The CTC has teamed up with European partners from France, Belgium and Holland to send a letter under the banner of ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation) to Nicolas Petrovic, CEO of Eurostar, calling for a reversal of a new policy that requires cyclists to dismantle and box their bikes before boarding.
Sam Jones, CTC campaigner, said: “We have received unprecedented support, with more than 3,000 people writing to Mr Petrovic in the first seven hours of the campaign. This shows Eurostar’s ill-thought out policy has really touched a nerve across Europe’s cycling community.
"In a meeting CTC and the ECF had with Eurostar a month ago, they admitted the changes would make travelling on Eurostar trains with a bicycle less convenient, but were adamant they would not budge."
An editable template letter to add your support for the campaign can be found here.
Coming in to force from November 1st, those carrying a bicycle will be forced to dismantle their cycle and box it up using the existing paid-for registered luggage system – a move CTC Chief Executive Paul Tuohy believes would mean treating them as “third-class passengers”.
Jones added: “CTC hopes Eurostar will realise their mistake and will enter into constructive dialogue with us and our European partners to reach an amicable solution which will benefit all their users.”
Eurostar has responded by saying trained staff will help people with their cycles, but CTC is concerned to what degree they have been trained. Only someone properly trained to reassemble a bicycle should be involved – anything else could leave them liable to a failure of duty of care.
As CTC understands it, it is not Eurostar staff who work in this area, rather concessionaires to Eurostar. CTC’s understanding is that London, Paris and Brussels all have different concessionaires, with Eurodespatch being responsible for London.