Can You Take Folding Bikes on Buses?


If you’re a cyclist looking to combine your love for bikes with public transportation, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to take your folding bike on buses in the UK. Let’s explore the guidelines and rules for transporting folding bikes on buses.

Folded Cycles – The Versatile Option

The good news for folding bike enthusiasts is that you can take your folded cycle on any mode of public transport in the UK at any time. Whether it’s buses, trams, trains, or other forms of public transport, your folded bike is welcome.

However, there’s a small caveat when it comes to buses – it’s up to the driver’s discretion to allow your folded bike on board if the bus is too crowded. So, while it’s usually not a problem, be prepared for the possibility of being asked to wait for the next bus if space is limited.

One important note: electric scooters, whether folded or not, are generally not permitted on public transport.

Non-Folded Cycles – Time and Place Matters

When it comes to non-folded cycles, the rules vary depending on the mode of transport and the time of day. Here’s a breakdown of where and when you can take non-folded bikes:

Tube – London Underground

You can bring your non-folded cycle on the Tube, but there are time restrictions in place:

  • Allowed on weekdays before 07:30, between 09:30 and 16:00, and after 19:00.
  • Allowed at any time on weekends and bank holidays.

London Overground

Similar to the Tube, non-folded cycles are subject to time restrictions:

  • Allowed on weekdays before 07:30, between 09:30 and 16:00, and after 19:00.
  • Allowed at any time on weekends and bank holidays.

Elizabeth Line

If you’re traveling on the Elizabeth Line, the rules for non-folded bikes are as follows:

  • Allowed on weekdays if you’re arriving at Liverpool Street (from the direction of Shenfield) before 07:30 and after 09:30, or leaving Liverpool Street (towards Shenfield) before 16:00 and after 19:00.
  • Between Paddington and Abbey Wood, you can bring your bike before 07:30, between 09:30 and 16:00, and after 19:00. On weekends and bank holidays, there are no time restrictions.

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

On the DLR, you can take your non-folded bike:

  • On weekdays before 07:30, between 09:30 and 16:00, and after 19:00.
  • At any time on weekends and bank holidays.

National Rail

For National Rail services, you can find specific information about taking non-folded cycles using the PlusBike resource, which provides details on where you can transport your bike.

Exceptions and Additional Information

  • Buses and trams typically do not permit non-folded cycles. It’s essential to rely on other modes of transport for transporting non-folded bikes.
  • River services often allow non-folded cycles, but it’s advisable to check with the specific service provider before your journey to confirm their policy.
  • The IFS Cloud Cable Car welcomes non-folded cycles at any time, offering a unique way to explore London.
  • If you’re considering taking a non-folded bike on a coach, it’s crucial to check with the coach company beforehand to determine their policies and whether bike transport is available.

In conclusion, while folded cycles enjoy great flexibility and can accompany you on various modes of public transport in the UK, non-folded cycles come with specific time and place restrictions. Always be sure to check the rules and guidelines of the transport service you plan to use, and enjoy your journey with your trusty bicycle!

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