Campaign victory: Bikes on Eurostar
Following an LCC campaign, Eurostar will be opening its train doors to bikes. From April 7th cyclists will be able to reserve a place for their bike on the same train that they are travelling on.
The introduction of the ‘Bikes on board’ booking scheme follows a demonstration which took place outside St Pancras International last November by members of City Cyclists, Camden Cycling Campaign and other London Cycling Campaign groups. LCC was also working with members of CTC, the national cyclists' organisation.
Previously, bicycles did not travel with their owners unless they were fully dismantled and packed in bags. Cyclists faced delays of up to 24 hours before their bicycle arrived at their destination.
The move puts Eurostar ahead of other European international rail services such as the Benelux Thalys and the German Inter-City Express, on which you cannot take bicycles at all unless they are packed.
Reservations for bikes cost £20 and riders will be able to drop their bicycles off at St Pancras despatch office one hour before their journey.
Eurostar have also updated the information on their website with a section on Bicycles which starts: ‘We’d love you to take your bike!’ You can see the updated information by following the link on the right.
Jean Dollimore, coordinator of Camden Cycling Campaign and one of the organisers of the demonstration, said: “At last we’ll be able to ride to St Pancras and ride away from Gare du Nord – it’s a victory for common sense and a victory for the environment.”
Mustafa Arif, chair of LCC’s cycle carriage group said “We welcome this move by Eurostar: combining bike and rail journeys is what integrated transport is all about and in this case it will make rail an attractive alternative to air travel.”
Koy Thomson, Chief Executive of LCC, said: “Eurostar has now shown that bicycles can be carried on all their trains. We need all rail operators to make bike carriage easy and convenient, and to provide secure cycle parking at all their stations.”
London Cycling Campaign also lobbied for secure cycle parking at St Pancras International. 50 Sheffield stands have now been provided in the station car park, but LCC would like to see much more bike parking closer to the station to enable people to use the dozens of shops in the concourse.
Currently the 'Bikes on board' scheme will operate on trains to Paris and Brussels.