I needed to cycle from Leyton to Stratford and then jump on the train to Liverpool Street because it’s quicker (just one stop taking about 10 minutes) and much safer than cycling all the way on the lethal Bow, Aldgate and Whitechapel roads. I needed to get to London Bridge, so, an easy journey you would have thought.
But there were no trains from Stratford to Liverpool Street station and National Express deliberately did not arrange any alternatives for cyclists by allowing them to use another method of transport. Cyclists are being regularly discriminated against by so-called environfriendly train companies.
I was not allowed to take my bicycle on the tube, because it was not a fold up nor was I allowed to use my bicycle on the DLR. One underground ‘customer care’ man said I could leave my bike at Stratford.
I ended up cycling to London Bridge, risking my life on the roads, but, because it’s the weekend, All motorists could use the cycle lanes, which puts a cyclist under MORE danger.
So my journey instead of half an hour took one and half dangerous hours! I was very lucky as I knew how to get there but what about people who had a bike and didn’t bring an A-Z? or if they were in a mad rush?
The worse bit, is that my ticket paid for the journey from Stratford to Liverpool Street but being a cyclist, I can pay for it but I cannot use it.
As Stratford is supposed to be expecting hundreds of people in 2012, how will they cope with the cyclists who want to go there? A right mess, if there are engineering works and there are no alternatives.
This is National Express’ Refund Policy (so they will take say a fiver from me!) (the journey is only £4):-
“Non-completion of journey
If you decide not to make all or part of your intended journey for any other reason, return your whole ticket within 28 days of the ticket’s expiry date to the ticket office and depending on the type of ticket you have, you will receive a refund less our administrative fee. The amount of the refund will reflect any use you have made of the ticket. In some cases, a refund may not be due. For example, tickets advertised as ‘no change, no refund’ fall into this category, as well as some advance tickets”
and a ‘Cyclists Discriminatory’ Clause:-
“Engineering work may affect train services. Cycles are not carried on replacement buses during engineering work”
Therefore, a long journey for the cyclist if there are engineering work but no problem if you aren’t a cyclist. The cyclist could be stranded at night, particularly, if there are ’emergency engineering works’.
As a London 2012 volunteer it stinks.
I wonder what happens in Amsterdam if there are engineering works?