Are Bikes Allowed on Buses, Trains and Trams in the UK?

This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.

Sometimes, your destination is too far to cycle, and the best way to make the journey is with a combination of a bike and public transport. Folding bikes are allowed on most services but the rules around non-folding bikes are less consistent. Bringing a bike on trains or buses will all depend on the company, the bike, and the time.

If you want to travel with your bike and you’re not sure what the rules are, we’ve put together a summary of the policies for different public transport services across the UK.

Can I Take a Bike on a Bus?

Most bus services in the UK will allow folding bikes, and a few will let you bring non-folding bikes on board. Whichever the service allows, the decision is ultimately the driver’s. If the bus is too busy the driver can say no.

 Are Bikes Allowed on Trains?

Trains across the UK are run by many different service providers and each company has its own policy on allowing bikes. To help you, we’ve summarised the policies for some of the UK’s largest rail providers.

ServiceBicycle Rules
London North Eastern RailwayFolding bikes to be kept alongside luggage in the passenger compartment. Reservations can be made for non-folding bikes on the LNER website or phone line. Only bikes with reservations are allowed on board.
Great Western RailwayFolding bikes are permitted but a reservation is recommended for non-folding bikes due to limited space.
Cross CountryTwo reservable bike spaces are available and folding bikes can also be placed in the luggage rack. Bikes without reservations may be allowed depending on available space.
ScotrailReservations for bike spaces are available, while unreserved spaces are available on a first come, first served basis.
Great Northern RailFolding bikes can be brought on board however their is no space for regular bikes.

Do I Need A Ticket For Taking My Bike On The Train?

There is no charge in the UK for taking a bike on the train. Companies that offer reservations for spaces do not charge for the service.

Are Bicycles Allowed On The Tube?

The London Underground allows folding bikes at all times, while non-folding bikes can be transported at off-peak times. However, the London Underground can get very busy, and it can be hard to reliably find space.

Several UK cities also have underground metro systems and each has their own rules.

  • Glasgow Subway: Allows folding bikes at all times, but does not allow non-folding bikes.
  • Liverpool Merseyrail: Provides designated areas for cyclists are both ends of its train with no reservation required.
  • Tyne and Wear Metro: Allows folding bikes at all times, while non-folding bikes are permitted at off-peak hours.

Can I Take My Bike on the Tram?

Since the 90s, many cities in the UK have opened a tram system. Manchester’s tram network, the most extensive light rail system in the UK, will only allow folding bikes on its vehicles. Most other tram systems in the UK have similar rules.

Discerning Cyclist Store

Visit the Discerning Cyclist's Shop

Ride in style

Join our weeky newsletter to get early access to our latest discoveries.

Related reads