Cycling and cyclists
Cycling by train
National Rail encourages the integrated use of cycles and trains - two convenient and environmentally friendly forms of transport. Some Train Companies have restrictions on when accompanied cycles may be carried, especially at busy times. Details can be found on our Train Companies page: select the Train Company you are travelling with and look at the 'Onboard facilities' section.
Where accompanied cycles are carried there is no charge.
PlusBike is a one-stop shop for all the information you may need when planning a rail journey with a bicycle.
Whether you are parking your bike at the station, taking it on board or wanting to hire one at the other end of your journey, PlusBike will be able to tell you about the level of facilities at the station and it will link you directly to any existing cycle hire scheme available near the station.
PlusBike information is available for free and can be accessed when you look up Stations services and facilities information by station or when using Journey Planner to plan your journey under ‘Train times and tickets’. Simply select ‘details’ when you select your route and you can view the information under ‘Additional info’.
Some general points
- If a cycle reservation is required please make it as far in advance as possible
- If a customer travelling with a bicycle has purchased an Advance ticket for a train on which cycles are permitted but cycle reservations are not possible and there is no room for the cycle on the booked train for the Advance ticket, the customer is allowed to travel on the next train with the Advance ticket on which there is cycle space available.
- Cycles are not carried during periods of restriction as listed below
- Please label your cycle clearly
- Please cover your folded cycle
- Tandems, tricycles and bicycle trailers are not carried unless otherwise stated
- Unaccompanied cycles cannot be carried on any services.
- Motorcycles cannot be carried on any services
- Cycles must be carried in the designated area on trains and must not obstruct doors or aisles
- Cycles are carried at owner’s risk (see National Rail Conditions of Carriage)
If you have any questions regarding the conveyance of your bicycle please contact the Train Company that you are travelling with for further details.
Engineering work and cycles
Engineering work may affect train services. Non-folding bicycles are not allowed on rail replacement bus services at any time. Folding bicycles are accepted if fully folded.
Bus link services and cycles
Some of the journeys shown in our Journey Planner are permanent bus links to destinations that are not served by rail. Cycles cannot usually be conveyed on these services. Folding bicycles are usually accepted if fully folded and stowed as luggage, subject to space being available.
Folding bicycles are carried free of charge and without restriction on all services, subject only to the additional requirements for specific services set out below:
- c2c and Stansted Express - folding bicycles should be transported in a protective carrying case
- East Midlands Trains, South West Trains & Virgin Trains East Coast - carried free of charge provided they can be stowed as luggage
- London Overground - carried free of charge, up to a limit of one per vestibule area at peak times.
Cycling storage and hire
An increasing number of railway stations have good quality cycle storage on or near to the station. In addition, many train companies work with independent cycle companies to offer cycle hire at stations. Search our station facilities area for more information on cycle facilities at stations.
Cycling around London
Cycle Hire was launched on 30 July 2010.
Pick up a bicycle at one of over 700 cycle stations in central London, ride it where you like then return it to any cycle station ready for the next person. Available 24 hours a day, all year round. It is self-service and there is no booking - just turn up and go.
You pay for the right to hire a cycle (access fee) and for the amount of time you have got it (usage charge). You can register to become a member online although casual users can register at the terminal using a credit or debit card.
For more information, visit the Transport for London website.
Cycling by train around Europe
Brompton Bicycle Limited
Lionel Road South, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 9QR
Tel: 020 8232 8484
Fax: 020 8232 8181
CTC - The national body for cyclists
A to B magazine - Transport & folding / electric bikes
Sustrans - Cycle routes & sustainable transport