Lack of cycle facilities at St Pancras sparks protest

Cycle users will be converging on St Pancras at 8am on November 14th to protest at the lack of facilities for cyclists at London’s new flagship destination for the Eurostar.

LCC local groups including Camden Cycling Campaign and City Cyclists will be arriving at the station from 8am, staging a protest against poor cycle facilities at St Pancras as the Eurostar international service opens at the station.

The station, from which trains will be departing for Paris and Brussels from 14th November 2007, is close to the busiest London Underground station in the capital, yet provision for cyclists is described as ‘abysmal’.

Cycle parking at the newly renovated St Pancras International is the worst of any major station in the UK, consisting of 30 low-security parking loops located at the far end of the station car park, more than 5 minutes walk from the ticket office. These parking loops provide no means of locking the frame of the bike to them, leaving parked bikes vulnerable to thieves who can easily detach the locked front wheel and make off with the rest of the bike.

Transport for London has pledged to provide a cycle parking facility, but this is not expected to be in place until 2011 or later if there are any delays.
Alongside the inadequate cycle parking provision, the new St Pancras International has poorly designed road schemes surrounding it that do not cater adequately for cyclists. From 3rd November, a new one-way system around the station, will force cyclists to make long detours as they try to reach, or leave, St Pancras and Kings Cross stations. The new road scheme will increase road danger for cyclists in an area which is noted for its high traffic volumes.

For more information on accessibility issues with St Pancras International, please see the Camden Cyclists report by following the link on the right.

LCC wants to see proper provision for cyclists, including cycle parking, a road traffic scheme that caters for cyclists around the station access; as well as arrangements for cyclists to carry bikes on the same train that they are travelling on themselves. Currently, passengers may only take bikes on Eurostar if they are dismantled and packed in a bicycle bag or case not bigger than a large suitcase, or register them to be carried as separate baggage and made available at the destination 24 hours later at a cost of £20 – generally not an ideal solution when your journey could take as little as one hour 45 minutes.

The protest will take place on 14th November, meeting outside the German Gym, Pancras Road (opposite the station entrance) at 8 am for an 8.30 am, ride round the station, parking and demo.