Cyclist had to walk 14 miles after bus snub

Graham Vickers was told he couldn't get on the bus with his punctured bicycle.
Graham Vickers was told he couldn't get on the bus with his punctured bicycle.
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A cyclist trekked 14 miles home in sweltering conditions after his bike suffered a puncture and he was refused access to a bus.

Graham Vickers, 56, a member of Wesham Road Runners athletics club, was visiting the Fylde Coast to support his team-mates at the Lytham St Annes Festival 5K.

An ankle injury meant Graham was unable to take part in the race, but he put himself forward as a marshal, deciding to cycle over on the day from his home in Avenham Lane, Preston.

However, his good deed was undone after suffering a puncture close to the windmill on Lytham Green.

He changed his tyre at the roadside only to realise his spare inner tube had been stolen, and within 400 yards, realised an emergency patch-up had failed.

Graham started pushing his bike back to the nearest bus stop part-way between Lytham and Freckleton.

But when a Stagecoach bus arrived at the stop, his day went from bad to worse.

He said: “There couldn’t have been more than three people on the bus, so it wasn’t about space.

“I was disgusted, not least because of the driver’s tone.

“I told him I could easily take the front and back wheels off so the bike was the equivalent of hand luggage – and could have done that quicker than you could dismantle a pram.

“But he just barked back at me that a bike wasn’t allowed. He wasn’t prepared to listen to me.

“I was livid, and decided I needed to walk the 14 miles home to calm down.”

But the keen amateur sportsman maintains his faith was restored en route by all the fellow cyclists who stopped to make sure he was okay.

The regular Stagecoach customer, who takes a bus each week to his running club’s meetings in Kirkham, added: “All the cyclists who passed me were great, and a couple of lads actually walked along with me for a while.

“That restored my faith to some extent.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “We were sorry to hear of the difficulty this gentleman had with his bike.

“However, our position on this has always been quite clear – we are not able to carry bicycles on our local bus services unless they are folding bikes.

“Unlike prams, standard bikes cannot be stored securely on board our vehicles, due to the fact they cannot be folded up or stored in a stable manner.

“We were concerned to hear about this customer’s problems, however we have to take a consistent approach.”

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