Bee Network Cycling

Bikes on trams? About time!

20 years after the Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign first campaigned for bikes to be allowed on the Metrolink, and a year after Andy Burnham promised it would happen at a Walk Ride event, TfGM is finally starting a pilot to investigate how it could work. During the pilot, volunteers will be accompanied on the tram with their bike to check whether any issues arise. In Edinburgh, bikes have  been allowed on trams since 2015 after a successful pilot, so we hope that this is the start of a permanent change in GM. 

It might not sound like a hugely transformational change, but if we want a properly joined up transport network, then this is a key piece of the puzzle. There are lots of reasons that being able to take a bike on the tram will enable more people to use a combination of active and public transport, which is good for all of us and good for the network. The metrolink is a huge asset to GM, but of course it doesn’t go everywhere. For people that live slightly too far to walk to a tram stop, being able to cycle at each end of the journey makes it a much easier option. For safety reasons, people might feel safer cycling to or from the tram when it’s dark. Or for all the unplanned things that could happen – getting a puncture, feeling a bit ill, ending up with lots to carry – being able to hop on the tram with a bike will be a great help to people cycling, therefore encouraging more people to ride a bike. 

We know that we need to cut the number of short car journeys in GM, and to make that happen we must give people good alternative options. Allowing bikes on trams helps to bring the tram within easier reach of more people; much more quickly and easily than building a new tram stop. 

Bikes shouldn’t take up the accessible spot on the tram that’s for wheelchair users, so we hope there will be dedicated spaces for bikes.

Bikes on public transport are common in lots of other cities around the world. We really hope this becomes a permanent change for GM, making all sorts of journeys easier. 

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