Travellers get in the saddle with Eurostar!

11 Sep 2008

-- 300% growth in the number of passengers travelling with bikes
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK to the Continent, today (10 September 2008) 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.
Simon Montague, Director of Communications, Eurostar, said: "We are delighted that Eurostar's new bike reservation service is proving so popular with cyclists. Travelling by bike is a great and environmentally sound way to explore London, Paris and Brussels."
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."
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Notes to Editors:
1. To book a bike onto the same train you are travelling on (as long as there is space in Eurostar's luggage holds) call 08705 186 186 and have your Eurostar ticket booking reference ready. This service is currently available at St Pancras International, Paris Gare du Nord and Brussels Midi. Cyclists can also continue to use Eurostar's registered baggage service to transport their bicycle between London and Paris/Brussels. Eurostar guarantees that, although your bike may not travel on the same train as you, it will be at your Eurostar destination station within 24 hours of registration.
2. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
3. Eurostar now has through fares deals with First Great Western, National Express East Anglia, First Capital Connect, Virgin Trains, National Express East Coast, East Midlands Trains, London Midland, Chiltern Railways and Hull Trains.
4. Ebbsfleet International in north Kent is close to junction 2 of the M25 and Bluewater shopping centre, and lies at the heart of a catchment of 10 million people. It offers seven trains a day to Paris and five a day to Brussels, with ample parking and taxi and Avis car hire facilities. Eurostar travellers can also connect with the station for free on Southeastern train services and Fastrack buses.
5. Ashford International in Kent provides three services a day to Paris, a daily service to Brussels (from 14 December 2008), a daily service to Disneyland Resort Paris, and seasonal weekly services to the French Alps and Avignon. The station provides ample parking and connects with domestic rail services.
6. Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris generates one-tenth of the carbon dioxide produced by an equivalent flight. Under its Tread Lightly initiative, Eurostar has set a target of further reducing its CO2 emissions by 25% per traveller journey by 2012. Eurostar is the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral.
7. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly initiative and The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth's climate campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth or The Big Ask please click here www.friendsoftheearth.co.uk
8. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
9. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
10. To book through fares via Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com or call 08705 186 186.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843 5500press.office@eurostar.co.ukFor images please go to www.eurostarimagery.co.uk and register.