My letter to the Argus Letter: No excuse: First published on Thursday 24 June 2004: Letter: No excuse I was outraged by Southern's blanket ban on cyclists using its trains last Sunday. The first I heard of it was a recorded announcement on Friday at London Road station, which stated that no bikes were to be allowed on any train to any destination in the region for most of the day. I was aware of the ban on cycles taking part in the London-to-Brighton ride but why such a widespread ban? The excuse given was that the new 'improved' trains cannot have seats removed but, as any commuter will tell you, the older, more flexible slam-door trains are far from out of service yet. And I did read recently that slam-door trains were to be kept on stand-by in case the city had to be evacuated after a terrorist attack. Why couldn't these be brought back into service for just one day in the year? -Alan (Fred) Pipes, Brighton"

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