Cyclists will be able to board trams with their bikes from now on after a two-month trial was hailed as a success.
Since the start of May, bikes have been allowed on outside of peak-time hours in a closely-monitored trial that has seen passengers quizzed on their reaction to the initiative.
Although the numbers are currently quite small we expect more people may use bikes in futureMichael Powell
Now Edinburgh trams will become the first light rail network in the UK to welcome bikes on board permanently.
Up to two cyclists will be able to take their bikes onto trams, but they will be barred throughout August to allow for festival crowds.
City transport leader Lesley Hinds, who also chairs umbrella body Transport for Edinburgh, said: “Edinburgh Trams is the first UK operator to allow bikes and I am delighted we are leading the way to ensure that Edinburgh’s system is truly integrated with all types of transport methods.
“The tram route connects to several cycle paths leading around the city and this will hopefully encourage more people into public transport.”
Tram chiefs revealed that an average of 12 cyclists rode the city’s tram line per day during the trial. Bikes will be permitted onto the trams outwith the hours of 7.30am to 9.30am, and 4pm to 6.30pm.
Bikes will also not be allowed on between August 7-31, and cyclist access may also be suspended during other major events. Buggies and passengers with disabilities will continue to be given priority, with tram staff able to ask bikes to disembark any service if they deem it to be too busy.
Edinburgh Trams’ safety, quality and environment manager Michael Powell said: “After considering passenger feedback and the number of cyclists using the trams every day we agreed that there was little to no impact on daily operations and so we are happy to welcome bikes on board.
“Although the numbers are currently quite small we expect that more people may use their bikes in future, so we are keeping the hours and conditions that applied during the trial, to make sure we continue to look after the safety and comfort of all passengers.”
The decision was welcomed by Spokes cycle campaign spokesman, Ian Maxwell.
“We’ve been pleased to work with Edinburgh Trams on this trial and welcome the decision to extend access,” he said. “We urge cyclists to respect other tram users, but also hope that in future tram staff will have discretion to allow bicycles on quiet off-peak trams.”
Cyclist Kim Harding, one of the organisers of Pedal on Parliament, also hailed the announcement, saying: “In Europe, it’s seen as a useful way of getting around with a bike.
“Some people don’t like riding on busy roads, so if you’re coming from the Roseburn path or elsewhere, and want to avoid the city centre, you can do that.”