Yesterday was probably not one of the best for Eurostar, what with a fire in the Channel Tunnel and all services suspended, but at least they had some good news. The high-speed passenger train service that linking UK to the Continent, announced that it has seen a 300% increase in the number of bikes it carries following the introduction of a new bicycle reservation system in April 2008. The new system enables cyclists to reserve a place for their bikes on the same train they are travelling on, simply by calling 08705 850 850. The new service costs £20 for a one way journey and is available between London, Paris and Brussels. The new reservation system was introduced following discussions with CTC - the UK National Cyclists’ Organisation - and after calls from other cycling groups to make it easier for passengers to plan a cycling holiday using Eurostar. Between April and August 2007, Eurostar’s registered baggage service (before pre-booking a specific train became possible) carried 347 bicycles. Between April and August this year, the launch of the reservation system has increased the number of bikes carried (using both the new system and the registered baggage option) to 1,377 – an increase of 300%! In addition, many cyclists who have folding bikes or who can dismantle their bike and place it in a bike bag choose to carry them onboard the train as part of their normal luggage allowance. Dave Holladay, CTC’s Public Transport Advisor, commented: “These impressive figures are a result of Eurostar’s willingness to sit down, listen, and institute a practical and pragmatic solution. The response from cyclists is obvious and we look forward to developing further opportunities with Eurostar as the link into the Continent.”
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.