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Photo #190056

[Image taken 25.1.23] LNER 20.11 Doncaster to York service. Following pressure from passengers who could no longer travel or who struggled to travel due to the Azumas having hooks for cycles and their use being mandatory, LNER retrofitted runners. These didn't help this passenger - there was simply no space in the designated area.
I don't believe I would be able to use these not least due to the restricted space and the need to - as here - manoeuvre your cycle from the 'wrong', the chain, side. I couldn't use the runners in the guard’s vans pre-Azuma - when space and side of approach were not an issue. LNER did not respond to requests from me and others who cannot lift their cycles to try them – pre-installation, when they could have been adapted (or simply not installed and money saved), or now they are on every Azuma (according to LNER). In short, many of us remain unable to travel on any LNER service with our cycles.
Hitachi built these services. And the others in use on long-distance routes around the country… TransPannine, GWR… In October 2021, Jim Brewin, whose Linked in page says he is Chief Director UK & Ireland at Hitachi Rail, and “...who has a passion for engaging stakeholders for effective solution based sales and project delivery” at Hitachi agreed to a meeting in York. It was with three women from this city. None of us can lift our cycles (or those of younger family members) onto hooks. Further our cycles are set up for utility use so won’t fit in the limited space. A tandem user from London who used to travel with her son also wanted to contribute to the meeting. Covid intervened so the first possible date was 18 January 2023. The date was put in all our diaries in October 2022. The person from London felt she could not attend the meeting in person but put together a 4-page document with images detailing the effect of the hooks and limited space on her and her family. On Tuesday, 10 January 2023 at 11:27 - seven days before the meeting - it was cancelled. The email said: “It is with regret that Jim will not be able to meet with you on Wednesday 18th, this is due to dynamic diary movements.”
Despite several emails since I have not managed to find out what that phrase means. (It’s not in my vocabulary.) I have also asked for new dates – bearing in mind all attendees have to fit a meeting into our diaries too. As of 28.1.23 I have not received the courtesy of a reply.
The email further said: “I can understand your frustration with this situation and to endeavour you receive a response as quickly as possible I would suggest contacting the train operator, the reason being is because here at Hitachi Rail we build our trains based on the specific designs created by the operators therefore, they would be your first point of contact.”
However, Hitachi designs the trains. Therefore they can flag up problems – or should be able to. Some of the points I wanted to raise at the meeting included:
- my concern no-one at Hitachi raised the queries: 
– Can everyone who needs to, use the hooks?
– Can everyone who will want to travel with a cycle, be able to do so?
- If no-one asked, why didn't anyone at Hitachi raise these points? Is there no-one trained in accessibility? Equality?
- did someone raise the issues but was ignored? Or was overridden?
In December 2022, Hitachi won the contract for HS2
It needs to change the cycle carriage design to accommodate everyone who wants to travel with a cycle. Otherwise another generation will not be able to travel with their cycles.
I have asked the Hitachi contact to forward my requests for new dates to Andrew Barr. His Linked in page says he is Group Chief Executive Officer at Hitachi Rail. He was the person I started with in late September 2021.
[UPDATE 21.2.23: We have a new date for the meeting with Jim Brewin at the - end of March 2023. I continue to ask for confirmation he read the document put together by the woman who can no longer take her tandem onboard due to the hooks.]
[UPDATE March 2023 Giuseppe Marino is replacing Andrew Barr ]
[Other problem when travelling with a cycle: luggage in the locker: #192264]

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