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During bad weather, UK train operating companies often decide on ticket easements. For example, during Storm Emma, Virgin Trains declared:

Today (Friday 2 March), all ticket restrictions, inclusive of Advance tickets, have been lifted for all Virgin Trains routes.

Virgin Trains does have mandatory bicycle reservations, including with regular tickets. Do such easements apply to bicycle reservations as well?

On most Virgin Trains carriages, passengers require assistance from staff to open the door to the dedicated bicycle compartment, so one cannot simply hop on board and take any potential discussion from there.

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    Actually, I have decided not to travel at all. But the question may still be of interest for posterity. – gerrit Mar 2 '18 at 14:55
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    Given the limited space in the trains, I would expect this to be on a best effort basis. If your booked train doesn't run and the next available one has unbooked cycle space they'll take yours, but otherwise they won't. – user16259 Mar 2 '18 at 15:30
  • @user16259 The same could be said for transporting passengers... – gerrit Mar 2 '18 at 15:41
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    It's a good question. Even when ticket restrictions aren't eased, if you miss a booked connection due to a railway delay are you still able to take your bike on the next train? I honestly don't know, it's never a problem I've had to contend with before. I'd be interested to see the answer. Sadly I suspect very much the answer is "depends on the TOC; ask on Twitter". – Muzer Mar 2 '18 at 16:15
  • @gerrit yes, it's just a matter of flexibility. There are many more passenger spaces than bike spaces on each train, but maybe more cyclists would leave the bike behind in bad weather so the net effect might be that you've got the same chance of boarding with a bike as on any other day – user16259 Mar 2 '18 at 16:44
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+50

Yes, up to a point. Staff won't refuse a bike because "it was not the booked train", and are very likely to try to be helpful.

However,

  • All trains will have a maximum number of bicycles they are authorised to carry. If these are all used up then a further bike may well be rejected whatever easements are in place. How likely this is depends on whether you expect things to be quiet (because the weather is poor) or busy (because some trains are cancelled)
  • If trains are very crowded, then you may be asked to remove your bike if it takes up passenger space. This would not apply to Virgin services where the bike is stored in guards van.
  • If you require the assistance of a member of staff to load the bike, then there is no guarantee that they will notice you or help you board. (Services may be understaffed, or staff may be more busy than usual.) My experience with bikes on Virgin is that the staff don't know they are expecting a bike anyway, so this may not be a big difference.

In summary, I would expect it to be fine, but there are no guarantees.

ADDENDUM

If a cancelled train is replaced with a bus, all bets are off. I have had bus drivers take a lot of convincing to allow my bike on board.

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