Twitter user New Street Bikes has posted an image of a notice claimed to have been left on an "ugly" bicycle in the newly-renovated New Street rail station in Birmingham.
Update: According to Network Rail’s Twitter account, the sign was placed on a certain beat-up bicycle as a "hoax". An elaborate hoax for a random cyclist to do. An over-zealous staff member at New Street station would be a likely candidate for producing the notice, as staff members as other stations produce similar notices to leave on bicycles (for instance, in Newcastle station, I’ve had a notice left regarding the panniers on my Xtracycle, with station staff asking for them to be removed – they are fixed to the bike.)
The notice would have been an embarrassment for Network Rail’s eco credentials. For instance, does it have a similar policy for ugly cars? And how about non-attractive people, do they also risk being prevented entry to the revamped New Street station?
The ‘Network Rail’ notice said "UK Government and European funding has transformed New Street" and a new, brighter image has "removed the tired, dated station [and] the facilities we provide for our customers reflect this image of the future."
The cycle parking facilities at the new look New Street have come in for some stick in the local media. Perhaps if Network Rail provided staffed bike parks, common in Dutch railway stations, more people would ride in on expensive, well-looked after bicycles? One of the reasons some people ride on unattractive bicycles is the fear of bike theft.
Customers with unsavoury looking bicycles (there’s no tick-list of what makes for an attractive bicycle, perhaps would-be crocks could be draped in flowers and sprayed with Muc-Off Silicone Shine to leave a lovely bubblegum aroma?) are asked to remove them: "its condition is not an image that we want our station to portray," says the Network Fail notice.
But bike shops of Birmingham rejoice, you may suddendly get an influx of new customers, eager to buy bicycles that fit the New Street joker’s beautification programme: "When you see fit to get yourself a bicycle in reasonable condition then we will gladly welcome you back," says the notice.