CTC, the national cycling charity, has requested a face-to-face meeting with Eurostar officials regarding the company’s change in bike carriage policy. Despite pressure from a number of politicians and thousands of members of the public, Eurostar remains committed to the new rules which will come into effect next month.
Cyclists could previously take a complete bicycle on Eurostar for a £30 fee, but citing a lack of space, the company now says that all bikes must be bagged or boxed. In most cases, this means dismantling the bike.
David Murray, CTC’s Head of Communications and Campaigns, said:
“Despite the public outcry and support for our campaign from many leading politicians, Eurostar seem stubbornly determined not to shift from their stance. We have contacted Eurostar asking if we can sit down and have a sensible, face-to-face meeting about this proposal.
“We believe entering into a dialogue is the least they can do bearing in mind how much controversy it has caused and how much it will inconvenience cyclists travelling to and from the Continent – passengers who have paid good money but will be getting a third-class service.”
Last week, mayor of London Boris Johnson joined thousands of people in writing to Eurostar to complain about the change. Johnson described the move as ‘a backward step’. The company has sponsored the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel for the last four years and Ruth Cadbury, chair of the all party parliamentary cycling group (APPCG) said that it should be looking to make cycle-rail integration easier, not more difficult.
More recently, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has expressed her displeasure via Twitter, accusing Eurostar of sending out the wrong signal as the French capital prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) between November 30 and December 11.
Eurostar’s response can be roughly translated as: “Hello the procedure has changed, the terms and conditions are the same with the goal of securing bicycles on board.”