Too little space for bicycles on Dutch trains
Far too little bicycle spaces on the train can’t keep up with the growing number of passengers taking along their bicycles. This has been reported by the Dutch ‘Fietsersbond’ and the Rover passenger association. They call on NS (Dutch railways) to take action because the use of bicycles is increasingly being stimulated.
With an off-peak Cycle Card, the bike can be taken on the train off-peak, but only at the designated place on the train. If this space is not available, it is not possible to take along the bike. Each year the number of passengers who want to take a bicycle with them on the train increases by 10 to 20%, ‘Fietsersbond’ estimates.
“The irritations are increasing. Not only for cyclists, but also for conductors because they have to avoid dangerous situations on the trains. We are receiving an increasing number of complaints about this bottleneck,” says Rover director, Freek Bos, who would like to see multifunctional areas on the train, depending on the needs.
Saskia Kluit, director of ‘Fietsersbond’, confirms the problems. She estimates that there is a need for thousands of bicycle storage places on the train. “Especially on beautiful cycling days, it is difficult, and often families or groups of cyclists have to stay behind on the platforms. We would like to see separate, single-level bicycle wagons on railway lines to popular recreational areas,” she adds.
New trains might bring a solution
NS recognizes that structural solutions are needed for bicycle transport by rail. “In consultation with Rover and ‘Fietsersbond’, we will investigate the possibilities. We will also ask our passengers for ideas,” says an NS spokesman. NS topman, Van Boxtel, states that they will take more account of bicycles, wheelchairs, and flexible seating in the new generation of intercity trains that will be launched by 2021.