THE Scottish Government and other agencies work to get us on our bikes, both for environmental and health reasons. Money is spent on new cycle tracks, dedicated lanes, bike racks and projects galore, VisitScotland promotes cycling holidays around tourist areas, including the islands, Highland Council promotes the new 500 North route for tourists – ideal for a week’s holiday on a bike – and yet our train operator makes it well-nigh impossible to get your bike to the start-off point (“Rail chiefs under fire over decision to cut bike spaces”, The Herald, March 29), while those working in and around our major cities will no longer be able to leave their car at the home station, travel in by train and use a bike to get to their workplace.

Yet in most of Europe and elsewhere in the world, there are no problems in turning up at a train station and getting on with a bike. In Hawaii, where buses come along every 20 minutes and tickets are cheap, there is a bike rack on the front, on to which the driver helps to secure the bikes. But here we are in modern Scotland, with tourism a major contributor to the economy and cycling being promoted, but allowing a ridiculous situation like this.

How are visitors, bringing their bikes by air into Edinburgh, Glasgow or one of the English airports for a week’s holiday, going to get to Oban or Inverness without the train – spend two days cycling there and two back out of their week? Or the family proposing to take bikes and camp on the islands as a base for their holiday? Oh yes, let’s promote cycling and boost tourism at the same time, but with one idiotic decision make both impossible.

Add to that the risk that, if we were to damage Abellio’s profit margin by insisting that it invest more money to change this daft decision, the looming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) conditions might well risk our Government being sued. Someone say something about lunatics and asylums?

P Davidson,

Gartcows Road,


I NOTE your article on bicycle spaces on Abellio ScotRail trains.

It would seem that the Transport Scotland spokesman is arithmetically challenged. He states that a class 156 unit can carry six cycles but are to be replaced by refurbished class 158 units with only two cycle spaces but that a "doubling of some services will mitigate the situation".

I always thought that two doubled equalled four, not six and that four is less than six.

On top of this, personal experience leads me to believe that passenger space is uncomfortably tighter on 158s than on 156s.

Putting fold-up seats with cycle spaces can only lead to aggravation between passengers, cyclists and on-train staff, which the staff do not deserve. Anyway, fold-up seats are meant for urban use and are totally inappropriate for services to places such as Kyle of Lochalsh, Mallaig or Oban.

Transport Scotland and Abellio ScotRail should look and learn from Swiss services.

Coming from The Netherlands I would have thought that Abelio ScotRail would have a much better attitude towards cyclists.

G Braidwood Rodger,

6 Woodhouse Court,