will admit that folded bicycles are no more dangerous than folded prams, trolleys or ironing boards (all of which are allowed on trams), and overturn the bike ban. [3]

The award-winning Love Your Bike campaign, run by Manchester Friends of the Earth, believes that allowing people to use a bicycle at both ends of a rapid transport system journey such as on Metrolink and local train services, would provide one of the most effective means of competing with the private car for widespread accessibility and door-to-door convenience.

The Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Strategy claims to want to encourage more trips to be made by bicycle. [4] Manchester Friends of the Earth is calling on the GMITA to make sure the new tram services have excellent facilities to allow bicycles to travel on trams and deliver a joined up and truly integrated transport service for Greater Manchester.

Katy Carlisle from Manchester Friends of the Earth said:

“When asked why they don’t use public transport people often mention the ‘problem of the last mile’. Quite literally, public transport often leaves people up to a mile away from their final destination. They don’t want to walk that far – so use the car. Creating a public transport system that encourages people to combine the flexibility of a bicycle with bus, train and tram services would help provide a sustainable solution to this problem. Many other cities in Europe and North America actively encourage these types of integrated transport systems. Manchester prides itself as a city which leads the way – it’s about time this was applied to Metrolink.”


Notes to Editors

[1] Love Your Bike is an award-winning campaign co-ordinated by Manchester Friends of the Earth. Based in Manchester, we aim to promote cycling and to help make it an attractive, accessible and fun way to get around.

[2] The Metrolink policy states that folding bicycles cannot be carried on trams unless they are “fully encased”. A condition that is not applied to many other folding items such as prams, buggies and probably even ironing boards.

[3] The GMITA Capital Projects committee voted for the ban on 15th January 2010. In a letter, dated 9th February 2010 the GMITA Chairman has stated that “the decision was delegated to the Capital Projects committee and therefore the full Authority meeting this Friday, 12th February will not consider overturning the decision” but that the GMITA will “continue to investigate ways of providing a space to store cycles safely on trams, subject to ensuring the health and safety of all passengers.”

[4] Final Local Transport Plan 2006/07 – 2010/11 : GMPTE’s website states: “we will continue to adopt a fully integrated approach to influencing travel behaviour with a range of measures to encourage more of the large number of shorter trips to be undertaken by bike or on foot rather than by the private car.”