Railways and Cyclists (even more, 1897)

RAILWAYS AND CYCLISTS 

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir,

In reference to the discussion in the Times in connexion with the carriage of bicycles, I think the general opinion is that the time has arrived for the proper conveyance of machines. Three parts of the confusion at railway stations is caused simply through the lack of accommodation. Naturally everyone wishes to get as safe a position in the luggage van for his or her machine as possible (especially as companies do not hold themselves responsible for breakage, &c.), and the fact is always uppermost in the cyclist’s mind that the company will not allow machines in till all luggage is housed and consequently one’s machine may be left behind should the van be filled with other luggage. Cyclists pay well for the conveyance of their machines and proper accommodation should be provided, and then the rush would be obviated and the ordinary passengers would suffer no inconvenience. Separate vans are provided for horses, &c., and they consequently cause no confusion to passengers; and why should not the same thing be done for cyclists? The craze, If you like to call it so, is quite sufficient to warrant a separate van, or at all events a portion of the luggage van being set apart for at least a certain number of months in the year and in the long run that is what will have to be done and the company first in the field will lose nothing by the venture.

                                                                        ONE WHO HAS SUFFERED

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir,

The interesting correspondence on this subject will, I trust, induce the railway companies to consider what steps can be taken to insure the safety of the bicycles entrusted to them. More important than the carriage of bicycles, however, is the providing of adequate accommodation for their temporary at country stations. Thanks to the bicycle, it is now possible for London businessmen who cannot afford to keep a horse, to live at a considerable distance from a station, provided that their bicycles can be taken charge of at the station during office hours. My own experience in this direction is limited to a month last summer, when, traveling to Waterloo every day from a Surrey station, I paid 4d per’ day for the privilege of having my bicycle  stacked with a number of others in the porters’ room. The amount I had to pay for repairs rendered necessary by the treatment it was there subjected to exceeded £5.

                        I am Sir, your obedient servant,

            September 22.                                                                                     B H B

 The Times, Thursday, Sept 23, 1897; pg. 2

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