To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
(1) if the level of cycle carriage on trains of a minimum of six cycles is specified in railway franchise agreements; and if they will be in future;
(2) what measures are in place to ensure that the existing level of capacity for cycle carriage on trains is retained when rolling stock is refurbished or replaced;
(3) what (a) guidance the Strategic Rail Authority has issued and (b) standards it has set for the provision of facilities for bicycles (i) on board new rolling stock and (ii) at stations; and if he will make a statement.
No specific guidance has been issued nor standards set with regard to the number of bicycles that are carried on trains or for the provision of facilities at stations. There are many different types of rolling stock in use on the network and the design of each largely dictates whether bicycles can be carried, and if so how many. Franchise agreements require train operators to carry bicycles on their services where it is practicable for them to do so, and subject to the availability of appropriate space. These arrangements will be maintained in future franchise agreements. The Strategic Rail Authority are obliged by their Directions and Guidance to discuss with train operators the provisions they are making for cycle carriage when ordering new stock. The Authority meet regularly with representatives from cycling organisations and has established a "flexible space" working group to look at how the interiors of rolling stock can be designed to make best use of available space for wheelchairs, pushchairs, bicycles or other bulky luggage.