Greens ask Abellio to rethink two-bike rule

Scottish Greens have criticised the Scottish Government after it confirmed that the new Scotrail operator, Abellio, will have a policy of only allowing two bicycles per train on the new Borders railway.

In response to concerns raised by local businesses, Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, asked the Scottish Government for an explanation.

Transport minister Derek Mackay has confirmed the two-bike policy, adding that Abellio’s strategy in the Netherlands has been to invest in storage at stations and encourage passengers to maintain or hire a second bike at destination stations.

Alison Johnstone MSP, who co-convenes Holyrood’s cross-party group on cycling, said: “Leisure cycling and mountain biking are rapidly- growing activities worth tens of millions to the Borders economy, and yet this major public transport project will completely fail to match this with increased capacity.”

Pauline Stewart, Scottish Green Party candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, said: “Considering that we expect the train line to have a very positive effect on increasing tourism to the region which boasts some of the best downhill and cross-country mountain biking courses in Europe, the proposed restriction on these trains is incredibly short-sighted.

“The majority of those who come to the area to utilise these world-class routes, or indeed to compete here, will be very disappointed to hear that they are expected to hire bikes at their destination.”