A BLANKET ban of bicycles on trains during the Olympic Games has been scrapped after a massive outcry.
South West Trains was set to ban all non-folding bicycles on all its routes from July 27 to August 12, as well as August 29 to September 9 for the Paralympics.
Officials said bicycles could not be accommodated because of the volume of passengers expected.
But the move was criticised by cycling organisations, including Sustrans, which said it went against the spirit of the Olympics to promote an active lifestyle.
Cyclists in the Portsmouth area were angry as many would have been affected, especially those who go on short journeys to get to and from work.
However, South West Trains yesterday scrapped the plan following feedback from customers and staff.
The news was welcomed by cyclists in Portsmouth.
John Holland, chairman of Portsmouth Cycling Forum, said: ‘I congratulate South West Trains on their common-sense decision.
‘There has been a national outcry against it.
‘I think they have been pressurised from lots of different angles.’
A statement from South West Trains said: ‘Clearly, during the Olympics and Paralympics games our train services are going to be even busier. We will be carrying significant numbers of extra passengers on top of our normal levels of daily customers.
‘We have considered carefully the position regarding cycles over the period of London 2012, including listening to feedback from our customers and our staff.
‘Following that review, we have decided that our policy for non-folding and folding bicycles will remain unchanged throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Games.’
Restrictions will continue to apply at peak times between London and Guildford.
Meanwhile, Southern trains is banning non-folding bicycles on all routes heading to and from London and Brighton between July 27 and September 9.
A statement said: ‘During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Southern will not be able to accommodate ordinary cycles on some trains.
‘This applies to all trains travelling towards London, Kensington (Olympia) or Brighton, and trains leaving London, Kensington (Olympia) or Brighton between 27 July and 9 September. On other services, our usual peak-time cycle policy remains in place.’