Richard, about our bikes…

Dear Mr Branson.

I write this as a huge appreciator of magnificent beards, and of your tie-less philosophy. I’m a GP, who generally appears rugged and agile (read, “lazily unshaven and unwilling to iron his shirts”). I do own a tie, but I’m not sure where it currently is.

virgintrainsI also write it as an avid bike user, who feels a little like an unwanted guest on your trains. On the Virgin Trains website, its mentioned that VT is looking for “new and innovative ways” to improve on their green credentials. If you want to be a green company, encouraging people to travel carbon free after their train arrives is a key one.

Here’s a few simple things:

  • Are you aware that its not possible to prebook a reservation for a bike on your train online?
  • That one has to ring a phone line after buying your non-refundable ticket online to add on the bike?
  • That there’s only 4 spaces for bikes on an 10-11 carriage train? East Midlands regularly fit 6 on a 2 carriage train.
  • The space for bikes has enough vertical space that you could hang bikes above the ones currently there, easily doubling space.
  • People can hop on a train with 2 Great Danes, 3 huge bags and a triple pram without pre-booking. Wouldn’t a green approach allow this for bikes?

Recently I was at a conference where someone advised “If you haven’t got a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu”. I’ve definitely felt a bit gnawed on my recent bike travel on your trains.

If you have a task force for this stuff, are there cycling advocates at it? If not, I’d be keen to offer my services. I’m a local GP, on the board of Active Warrington, Health Improvement Latchford, and team doctor to Warrington Town FC, so I have a range of applicable experience.

Thanks for reading. If you feel like rewarding me for my passion with a free trip to the moon on Virgin Galactic, or even a free pass on the trains, that’d be awesome, but ultimately I’d like to help you guys help people to travel better.



PS. Wasn’t lying about the tie. No idea.

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