§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what discussions he has had with rail companies about reducing charges for carrying bicycles on trains. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
Provision for the carriage of bicycles is an important issue which ministers have raised on a number of occasions with the train operating companies. Under their franchise agreements, train operators are required, so far as reasonably practicable and subject to the availability of appropriate space on their rolling stock, to ensure that facilities for the carriage of bicycles are made available, at reasonable charges (if any) to passengers wishing to use their services. The Objectives Instructions and Guidance (0IG), issued on behalf of the Secretary of State to the Franchising Director on 6 November 1997, require him to discuss with train operators who plan to order new rolling stock the provision of suitable space for accompanying bicycles on trains, and to encourage operators to provide suitable facilities for cyclists at the stations they manage.