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CTC urges cyclists to write to Eurostar over bike policy change revealed by

European Cyclists’ Federation describes obligation to dismantle bikes as ‘extremely inconvenient’

National cycling charity CTC is urging cyclists to write to Eurostar over a recent change in policy that was revealed by Cyclists could previously take a complete bicycle on board for a £30 fee. However, citing a lack of space, Eurostar now says that all bikes will have to be bagged or boxed – although transportation costs remain the same.

After questioned the maximum size of bike box permitted – which was smaller than any we have tested – Eurostar scrapped its size restrictions. Nevertheless, bikes will still need to be dismantled and packed away.

A study commissioned by the European parliament in 2012 found that there are 2.3m cycle tourism trips in the EU every year, worth more than £33bn. While Chunnel users can currently take their bikes away with them unboxed – they are hung from their front wheel in a specially-designated compartment on the train – from next month, that is set to change.

- Eurostar scraps bike box size restrictions

A Eurostar spokesman said: "This is not about space on the train, but about how we use the available space to the benefit of the majority of our customers, taking into account feedback from those that use our service overall."

The European Cyclists' Federation (ECF), which represents cycling bodies across the continent, has described the new policy as "very disappointing news" in a letter to Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic. “The requirement being introduced from 1st November to dismantle all bikes and put them into a bag or box is extremely inconvenient and will put people off who are unsure about the mechanics of their bike.”

CTC is among the signatories to the letter. Referring to Eurostar’s four-year sponsorship of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel, the organisation’s chief exectutive, Paul Tuohy said:

“It’s hypocritical that an organisation with a history of sponsoring awards celebrating the achievements of pioneering travel initiatives could come up with such a barmy policy on cycle carriage.

“There is nothing sustainable about this policy, as it actively discourages the people we want to see cycling more from using what is otherwise a fantastic service. For the new cyclist or those who rely on cycling as a mobility aid, dismantling and reassembling a bike for transit is too difficult.

“With London, Paris, and Brussels each vying to be top cycling cities and Amsterdam – arguably Europe’s cycling capital – due to join the Eurostar network in 2016, now is not the time to take a step back in cycle rail policy.

“Cyclists should not be treated as third-class passengers and we urge Eurostar to reverse their planned policy.”

- The best bike bags and boxes

CTC is therefore urging anyone who is concerned about the planned changes to write to Eurostar expressing their feelings.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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