Plan to trial bikes on Metrolink trams confirmed - when it could happen and how it would work

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 The plans will be put to Manchester transport bosses first.

Passengers may soon be able to take bikes on Manchester’s Metrolink tram network. This comes as proposals to allow them on board are set to be considered by transport bosses. 

At present, only folded bikes are allowed on the network. If given the green light, this would be extended to standard bikes. Transport for Greater Manchester has announced there are proposals for a pilot scheme to test the safe carriage of bikes and non-standard cycles on off-peak tram services. 

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The trial, due to be considered by the Bee Network Committee at its next meeting, will take place under the supervision of TfGM and the tram operator, Keolis Amey Metrolink to minimise the impact on passengers and maintain public safety.

Volunteer cyclists will take their bikes on board, sampling different routes and stops at different times of the day and days of the week. Feedback will be sought from other passengers and the cyclists themselves.

The pilot is expected to begin at the start of February and will run for four to six weeks. TfGM will begin recruiting volunteers shortly. 

Dame Sarah Storey, Active Travel Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: "My recommendation to trial the carriage of non-folding bikes on trams is borne from the ambition to deliver a universally accessible Bee Network in Greater Manchester, where everyone has the choice to switch between different modes in one journey should they need to, as well as ensuring that people who use their cycle as a mobility aid aren't excluded from using the service.

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A pilot study to allow bikes on trams will be considered by the Bee Network Committee next weekA pilot study to allow bikes on trams will be considered by the Bee Network Committee next week
A pilot study to allow bikes on trams will be considered by the Bee Network Committee next week | TfGM

"I fully support the mayor’s manifesto commitment to investigate changing the current arrangements and have long advocated for the benefits of allowing what would be a naturally small number of users, to travel responsibly with a bike during off-peak periods. Like many others - I’ve experienced for myself the disappointment of being forced to travel by car with my bike when I’d rather not, because the choice to travel by tram isn't currently available.

"In order to help us maximise the benefits that any changes might bring, it’s vital a thorough study is undertaken to assess the feasibility of bringing non-folding and non-standard bikes on trams. The proposed pilot is subject to approval at next week's Bee Network Committee and should it go ahead, I look forward to examining the study's findings and working on what comes next."

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