Following our meeting with the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) earlier this year, we have received further good news about the carriage of bicycles on long distance train services from one of our French Members, CyclotransEurope.
After years of refusing to carry bicycles on their double-decker high-speed TGV trains, the French rail operator SNCF has finally decided to open up these trains to bikes too. Spaces will be included as part of the next round of refurbishments due to start later this year and by 2016 all the double-decker TGV trains will be equipped with 2 to 3 spaces for ‘complete’ bicycles.
The move reflects the increasing numbers of people want to take their bike on long distance train services in France and the wider growth in cycling tourism. In 2012, the single deck TGVs carried nearly 40,000 cyclists, a figure up 10% on the year before.
CyclotransEurope’s Erick Marchandise explains that: “This is extremely important because there was a risk that there would be a reduction in the number of services offering bike carriage in high-speed trains in France. Instead, over the coming years we will see the introduction of the remodeled trains, each with 2 or 3 spaces for bikes.”
It is expected that there will be a charge of €10 per bike.
The announcement follows an active lobbying campaign run by various cycling and passenger associations in France.
Ed Lancaster, ECF Policy Officer forRegional Policy & Cycling Tourism -For the past 7 years, Ed has worked as a Town Planner for various local authorities in South East England and he has a Master’s degree in Town Planning from the University of Westminster. In his last role he was responsible for transport policies and strategy, as well as managing numerous cycling-related projects (e.g. providing new cycle infrastructure and running promotional activities).