Eurostar and Bikes

User avatar
Philip Benstead
Posts: 1367
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 7:06pm
Location: Victoria , London

Eurostar and Bikes

Postby Philip Benstead » 7 Apr 2016, 5:49pm

Philip

When Psamathe says that Eurostar has “reinstated the requirement (in part)” for cyclists to box or bag their bicycles for carriage on Eurostar, I’m assuming that he is referring to the way they’ve introduced a limit of 2 unboxed/unbagged bicycles per train, instead of 4?

If so, rest assured that it hasn’t gone un-noticed here, even though Eurostar has worded its policy carefully to try and hide the fact – note the words “a limited number”(!):

• You can put your bike in a padded bike bag or bike box. We can provide a box for you, which is included in the service price and this is the best option for protecting your bike.
• If you’d prefer to keep your bike fully assembled, Eurodespatch has a limited number of spaces per train, so you’ll need to call us for availability.

The reason we haven’t responded yet is not due to the rebrand. It has more to do with the fact that we are about to launch several other campaigns, in the run-up to Assembly / Parliament elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners in England (the latter being a key opportunity to advance our Road Justice campaign). Moreover, just when we were already stretched to the limits, the Government also released its desperately under-resourced Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS). Getting some decent investment into the so-called ‘Investment’ Strategy is strategically critical for the future of cycling in England. So that too will now require a further high-profile campaign between now and the end of the CWIS consultation period, on 21st May.

Yet despite these capacity pressures, we are also considering how best to push Eurostar once again on the issue of unboxed/unbagged bikes. However, before committing finite campaigning resources to this issue, we clearly need to make sure we have a decent chance of winning it! We are therefore assessing what leverage we’ve got and how best to deploy it. It currently looks like our best bet is to start by pressing for a better deal for cyclists through negotiation, rather than by making a big public noise, whilst keeping open the latter option too.

However if we do decide to go for a more public-facing campaign, we’ll have a much better chance of making a success of it if we’ve first got the elections and CWIS consultation out of the way!

Best wishes

Roger Geffen
Policy Director
Cycling UK


From: Philip Benstead1 [mailto:philipbenstead1@gmail.com]
Sent: 06 April 2016 19:34
To: Roger Geffen
Cc: Philip Benstead; Paul Tuohy; David Cox
Subject: Eurostar CTC needs to reengaged?
Importance: High

Re: It's all in the name - Cyclists' TOURING club
by Psamathe » Wed 06 Apr , 2016 11:24 am
reohn2 wrote:...
I'd say less about it if the 'charity' was doing any good for cycling.
....

They fought (and won) the requirement to box your bikes when crossing the Channel via tunnel. Unfortunately, a short time later the operator re-instated the requirement (in part) but by then the CTC was completely pre-occupied with its re-brand so didn't notice and didn't bother to act (which I see as putting re-branding as of greater importance than real issues facing cyclists ... or at least "touring cyclists"). (As reported by people facing the requirement)

Ian
Psamathe

Posts: 3705
Joined: Fri 10 Jan , 2014 8:56 pm
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

Bicycler
Posts: 3400
Joined: 4 Dec 2013, 3:33pm

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby Bicycler » 7 Apr 2016, 6:16pm

To my mind it shouldn't take a huge number of resources to send an initial letter to Eurostar acknowledging and formally objecting to the change of policy. The media bells and whistles can follow.

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby PRL » 7 Apr 2016, 7:33pm

Anyone had experience yet of exactly what has to be done to a touring bike to get it into a Eurostar box ? They don't make it clear.

ANTONISH
Posts: 1893
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby ANTONISH » 12 Apr 2016, 8:54am

I think they would like you to saw it into very small pieces and post it.
I'm bemused by the whole thing of taking a bike by train out of the UK. The eurotunnel shuttle carries cars and quite large vehicles. If you take a car there is plenty of space to get out and stretch your legs. It would easily be possible to have an old luggage van's volume of space allocated for cycles in one carriage. Or perhaps a drive on / drive off vehicle to carry cycles. There is after all a very limited shuttle facility available at Ashford for just this purpose although twice a day isn't really sufficient.
Of course once in Calais the whole picture is different - which is why I generally plan journeys from there.
Eurostar has a monopoly so you get what they will grudgingly give. I understand that there is some competition on the horizon - not sure if that will improve things.

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby PRL » 18 Apr 2016, 9:58pm

The latest instruction was that at the most wheels, pedals and handlebars should be removed. Just had a try at the last and it was fairly straightforward for both of our bikes. Will report back in a few weeks time. :?

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby PRL » 3 May 2016, 8:50pm

PRL wrote:The latest instruction was that at the most wheels, pedals and handlebars should be removed. Just had a try at the last and it was fairly straightforward for both of our bikes. Will report back in a few weeks time. :?



We turned up at St Pancras and just handed over our bikes. (It later transpired that a "different" (old) train was being used. )
On the way home the train was definitely a new one and 4 bikes seem to have been carried without dismantling. :)

Paris wanted the bikes 2 hours before travelling and both sides needed over half an hour to give the bikes back. (So doubling the effective journey time). :(

User avatar
Philip Benstead
Posts: 1367
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 7:06pm
Location: Victoria , London

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby Philip Benstead » 19 Jul 2016, 5:24am

What is so difficult about this
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36820751
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

PRL
Posts: 606
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 9:14pm
Location: Richmond upon Thames

Re: Eurostar and Bikes

Postby PRL » 19 Jul 2016, 9:54pm

Philip Benstead wrote:What is so difficult about this
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36820751


Fascinating

Given the size of Eurostar trains the fractional increase in seats managed by reducing luggage can't be much more than 0.1%. Was it really worth it ?