No bike on train for cycling mayor

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown is a committed cyclist.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown is a committed cyclist.

Wellington's Mayor and avid cyclist Celia Wade-Brown has revealed she was stopped from taking her bike on the capital's trains, following similar complaints from other cyclists.

She was all too happy to speak about the stringent rules for taking bikes on board Tranz Metro trains.

Her comments come after a commuter train was halted for 15 minutes as two police officers threatened to arrest a passenger because she'd taken her bike with her.

Huck Haeata had tried to board a Matangi train from Lower Hutt to Wellington just before 9am on Tuesday when she was told by staff that she could not take her road bike on the peak-hour service.

She refused to get off, saying she would not cycle on the main highway because it was dangerous.

Although the train departed with Ms Haeata - and her bike - still on board, it stopped for about 15 minutes at Petone station and police were called to escort her off because staff said she was blocking the doorway with her bike.

Ms Wade-Brown has since told The Dominion Post that she has also had problems with her bike on the trains.

On one of Wellington's wet and windy days, the mayor and a visiting MP were heading up the coast to visit some cyclists doing a fundraising charity ride.

The pair rode their bikes down to Wellington railway station thinking they would be able to catch a train and save themselves from making the entire journey exposed to the bad weather.

Despite it being only 2pm, the pair were turned away from boarding the train as there was already one bike on board and adding two more would breach the guidelines for bike limits.

''You've got an MP from the South Island, you've got the mayor of Wellington, and a fairly empty train, but it was a no go,'' Ms Wade-Brown said. ''They certainly apply their rules rigorously.''

The Dominon Post understands the pair did eventually make it out to the meet-and-greet under their own steam.

The rules

  • Compact, fully folding bikes are allowed at all times on all trains if they are folded down before boarding.
  • Bikes are allowed on a first come, first served basis on non- peak services, but not on buses replacing trains, or trains set aside for events.
  • On Matangi trains, a maximum of three bikes will be carried in each two-car set, and must be secured in the designated area without blocking doors or aisles.
  • GanzMavag trains can take two bikes in every two-car set and must be stored in the train's dog box by staff.
  • All bikes are excluded from select Matangi peak services into Wellington in the morning, and leaving in the evening.

Related: Bike commuter kicked off train

Cyclist repeatedly kicked off train

The Dominion Post