Two-wheel terrors looks set to be driven off our packed commuter trains as Southern launches an offensive to reinforce its cycle policy.
Regular announcements over station tannoy systems, posters and leaflets are all part of the campaign. What’s needed, though, I fear is a more rigorous enforcement as cyclists can all too easily have selective hearing.
And, while the rail operator is about it, what about taking action to rid the seriously overcrowded Coastway routes (via Lewes and Worthing) of those who barge through with their
contraptions, poking handlebars into rib cages as they go?
Passengers are guided to the website to read of cycle restrictions on trains into London and
Brighton during the morning and evening rush. Surely gatestaff could act as marshals to
prevent cycles being wheeled onto platforms during busy periods?
Well, they could if our station entrances were staffed. All too often the newly installed automatic barriers are either left in the wide-open position, or cordoned off all together. One day last week, Burgess Hill had no ticket or platform staff as they had, I am told, been called to a meeting. Ditto Wivelsfield where the booking hall was locked and bolted all afternoon due to staff shortages.
While we contend with the increasing intensity of building work at Haywards Heath, with barricades, trenches and painters’ platforms obstructing normal passage through the station, stand-by for similar disruption at Hassocks as the station rebuild is poised to start.
Work at Burgess Hill is nearing completion, not before time some say. The new toilets and
waiting room are set to open but on separate platforms.
Those London-bound will benefit from the unisex lavatory, while it is those heading towards the coast who will be able to sit in comfy chairs amid the relative warmth of the passenger lounge.