CYCLISTS will be able to travel on Eurostar this month safe in the knowledge that their bike will be waiting for them at the end of their journey.
A new guaranteed reservation service comes into effect on Monday (April 7) ending years of uncertainty for bike owners.
Currently, cyclists can take folding bikes onto Eurostar, or standard bikes dismantled and packed into a ‘normal’ sized suitcase. But anyone who doesn’t want to pull their trusty steed apart has been told they can put their bike into the baggage hold – but it might not arrive at the same time as them.
Until now Eurostar has only guaranteed bikes will arrive within 24 hours, often meaning an extra trip to a station to load on or pick up your bike.
A Eurostar spokesman told BikeRadar that, from April 7, there would be room for eight reserved bikes on each train, at a charge of £20 each way.
However, the service is only available between London St Pancras and Paris, and London St Pancras and Brussels. Riders cannot use reserve bike space on a specified train from the other UK Eurostar terminals, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.
To reserve your bike on a Eurostar service choose the train time(s) which would be suitable for your journey and then phone Eurostar Dispatch to check on available space. When you’ve identified a particular train with free space, book your ticket and then call back with your reference number to make the reservation.
The service from Eurostar follows a long-running campaign by cycle groups to improve facilities at St Pancras International.
The flagship station’s opening in November 2007 was greeted with a cyclists’ demonstration outside the station itself.
Campaigners said bike parking at the station was unadequate and the roads around the station were not safe for riders.
Following the protest extra and improved cycle parking was installed.
* The Euro Dispatch Centre can be contacted on 08705 850 850.