“Bike commuters cop a rough ride”

29 January, 2008 – 11:41 pm

Featuring our very own Russell Cadman!

The Advocate, 2008-01-22:

RUSSELL Cadman used to love combining his cycling hobby with the public transport commute from his Woodend home to work in Keilor.

He would ride to the Woodend railway station, board the V/Line train with his bike, get off at St Albans and ride the rest of the way to work.

But all that has changed with the State Government’s ban on bikes on peak-hour Connex and V/Line train services.

“I have had to buy another bike, which I intended to keep in a locker at St Albans station,” Mr Cadman said. “But trying to find a locker was a whole other hassle.”

Hiring lockers at the Woodend and St Albans stations, as well as supplying his own lock, will cost Mr Cadman about $150.

When he first inquired about the lockers, he was told by a staff member at the St Albans station that there were none spare.
However, another cyclist found there were four spare lockers.

“It is so frustrating,” Mr Cadman said. “We were told there were none and then it turns out there were free lockers.”
While the Government has enforced the ban, it has no immediate plans to increase bicycle racks and lockers at any stations in the western suburbs.

A spokeswoman for acting Public Transport Minister Tim Pallas said the Government was trialling a new bike cage at Eltham station.
She said St Albans had 12 bike lockers and five bike racks.

Bendigo resident Ken Mann also commutes to St Albans station for his job and has the same problems as Mr Cadman.
“I have to rely on my bike to get me to and from work and the station,” he said.

He also has to fork out money for lockers and a new bike to store at the other end of his commute. Both men said they biked for health and environmental reasons.

“The Government promotes using these modes of transport and then makes it difficult for us,” Mr Mann said.

“I would have thought trains and bikes would be encouraged, rather than discouraged.

“I just found it [using the train and bicycle] really convenient. “Having an office job, it is the only exercise I get each week.”

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