HC Deb 16 June 1997 vol 296 c41W
Mr. Whitehead

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make an assessment of the proposals of South West Trains to introduce rolling stock which restricts the availability of space for bicycles; what assessment he has made of the compliance of such rolling stock with the undertakings provided upon receipt of the franchise by Stagecoach plc; and if he will make a statement. [3286]

Ms Glenda Jackson

The South West Trains Franchise Agreement requires the franchise operator to make facilities available for the carriage of bicycles on trains so far as this is reasonably practicable and subject to the availability of appropriate space on the rolling stock. The specifications of the new South West Trains' rolling stock are a matter for South West Trains, having regard to this provision.

The Government is keen to see proper facilities for cyclists who wish to use the railway. We are currently reviewing the Franchising Director's Objectives, Instructions and Guidance and, as part of our review, we will be considering what action the Franchising Director should take to encourage increased carriage of cycles on trains.