Yesterday was probably not one of the best for Eurostar, what with a fire in the Channel Tunnel and all services suspended, but at least they had some good news. The high-speed passenger train service that linking UK to the Continent, announced that it has seen a 300% increase in the number of bikes it carries following the introduction of a new bicycle reservation system in April 2008. The new system enables cyclists to reserve a place for their bikes on the same train they are travelling on, simply by calling 08705 850 850. The new service costs £20 for a one way journey and is available between London, Paris and Brussels. The new reservation system was introduced following discussions with CTC - the UK National Cyclists’ Organisation - and after calls from other cycling groups to make it easier for passengers to plan a cycling holiday using Eurostar. Between April and August 2007, Eurostar’s registered baggage service (before pre-booking a specific train became possible) carried 347 bicycles. Between April and August this year, the launch of the reservation system has increased the number of bikes carried (using both the new system and the registered baggage option) to 1,377 – an increase of 300%! In addition, many cyclists who have folding bikes or who can dismantle their bike and place it in a bike bag choose to carry them onboard the train as part of their normal luggage allowance. Dave Holladay, CTC’s Public Transport Advisor, commented: “These impressive figures are a result of Eurostar’s willingness to sit down, listen, and institute a practical and pragmatic solution. The response from cyclists is obvious and we look forward to developing further opportunities with Eurostar as the link into the Continent.”
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.