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Carriage of Cycles on Trams


The use of cycles in conjunction with trams is being actively encouraged in many European countries. In The Netherlands, old trams are stripped-out and towed as cycle-rack trailers because of the increasing number of cycles needing to be carried. At tram stops, cycle lock-up containers are provided so that cycle+ride becomes possible.

In Wolverhampton, cycle lock-ups with closed-circuit television surveillance are provided at all tram stops, but cycles may not be carried on the vehicles.
Pictures of Wolverhampton cycle facilities

The present cycle traffic on the Portsmouth Harbour ferry, and the projected increase when trams take over the route (in an undersea tunnel) is sufficient to justify provision of cycle-only trams or trailers.

The new British-designed T.P.L. TRAM vehicle (which is the prototype for Bristol and is also proposed for Bath) makes provision for cycles on board. The possibility that a double-decked variant of this vehicle may be specified does not preclude cycles being carried inside the tram, however, the Railway Inspectorate is believed to oppose this on grounds of Health and Safety.
The use of a cycle trailer on the proposed Bath system would not generally be possible because the tram reverses direction at each terminus and the trailer would then be in front of the driving vehicle, obscuring the driver's view.

The possibility is being considered of a link between the University terminus and Combe Down. If this were to be installed, a single-direction service of trams towing cycle trailers would then be possible. Similarly, a loop at the Park+Ride terminus on Lansdown would allow the use of cycle trailers on that route.
Although this would allow the tram service to perform the function of a cycle lift up two of Bath's steepest hills there may be a more appropriate, purpose built method:

Bicycle Lift
In Trondheim, a bicycle lift of novel design has been working for several years. If a design similar to this could be applied successfully and safely to the hills of Bath, it may prove to be a better option than adapting the trams. It would almost certainly be considerably cheaper and could prove more attractive to cyclists than waiting for a tram and having to load and unload a bicycle.


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