Travelling with a bike

Whether you’re commuting to work or heading on a cycling holiday, we love to welcome cyclists and their bicycles, but spaces for bikes can become limited at busier times. Safety is important to us, so we do have some restrictions on where and when bikes can be transported on our trains.

Even when there isn’t a restriction we can’t guarantee that your bike will be accepted on the train, as space is allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Our staff have the right to refuse a bicycle if there is no space for it to be transported safely. Please be considerate of other passengers at all times.

To avoid delaying trains, make sure you arrive in plenty of time for your train. Station staff can advise you on which of the train doors to use.

You can take a small folding bicycle on any of our trains, as long as there is space for it to be stowed away safely, where it won’t cause an obstruction.

Bicycle restrictions

Restrictions apply during peak weekday travel times at stations shown on the bicycle restrictions map. Bicycles cannot join or leave trains bound for London Waterloo, Reading, Hook, Alton, Guildford and Dorking, due to arrive at London Waterloo between 07:15 and 10:00 inclusive or departing from London Waterloo between 16:45 and 19:00.

Stations between Clapham Junction, Feltham/Strawberry Hill and the Hounslow loop cannot allow bicycles to join or leave trains which are due to leave Clapham Junction between 07:45 and 09:00.

If you are travelling on our London Waterloo to Salisbury/Exeter/Bristol trains you will need to reserve a space for your bike:

Please book at least 24 hours before you travel.

You can take your bike with you at any time to and from most stations on the Guildford-Ascot line. Please see the bicycle restrictions map for more information.

Non-folding bicycles are not allowed on rail replacement bus services at any time – so make sure to check for engineering work before you travel. Small folding bicycles are accepted if fully folded.

PlusBike – plan your journey

For help planning your journey with a bicycle, take a look at National Rail’s PlusBike information. It’s free, easy to access and tells you about cycle facilities at stations, the number of cycle parking spaces at stations and onboard, and other things that will be helpful to know for your specific trip.

Download the PlusBike Leaflet 

Hiring a bike at the station

If you want to continue your journey from the station by cycling, you don’t always need to take your own bike – we have bicycle rental schemes at certain stations:

  • You can hire a bike at Richmond station 7 days a week – both ordinary hybrid bikes and folding Brompton Bikes are available
  • You can hire a Brompton Bike from Guildford, Woking and Southampton stations, courtesy of our partners Brompton Bike Hire
  • Keep an eye open – we’ll be adding more stations very soon

If you’re visiting London, use your credit or debit card to hire one of Transport for London’s docked public cycles. Find out more about Santander Cycles.

Bicycle security

For your security we’ve heavily invested in CCTV and improved lighting at a number of our stations. In addition we recommend:

  • Try to leave your bike in a well lit public space and keep it securely locked at all times
  • Security mark your bike – making sure this is clearly visible on your bike will help deter thieves from stealing it
  • Register your bike (the model, make and frame number) – this will help the police if it is taken and they need to track it down
  • Have a clear photo of your bike and an accurate written description of it

Top tips for taking a bike on the train

  • The bike storage area is clearly marked on the outside of the train, but if you can’t find it ask a member of our staff for assistance

  • If you own a folding bike then you don’t need to book a space, simply fold your bike down and store it in the standard luggage areas.

  • We provide bike racks at all of our stations, and most are protected with CCTV

  • At exceptionally busy times, bikes may not be permitted on-board, as outlined in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage

  • Bikes are left at your own risk, and valuables, including lights and pumps, should be taken with you

  • Bicycles that are left in other areas pose a risk to station users and staff and may be removed without warning

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