AN elderly couple from Herefordshire were kicked off a train for travelling with an e-bike.

Colin and Margaret Palmer, from Coddington near Ledbury, caught a London-bound train from Malvern but only got as far as Honeybourne before being ejected.

They say a train manager had taken exception to Mr Palmer's e-bike, believing it to be a fire hazard and banned from rail services.

“But he was wrong,” said Mr Colin. “There has been publicity recently about the fire hazards resulting from the batteries fitted to poorly regulated e-scooters.

“As a result, from June 23, the carriage of e-scooters was prohibited on all rail services.

“But the highly regulated e-bike industry has no such problems, as recognised by the GWR in their regulations.”

Mr and Mrs Palmer, both in their 80s, were on their way to visit Mrs Palmer's sister in St Leonards, East Sussex.

“This was meant to be a relaxed weekend in a seaside town, but suddenly finding ourselves stuck on Honeybourne station with apparently no means of onward travel did pose something of a dilemma,” said Mr Palmer.

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While sat at the station, Mr Palmer found the relevant statement on the GWR website and was able to show it to the manager of the next London-bound train.

“He was much more helpful and had no objections to the bike,” said Mr Palmer.

“So, two and a half hours late, we arrived at our destination, and I was able to enjoy a long cycle ride around Romney Marsh the following day.

Hereford Times: GWR supplied this picture of Colin's e-bikeGWR supplied this picture of Colin's e-bike (Image: GWR)


“Fortunately the return journey proved to be somewhat less challenging. But I would advise anyone travel with an e-bike to have the GWR regulations ready on their phone in case they are challenged, even if you’ve made a reservation for it.”

A spokesperson for GWR said: “Unfortunately, this is not a standard e-bike and has been modified to be electronic. To minimise the risk to other passengers on board, the customer was asked to not travel with the bike.

“While we welcome customers with e-bikes on board our trains, we reserve the right to refuse access to modified bikes that could pose a risk to other customers' safety.”

Asked why Mr Palmer was allowed on a later train with his bike and on the return train a couple of days later, the GWR spokesperson added: “The right to refuse access is at our discretion.”

Their outward journey took place on Friday, August 17.