Greater Anglia trains from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge North and stations in between

edited on Wed 10 Apr at 15:43 in Rides and tours
Cycle reservation is now required on trains leaving Liverpool Street to Cambridge North and stations in between. [edti: see discussion below] In practice this makes organising Saturday and Sunday rides very difficult from stations such as Harlow Town, Stansted Mountfitchet, and Audley End. While you can reserve a cycle going out, getting back is more difficult as you have to reserve a place for the exact train you are going to use and you have to do it before the return train leaves its origin station, as @Richard has pointed out here. We have rides planned from Harlow Town, Audley End and had in mind rides from Stansted Mountfitchet. And no bikes allowed on Stansted Airport trains. 

Anyone got a work around to this?


  • To confirm what was said in the earlier discussion: Cycle reservations are only needed by Greater Anglia on the London - Norwich line.
  • nickb said:
    To confirm what was said in the earlier discussion: Cycle reservations are only needed by Greater Anglia on the London - Norwich line.
    OK, maybe I'm confused. Do me a favour: check Lisa's ride Sunday 21 April Harlow Town; and John's ride 12 May Audley End.
  • According to the Rail Planner app, reservations are required. But I don't think they are. Neither is a Norwich train, nor an InterCity. And I presume Lisa's train is not the Stansted Express.
    Don't bother calling GA, the offshore call centre staff are not to be trusted. @Richard will confirm, then you've got someone accessible to blame if it goes wrong.

  • Hi @LinusR

    I presume that this is based on this, from the NRE website and/or app: 

    Aside from not matching the GA cycle policy that it links to, it's not even consistent with itself -- it says that reservation is required, and then three lines later says that they are not available!

    Both this pop-up and the GA policy page say that reservations are only available (and required) on Intercity services. The only IC services on GA are London-Norwich.

  • The GA cycle policy doesn't even mention the London - Cambridge route.
  • LinusR said:
    The GA cycle policy doesn't even mention the London - Cambridge route.
  • OK. So our scheduled rides from stations on the London Liverpool Street - Cambridge lines are good. I'm still confused but I'll take your word for it.
  • Well this morning's effort to catch a train from London Liverpool Street to Audley End for a day's cycling turned out to be a complete waste of time.  This morning I double checked the train times with National Rail and it flagged up a "cancelled" for that train. Subsequent trains were confirmed to run. So I alert club mates and suggested the next train 30 mins later. When we got to the station that train was also cancelled. So another 30 minutes and... yes, you guessed it, that train was cancelled, too. The reason given was overunning engineering works north or Stansted. Three trains cancelled at very short notice. So we aborted the rendezvous with our leader in Audley End and got a train to Hertford East instead after ticket refunds and new tickets issued. The train to HE did at least run on time. 

    However, during all this messing around one of the station staff at Liverpool Street told one of our group that later this year - maybe quite soon - that no cycles will be allowed on any of the London Cambridge Trains! Cycles are already not allowed on any Stansted airport trains even though they are stopping trains (ie, not express to Stansted). Anyone else heard about this?
  • Stansted Airport trains only stop at Tottenham Hale, then Harlow or Bishops Stortford, some also stop at Stansted Mountfichet. But there are usually alternatives for these stations.
    If there is a GA Cambridge ban there will be a lot of complaints as this is very popular with students and commuters in both directions. But it may be a rolling stock issue.
    There used to be someone, who's name I've forgotten, at CTC HQ who was a specialist on trains for cyclists. If he hasn't been culled under CUK, it would be worth contacting him. @Richard might remember him, and may have further insight.
  • I don't have any insight, I'm afraid. It sounds rather surprising, though not impossible, given the illogical restrictions on all Stansted Express trains.

    I think the chap @nickb is referring to is Dave Holladay. I haven't seen anything from him recently, so no idea if he's still active with CUK.  
  • edited on Tue 14 May at 14:07
    I'll have to investigate further. I'll leave the scheduled * rides from Liverpool Street station as they are and see what happens. 
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