We’d thought about cycling out to Wicken Fen but opted instead for a restful day looking round Cambridge. We also had to call in at the station, which is a long way from the city centre, as Rowan had forgotten his Young Persons Railcard, rendering his ticket invalid. The travel centre told us it wasn’t possible to upgrade his Advance single to an adult ticket, he’d have to buy a fresh ticket at £134, which was more than the total fare for the three of us. He advised us to buy a new railcard as the cheapest option, luckily there was a photo booth on the platform. Sarah again joined us for dinner, this time at the Rainbow Cafe where we enjoyed a lovely meal and a chat.
We said goodbye to Tom and Chris, hoping it wouldn’t be such a long gap before we see them again, and next day caught the train to Kings Cross. We had a long wait for the Virgin Voyager which would take us back to Bangor. As we were loading our bikes into the designated area, two other passengers boarded with several very large suitcases and told us they’d been instructed by a member of the platform staff to store them in the same area. After we’d explained that this was the bike space, they alighted to check and returned with the same answer.
There was already an empty trolley in this area so together with our bikes and the suitcases the entire area was crammed, blocking staff access to the rear cab. When a fourth cyclist boarded at Crewe, he had to stand in the vestibule with his bike. All of us had cycle reservations for this service. The bike space isn’t marked as such, apart from the symbol on the outside of the train, so non-cyclist passengers are liable to put luggage there in good faith. Why can’t it be marked “cycles only”? And why do Virgin staff instruct passengers to put luggage there, denying space to cyclists who have followed the rules and booked the space? This is not the first time I’ve encountered this situation. I lodged a complaint with Virgin, still waiting for a reply.