Bikes will be allowed on trams in new Metrolink trial, active travel commissioner promises

Dame Sarah Storey made the commitment to run the trial at an event in Wigan.

A trial allowing Metrolink passengers to take bikes on the trams will happen, Greater Manchester’s active travel commissioner has promised.

Dame Sarah Storey reiterated her commitment to the idea at a major travel event in Wigan on Tuesday (1 November). Running a pilot scheme to allow bikes to be taken on the tram network has been a hot topic of conversation for some time but has not yet taken place. Applause could be heard at The Edge as Dame Sarah made the commitment to trying out the idea, which was a manifesto promise of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and is something active travel campaigners have wanted to see for several years.

What has been said about taking bikes on the tram?

Dame Sarah told the active travel conversation event that the current system which does not allow bikes on the trams was “draconian”. She set out 10 next steps for the development of walking, wheeling and cycling in the city-region and a trial of letting people take both bikes and non-standard cycles such as those used by disabled people on the Metrolink.

A trial has recently been run to allow people to take dogs on trams, which again raised questions in public about why the authorities had not got round to the bikes pilot as well.

Greater Manchester active travel commissioner Dame Sarah Storey. Photo: TfGM

Dame Sarah did not give any definite timescales but stressed she was committed to getting a pilot scheme designed and seeing it run across the tram network.

She said: “This would open up the network to so many more journeys. We need to enable people to board the trams with their bikes and mobility aids. We will be working that up.”

Earlier this year Dame Sarah took to Twitter to publicly back getting bikes on trams after the A56 Safety Campaign group wrongly received correspondence suggesting there were currently no plans to pilot the proposal. The authorities have said there are some issues that still require working through, but campaigners have previously pointed out that Manchester is behind other cities such as Edinburgh, London and Newcastle which have fewer restrictions on bikes being taken on trams or trains.