LACK of cycle storage on many train services between Fife and Edinburgh has led to a Labour MP asking ScotRail to ‘make more room for bikes’.
Glenrothes and Central Fife MP, Lindsay Roy has made the plea after he was contacted by a Kirkcaldy commuter frustrated by the sharp decline in the number of storage spaces on board trains on the Fife Circle and Dundee routes.
The commuter, who travels to Edinburgh daily where he works, says Fife services are ‘being flooded with rolling stock that doesn’t have the capacity’.
He said: “I have frequently been refused to board services because there is only one bike rack for three carriages. These trains don’t meet the requirement of Fife commuters who cycle.
“It’s like Wacky Races at times with people trying to get onto trains with their bikes - I have seen some heated exchanges.
“There is definitely a need for more spaces, but capacity seems to be shrinking while demand is growing.”
Mr Roy told The Press he understood the frustrations of those who want to ‘go green’.
He said: “There is no easy answer, but I would ask ScotRail to consider carrying out a small survey to gauge demand on specific services.
“If it was shown there was a real and pressing need on certain trains, then perhaps something could be done to increase the number of spaces.”
Desmond Bradley, transport integration manager with ScotRail, said provision of sufficient space for the different user groups is a ‘‘constant challenge.’’
He said: “Cycles are carried free of charge throughout our network and a reservation is not required on any of our trains on the Fife Circle.
“Unlike some other train operators, we also do not impose restrictions or a ban on taking cycles on the train at peak times.
“This allows flexibility in travel plans, but the flip side is that sometimes spaces are already taken on a given train, requiring passengers to catch another service. There are no easy solutions - more space to carry cycles for free means fewer seats - and, as you can imagine, we also get regular feedback on provision of sufficient number of seats.
“There are no immediate plans for refurbishment of the fleets operating on the Fife Circle, but more storage is something that will be considered as part of this process.”
Cycle storage is provided at all Fife stations, supplemented by cycle lockers provided by Fife Council at many.