First Capital Connect refuse to back down on folding bike blunder

Picture The bike on the right is the one First Capital Connect mistakenly advised Mr Rowe to buy for his commute

Rail company First Capital Connect has refused to fully compensate a cyclist after it wrongly told him his folding mountain bike was allowed on its trains.

Chris Rowe bought the Dahon Jack after being told by FCC’s customer services that it complied with size restrictions.

He contacted LCC after then being told by station staff his £300 bike was too big to take on the train during rush hour.

Mr Rowe said: “I have spoken to other cyclists who had the same model of bike for 2½ years, and they have had no problems at all.”

No compensation for passenger
A First Capital Connect spokesman said: “ ‘Fully folding’ is open to interpretation as a bicycle that folds in half can still take up a lot of space. We operate some of the most overcrowded trains in the country and space is at a premium on trains and at stations.”

Mr Rowe was offered £100 compensation by FCC, which said in an email that it didn't usually compensate customers for consequential loss, but in this instance the company accepted some responsibility.

Mr Rowe says this does not cover the cost of the bike, and has since passed the matter on to the London Travel Watch organisation, which is investigating the matter.

'More bikes on trains' says LCC
For many years, LCC has campaigned for the removal of all bike bans on trains, and the introduction of more cycle-friendly policies by rail companies. This includes investment in an integrated infrastructure encouraging more bike trips to and from stations.

If you have had any experience, good or bad, of taking bikes on trains, please contact us using the form below.