Disabled woman’s complaint against Greater Anglia’s new rules on bikes

Claire Murray needs to take her bike on the train to get to work. Pictures: David Bale

Claire Murray needs to take her bike on the train to get to work. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

An epilepsy sufferer could struggle to get to work on time when new rules are introduced that only allow four cycles on Greater Anglia trains.

Claire Murray, from Roughton, near Cromer, cannot drive because of her condition, and is completely reliant on public transport to get to and from her work at the North Walsham Cottage Hospital.

The 40-year-old, who is single and lives in Carr Lane, Roughton, said: 'I need my bike to cycle to and from the station to ensure I arrive at work on time and then catch the return train home.

'Greater Anglia will only be letting four bikes on a train at any one time from March 1, so I might have to wait an hour for the next train, which might already have four bikes on board.

'At present more than four bikes can be taken on the trains.

'I also feel it's discriminating to people like myself who have a disability.'

She has also been told that she cannot reserve cycle spaces which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Miss Murray gets the 7.33am train from Roughton Road station and the 4.13pm from North Walsham home during the week, and pays a £4.90 daily fare.

Greater Anglia is replacing every single train with new state-of-the-art trains, but they are not in regular use yet.

A spokesperson said: 'We're sorry to hear about this customer's concerns. We'd like to reassure her that there will more cycle spaces on the new trains, which will have space for six bicycles.

'Cycles on rural trains are not bookable in advance and all spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each of the spaces on the new trains are designed so that cyclists can strap their bikes into place.

'There is no limit on the number of small fold-up bikes, which customers can take on board without booking. We also have cycle parking spaces at our stations, so for many customers it may be practical to cycle to or from the station without taking a bike on the train.'