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

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

Postby mjr » 26 May 2020, 6:52pm

simonhill wrote:All we can do is monitor it and if necessary start to put pressure on the ferry companies; the Govt; Cycle organisations; environmental pressure groups; etc.
[...]
Regardless of this, bikes on ferries must be a minute part of their business and if carrying them is more aggro than its worth, then expect them to be ditched (or temporarily sidelined) on the back of Covid. Could be the same on some trains. [...]

That sounds rather like a directive to shut up and be thankful for whatever pathetic service survives - so how would you "start to put pressure on the ferry companies" then?

And with at least Brittany Ferries leaving bikes on the quayside, isn't it already necessary now?
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simonhill
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby simonhill » 26 May 2020, 7:10pm

Mjr
I wasn't aware that I was giving a " directive to shut up and be thankful for whatever pathetic service survives "

You missed out in your quotes of me the sentence:

I fear that a bit like after 9/11, all sorts of things will be deemed necessary in the name of Covid. Anyone speaking out will be considered an enemy of the state/people.

I don't welcome this, but remember the long term problems that travellers have suffered since 9/11. I drew a parallel.

As to how to put pressure on, you are the campaigner, but I would think that the type of campaign that was raised against Eurostar would be a start. Also, I listed a few organisations that might be worth contacting or including. Again, I bow to your greater experience.

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

Postby ossie » 26 May 2020, 7:10pm

simonhill wrote:
Regardless of this, bikes on ferries must be a minute part of their business and if carrying them is more aggro than its worth, then expect them to be ditched (or temporarily sidelined) on the back of Covid.


Brittany ferries said they were going to limit passenger numbers, so yes I expect the bean counters have worked out that foot and cyclists aren't commercially viable at the moment. I guess that's the reason, especially on the Bilbao / Santander routes. That said I've rarely seen more than half a dozen cyclists on Brittany Ferries.

Also add in freight, that must be their bread and butter at the moment.

I'd be surprised if Stena or Condor came out with the same policy. Condor rely heavily on foot traffic, Stena from Harwich - often the cyclists outnumber motorists in the summer months.
Last edited by ossie on 26 May 2020, 7:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby ossie » 26 May 2020, 7:12pm

mjr wrote:That sounds rather like a directive to shut up and be thankful for whatever pathetic service survives - so how would you "start to put pressure on the ferry companies" then?



It didn't read like that at all.

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

Postby simonhill » 26 May 2020, 7:17pm

A lot will depend on how they deal with social distancing. Remember the boss of Heathrow saying it would be a queue of 1.5 kms to socially distance the passenger of a Jumbo. It could be similar for a ferry load of foot passengers.

Beware and be aware.

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

Postby wirral_cyclist » 26 May 2020, 9:08pm

Cyclists wont pay enough for service to be viable - they wont be buying 'duty free' in any meaningful amount, a car can take a lot of booze and has 4+ passengers, all but one (hopefully) can get tanked up in the bar generating more profit than a solo sober cyclist. The problem with foot passengers is the socially distanced coach ride from the terminal to the gangway (twice), once on board it's a bit of nonsense of course, same rules for carrying duty free apply.

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

Postby Angstrom » 27 May 2020, 11:15am

Nowadays, businesses have to take into account the legal risks that might appear in everything they do.
We live in this kind of world now, wether we like it or not. Their liability in case they get sued because of one cyclist being injured whilst boarding/unboarding amongst motor vehicles and lorries, on a very slippery surface, with cyclist either riding their bikes or walking with inappropriate soles (even SPD cleats are more prone to slip), if it happens only once, would probably offset all profits made for a long period with cyclists. Not to mention claims potentially made by cyclists if their very expensive bikes get damaged because of inappropriate bike storage, accidents between cyclist and car/lorry where insurance companies might try to involve the ferry company (common law does not apply onboard).
There are (unfortunately) many reasons to believe that cyclists are just a PITA for ferry companies.

Running a profitable business nowadays requires making the right decisions on what matters most and evacuating all secondary subjects to avoid the costly decision making process and the possibility of making the wrong decision.
Those with potentially high risk, low impact of lost opportunity (money not earned if cyclists' business goes elsewhere) and very hard-to-predict probability of occurrence are particularly exposed to being just ditched.
That's why, sadly, only regulation can force ferry companies to accept cyclists and their bikes on their ships. Only then they will spend the time to calculate the real costs of that service and price it accordingly (in a profitable way).

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

Postby Angstrom » 27 May 2020, 11:26am

AS a follow up, I think if ban does happen, the solution would be to outsource the bike carrying service to someone who will see it as a business opportunity.
It could take the form of buying a ticket for crossing on a standard ferry line loading bikes i a special container or van/truck which could be loaded ashore and simply rolled-on just like any other freight vehicle.
It is very important for ferry companies that boarding/un-boarding is fast and uneventful as possible so that crossing schedules are kept.
Prices could be made variable according to the period. The system could be made in such a way that cyclists themselves load and fasten their bikes inside to lower handling costs.

The ferry company would not have to manage bikers differently than other passengers and wouldn't have to deal with a different kind of risk.

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

Postby ANTONISH » 27 May 2020, 11:27am

Angstrom wrote:That's why, sadly, only regulation can force ferry companies to accept cyclists and their bikes on their ships. Only then they will spend the time to calculate the real costs of that service and price it accordingly (in a profitable way).


I agree with that - Though I expect that a few in Westminster would be dumbfounded at the idea of someone taking a bicycle abroad as a holiday.
It would be interesting to find just how much a cyclist would need to be charged so that it became financially worthwhile.

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

Postby ANTONISH » 27 May 2020, 11:31am

Angstrom wrote:AS a follow up, I think if ban does happen, the solution would be to outsource the bike carrying service to someone who will see it as a business opportunity.
It could take the form of buying a ticket for crossing on a standard ferry line loading bikes i a special container or van/truck which could be loaded ashore and simply rolled-on just like any other freight vehicle.
It is very important for ferry companies that boarding/un-boarding is fast and uneventful as possible so that crossing schedules are kept.
Prices could be made variable according to the period. The system could be made in such a way that cyclists themselves load and fasten their bikes inside to lower handling costs.

The ferry company would not have to manage bikers differently than other passengers and wouldn't have to deal with a different kind of risk.


Just read this - basically that's what the tunnel offers - only drawback being it's only two crossings each way per day.

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

Postby SA_SA_SA » 27 May 2020, 5:38pm

Perhaps some could wait until a ban actually happens before getting upset about a mere possibilty? It surely not surprising if some things are limited whilst Covid-19 is a risk? And once Covid-19 is history why wouldn;t normal service for all resume?

NB On the Stena Belfast Cairnyan ferry cyclists are walked on by a staff member and the liverpool one normally has a bus for foot passengers and trailer for bikes so I wonder what will be the options before Covid-19 is completely gone.

I don't really understand the keenness for unnecessary ferry travel when Covid-19 is active.....
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jgurney
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Re: Post-Covid-19: Could some ferry operators ban cyclists?

Postby jgurney » 27 May 2020, 5:54pm

SA_SA_SA wrote:Perhaps some could wait until a ban actually happens before getting upset about a mere possibilty? ... once Covid-19 is history why wouldn;t normal service for all resume?


Resuming operations after a break in service is a logical time to bring in changes that might be met with objections.

There is no harm in being prepared rather than waiting for trouble to surface and then reacting. E.g. those of us who live in places where local authorities own or contribute to funding port facilities might want to remind their councilors about non-motoring passengers before contracts are made, rather than complain when it is too late.

I don't really understand the keenness for unnecessary ferry travel when Covid-19 is active.....

That is not the topic - the title reads 'Post-covid'.

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

Postby ambodach » 27 May 2020, 6:25pm

I doubt very much that ferries to the Scottish islands would ban bicycles. Calmac cover themselves to some extent by saying that there could be a limit of 6 per sailing and that you should call in advance. I have never heard of any problems in this respect and there are sometimes quite large groups travelling. They have removed the wheel breaker type stands which they had at one time and bikes are sometimes just tied up to the sides of the car deck. Best to have your own bit of thin rope handy in case of need.

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 28 May 2020, 11:23am

Firstly, I agree with those upstream that the most likely cause of a temporary ban on both foot passengers and cyclists is based around the difficulty in maintaining social distancing when boarding and disembarking.
Quite how you do this for vehicle passengers once the vehicles are on board remains to be explained.

One further thing, though, I did read somewhere that ferries would not be opening their lounges to passengers.
This does make me wonder where everyone is going to go during the trip.
I did speculate that everyone would have to have a cabin and that this restricted the numbers they could take so they were cutting out foot and cycle passengers. This doesn't seem particularly logical, though.

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

Postby Morzedec » 28 May 2020, 11:45am

Brittany Ferries are the Company who religiously steal any sort of knife that a Touring Cyclist is silly enough to declare carrying, whilst campervans full of kitchen knives are allowed to pass unhindered. "Just doing me job", the jobsworth at checkin used to say, as the unknowing surrendered their newly-purchased Swiss Army knives. "No, you can't get them back afterwards" came next.

Aaargh: anything now appears to be possible, in this crazy world of ours. As you can see I'm having a rant, because I've been stuck in the UK since March and still have no prospect of getting back to my home in France. I've not even been fortunate enough to find a rich widow to self-isolate with (or not one thin enough, anyway).

If nothing changes before very long, I guess that I'll just have to go and do yet another End to End to pass the time.

Happy days (well, sort of).

Frustrated of Deux-Sevres
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