Anger as station staff sever padlock and hide commuter’s bicycle

Cycle hub
Cycle hub

A frustrated cyclist who returned to Horsham railway station after a day’s work to find staff had severed his padlock and moved his bike into storage says Southern Rail has ‘taken the biscuit’.

Paul Dinham claims that ‘managers took a pretty heavy handed decision to cut at least three bike locks off cycles that had been chained to the railings’.

He said they were put into storage without informing other station staff.

“When I and another commuter arrived back at the station at 8pm to find our bikes missing no one knew what had happened and it took station employees 20 to 30 minutes to locate the keys to the cupboards and return our cycles,” he explained.

The angered commuter said that he acknowledged there were signs around the station asking customers not to chain bikes to railings.

But he argued: “The station clearly has insufficient bike parking facilities for the demand of its customers, as each morning if you arrive after 7.30 am the bike racks at the front of the station are always full and two or three cycles are chained to the railings.”

Paul said cyclists should be encouraged as it reduces traffic congestion.

He added: “As a commuter who spends nearly £4,000 a year with Southern trains to travel from Horsham into London, I am forced to tolerate their poor train punctuality.

“But to arrive home and find your property has been damaged by the very people you pay to use their service takes the biscuit.”

A Southern spokesman said: “There is no reason for people to chain their bike to railings at Horsham station.

“There is ample room for cycles at the rear of the station if the front is full.

“Access to the rear is by means of the subway and it takes just a couple of minutes to go from the front to the rear.

“We give plenty of warning to cyclists by means of posters and signage that cycles chained to railings will be removed.

“There is nowhere at the front of the station for additional cycle racks for safety reasons as this would compromise the station evacuation point.”