Following is the text of Bin the Bike Ban’s submission to the DOI review of the peak-hour bike ban.
Bin the Bike Ban is a coalition of cycling groups and individuals gathered to overturn the recent Department of Infrastructure ban of bicycles on peak-hour trains. We represent over 500 individuals and have connections to many Victorian cycling groups.
Our position is that cycling and multi-model travel must both be encouraged as part of an integrated public transport model that aims to minimise car use. The benefits include improved public health, reduced road congestion and reduced reliance on oil. We believe that cycling should be supported by all levels of government as a normal, integrated form of transport.
In addition, we feel that the bicycle ban has been poorly managed, with limited consultation and public awareness prior to the ban taking force in January 2008.
We fully support the encouragement of ‘feeder travel’ to train stations with the provision of secure bicycle parking. However, many
passengers need their bicycles at both ends of their train journey — bicycle parking does not totally meet their needs.
Unless otherwise specified ‘carriages’ and ‘trains’ refer to both V/Line and Connex stock.
==Short-term goals (February and March 2008)==
1. Repeal the ban, effective immediately.
2. Widen the consultation process to include participating cycling groups from both regional and metropolitan areas in any future changes proposed by the Department of Infrastructure.
3. Improve communication to rail staff about locker management — existing lockers are not used efficiently due to uncertainties from cyclists about determining use and capacity, and procedures for their hire.
==Medium-term goals (2008–2009)==
4. Develop and disseminate a code of conduct for carrying bicycles and luggage on trains and publicise via pamphlets and posters.
Diagrams/photographs of how to carry bicycles on different types of carriages would be very useful for many cyclists who may not be aware of ways to minimise impacts on other passengers. Potential cyclists would be reassured that carrying a bicycle on a train is a legitimate activity. Clearly mark preferred sections of carriages for carrying.
5. Formalise and implement ongoing consultation with local cycling groups, such as region-based Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) as a necessary component of the decision-making process.
6. Announce any changes to regulations that reduce mobility compared to the current situation a significant period of time ahead of implementation. Install notices at relevant stations for a similar period.
7. Modify existing carriages to incorporate more flip-up seating and install bicycle storage loops/hooks Ensure that any changes do not impact upon existing disabled seating provision.
8. Increase secure bicycle parking at stations where required.
9a). Increase the frequency of V/Line services, including the introduction of partial services that do not run the entire line. b)
Introduce a standard, separate bicycle/luggage container on all services that do not already have one.
10. Adopt an integrated (public) transport policy that encourages multi-modal travelling. Promote cycling as a normal commuter activity and just another form of transport.
11. Make ‘suitable bicycle storage provisions’ a requirement of any future train stock purchases, with the expectation that numbers of passengers carrying bicycles will increase.