Eurostar forced to back down regarding bike policy

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guardian newspaper reblog:

Eurostar has reversed its decision to force cyclists to dismantle their bikes before using the Cross-channel rail service after growing pressure from the public.

The company announced that it will continue to accept fully assembled bikes after it was accused of treating cyclists as third class passengers and was warned the plan would discourage new cyclists and make air travel a more attractive option.

London mayor Boris Johnson said last month the initial policy change “undermines Eurostar’s green pretensions”, while a campaign led by the national cycling charity Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) and the European Cyclists’ Federation was signed by more than 9,700 people. The all party parliamentary cycling group and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also urged the high speed train provider to reconsider its decision.

The operator’s long-standing policy has been for cyclists to pay a £30 fee for their bike to be carried on their train via a registered luggage system. It announced that it was going to force passengers to dismantle their bikes, put them in a box and reassemble them when they reach their destination.

The company claimed the policy – which would have been more restrictive than any operator in the UK – was needed to accommodate the growing amount of luggage carried by other passengers. Eurostar admitted the initial plan “concerned some passengers”.

A spokesman said: “After careful thought and planning we have taken the decision to continue to allow fully mounted bikes on board but of course this can only be a small number because of the space constraints.”

CTC chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “It’s fantastic news that the views of so many of our members and other cyclists across Europe have been listened to.

“This proves how a successful, well-run campaign can be a massive force for good and make things happen.”

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