By Nigel Wynn
The CTC - the national cyclists' organisation - have successfully negotiated with SouthEastern Railways to lift its ban on bikes during the Tour de France's visit to Britain. SouthEastern had previously announced that no bikes would be allowed on any of its trains over July 6-8, a move which was met with astonishment by the cycling community.
Cyclists wanting to travel into London or along the route of Stage one through Kent can now take folding cycles or ordinary bikes dismantled and placed in a bag on SouthEastern trains. Ever resourceful, the CTC will have a stand on London Bridge station selling thick, bike-sized polythene bags on Sunday, July 8. They'll even help you pack your bike for you.
CTC public transport campaigner Dave Holladay said: "The ban as it stood presented a huge barrier to cyclists keen to take up the special rail travel deal and avoid adding more car trips to the many heading for Kent to see stage one flying down the Medway and over the North Downs, and it ran completely counter to the spirit of The Tour."
"The arrangements negotiated with SouthEastern represent a success for CTC in working with a train operator who was prepared to talk about solutions."
SouthEastern are offering a special Tour de France deal for passengers. A one-day ticket will cost £18, and a three-day ticket £34. The tickets allowed users unlimited travel on SouthEastern services during the Tour. The company is also laying on extra trains on Sunday, July 8. Tickets can be purchased via SouthEastern's website.
SouthEastern Railways: http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/
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