Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Andrew-l
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby Andrew-l » 13 Jun 2020, 9:29pm

Unfortunately Brittany Ferries aren't taking foot passengers either at the moment!

mattsccm
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby mattsccm » 13 Jun 2020, 10:02pm

I wouldn't worry until it Happens and you want one. Too many things to change to worry about something that can't be controlled I reckon.

richnomad
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby richnomad » 14 Jun 2020, 10:13am

Further update from the brittany ferries website which I looked at this morning.

We’ve had to take the tough decision to not accept any further bookings from foot passengers and cyclists too, there are significant operational hurdles involved in transporting them. We can review this as the season unfolds and if it changes, we’ll let you know.

On the route I am most familiar with,Plymouth-Roscoff, the boarding procedure for cyclists is exactly the same as that for motor cyclists who do not seem to pose 'significant operational hurdles'.

Suggest lovers of France and Brittany Ferries begin to lobby the company!

No doubt Cycling UK will be doing its bit on behalf of cycle tourists.

jacobean
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby jacobean » 14 Jun 2020, 2:38pm

richnomad wrote:
On the route I am most familiar with,Plymouth-Roscoff, the boarding procedure for cyclists is exactly the same as that for motor cyclists who do not seem to pose 'significant operational hurdles'.

Suggest lovers of France and Brittany Ferries begin to lobby the company!

No doubt Cycling UK will be doing its bit on behalf of cycle tourists.


Exactly. Both cyclists and motorcyclists check-in using the car lanes. Both groups board via the stern or bow ramp. Both groups access the passenger decks the the same way. Cyclists don't exactly delay the boarding procedure either. If anything, they can be loaded quicker. While loading marshals onboard might have to play game of vehicular tetris on the car decks, a bike can be just stowed against a bulkhead.

Is this a health and safety issue? I don't think so. Over the years, I've noticed most cyclists obey the boarding rules.

Biggest difference is this: Motorcyclists can be charged more!

ChrisF
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby ChrisF » 14 Jun 2020, 6:57pm

jacobean wrote:......
Biggest difference is this: Motorcyclists can be charged more!

Motorcycles are still much less (~£100 less on Plymouth-Roscoff one-way) than a car.
I wonder if you booked a motorbike, but took an e-Bike , would they let you board?
Chris F, Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby mjr » 14 Jun 2020, 7:38pm

ChrisF wrote:
jacobean wrote:......
Biggest difference is this: Motorcyclists can be charged more!

Motorcycles are still much less (~£100 less on Plymouth-Roscoff one-way) than a car.
I wonder if you booked a motorbike, but took an e-Bike , would they let you board?

If challenged, profess ignorance, say there was no e bike category and you felt you should pick motorbike because you have a motor and volatile power source? ;)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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beachwomble
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby beachwomble » 25 Jun 2020, 6:34pm

Hello, indeed the Brittany Ferries website does not accept bike bookings but I have just joined this forum to tell you that if you go to the French website of Brittany Ferries they will accept "Bicyclettes". Just wear a beret and put some onions rings round the handlebar and you should be OK!
This is too late for me as I had to cancel my Vélodyssée plans from Roscoff this weekend. I am now trying for a flight to Biarritz and starting from the other way in a week's time.
OK maybe first and last post from me!

simonhill
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby simonhill » 25 Jun 2020, 7:55pm

Don't go, good to have some relevant info.

Tip I tend to look at French and UK sites as prices are different. I think last year from Caen it was cheaper on French site. I have a no charge for exchange credit card, so it saved a few quid/euro.

Nancy North
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby Nancy North » 30 Jun 2020, 5:58pm

Yes they have stopped selling crossings to cyclists. On our usual around-France cycle trip for the last 12 years we have pre-booked our outward journey but just rocked up to the port the day before we wanted to return. This year "rien", so we are forced to fly our and back with lots of headaches about what to use to pack up the bikes at Bordeaux. Not easy to transport cardboard bike boxes from shop to airport; not sure whether Easyjet will accept our (new) CTC bags - which we will cart around.

I had a discussion with Brittany Ferries in 2012 about why they wouldn't take cyclists on their Bilbao ferry (we had to book to Santander and an extra 2 days' cycling to Irun and the EV1). The BF guy said it was because of limited cabin space (so number of pax as you had to have a cabin on this crossing) and therefore they wanted to sell deck space for cars not cycles, which they pack into a side room off the main car deck anyway. There is your answer: economics. :(

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mjr
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby mjr » 30 Jun 2020, 11:33pm

Nancy North wrote:The BF guy said it was because of limited cabin space (so number of pax as you had to have a cabin on this crossing) and therefore they wanted to sell deck space for cars not cycles, which they pack into a side room off the main car deck anyway. There is your answer: economics. :(

I don't see how that's explained by economics if they can sell scarce cabins without taking up any deck space. Then maybe they carry less weight so use less fuel or maybe they could sell the deck space to unaccompanied trailers like on other routes. As discussed above, bikes already pay more than cars per area anyway.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

dodger
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby dodger » 1 Jul 2020, 8:25am

There is no logic to Brittany Ferries treatment of cyclists. I think they are such a small part of their business that they can't be too bothered with them.
I've traveled on BF many times by bike or car and loading a bike is quick and easy. Cyclists carry low food supplies and eat and drink plenty on board.
Bikes are usually tied up in corners where vehicles can't fit, so no space issues.
Pricing has no relationship to how busy they are and, last time I checked, it was cheaper to load a car with 4 bikes on the Plymouth to Santander ferry than 4 cyclists without cars. BF were unable to justify it when I queried it.
BF protest their green credentials but it's all hot air when it comes to bikes, which, for a professed cycling nation, is hypocritical.
That said, their staff and ships are great and they are very handy for me, albeit expensive, so are my first choice for Brittany and western France. Otherwise I travel Newhaven to Dieppe for a lot less less than half BF prices, and still save, even with increased fuel cost.

Des49
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby Des49 » 1 Jul 2020, 8:39am

On top of the uncertainty of cyclists being able to book, for those wanting to use St. Malo there is a further issue.

A few days ago St Malo Manutention (SMM) the sole stevedore company in the port went into liquidation after years of industrial disputes and disruption. This is already proving to be a problem for Condor freight sailings into St. Malo and is likely to have a big impact this summer, just as some passenger sailings were going to resume in July.

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Syd
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby Syd » 1 Jul 2020, 9:03am

Over ever been on a ferry once with a bike, group of 6 of us.

Passport checks were a fares, some bloke looking through half a dozen passports at a out group with heads covered and sunglasses on.

We were then sent to wait in the vehicle lanes. On loading cyclists were allowed on first but no cycling on the ramp on desks. On disembarking motorised vehicles got off first and cyclists last. Did made for an enjoyable ride through and empty dock area.

In all it did seem a lot of work for the crew for just 6 bikes but I do hope they don’t impose a ban.

ANTONISH
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby ANTONISH » 2 Jul 2020, 8:55am

I note that Brittany Ferries are accepting passengers again.

Traction_man
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby Traction_man » 4 Jul 2020, 9:01am

This landed in my inbox yesterday

https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/britt ... hats-story

Cheers,

Keith