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Eurostar backpedals on bike dismantling plan

Published 13/11/2015

The company was accused of treating cyclists as third class passengers
The company was accused of treating cyclists as third class passengers

Eurostar has reversed its decision to force cyclists to dismantle their bikes before using the cross-Channel rail service amid growing pressure.

The operator was accused of treating cyclists as ''third class passengers'' and warned the plan would discourage new cyclists and make air travel more attractive.

But the company announced that it will continue to accept fully assembled bikes.

London mayor Boris Johnson said last month that the initial policy change "undermines Eurostar's green pretensions", while more than 9,700 people signed up to a campaign led by national cycling charity CTC and the European Cyclists' Federation.

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also urged the high speed train provider to reconsider its decision.

The operator's long-standing policy has been for cyclists to pay a £30 fee for their bike to be carried on their train via a registered luggage system.

It announced that it was going to force passengers to dismantle their bikes, put them in to a box and reassemble them when they reach their destination.

The company claimed the policy - which would have been more restrictive than any operator in the UK - was needed to accommodate the growing amount of luggage carried by other passengers.

But Eurostar has decided not to go ahead with the plan after admitting it "concerned some passengers".

A spokesman said: "After careful thought and planning we have taken the decision to continue to allow fully mounted bikes on board but of course this can only be a small number because of the space constraints."

He added: "We always listen carefully to feedback."

CTC chief executive Paul Tuohy said: "It's fantastic news that the views of so many of our members and other cyclists across Europe have been listened to.

"This proves how a successful, well-run campaign can be a massive force for good and make things happen."

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