Bicycles on ferries (and coaches, and maybe trains)

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  • Bicycles on ferries (and coaches, and maybe trains)
  • coaches usually only bagged up properly

    Aha, that’d be dandy. I heard a rumour a while back that N.E. left it to the driver’s discretion as to whether they’d take a bicycle, and that’s a bit risky for my taste. A bagged bike’d still be sailing a little close to the wind for (basic) baggage sizes though wouldn’t it? “You can take two medium sized suitcases, each weighing no more than 20Kg” “A medium sized suitcase is defined as not exceeding: Height 70cm x Width 30cm x Depth 45cm.” (Their advice site again)(I get a bit obsessive-compulsive about details in these situations, sorry)

    Differnt companies have differnt rules but I did look into this for me one – I’d still check with the company you want to travel with

    Howdy all,
    Long time lurker, first time topic starter.

    Here’s hoping some of you folks can shower/spatter me with knowledge.

    I’m currently flapping around attempting to sort out transport to a wedding in Brittany next month, and have happened across a possible glitch (or admirable commitment to sustainable transport) in the Brittany-Ferries pricing – 40% less with a bike compared to on foot.

    It’d be nice to cycle some of the way post-ferry too, so I’m keen on this. I’ll have to National Express / Megabus it down to Pompey from Brum though – has anyone experience of taking a bike on a coach? Currently waiting on a N.E. reply as to whether they still count a bike as a bike if the wheels/bars/pedals are off and it’s bagged, but you folk may well be a quicker ask. (the Nat Express allows for fold-up bikes, that’s not so different to a bagged bike is it?).

    Alternately, were I to book a bicycle ticket on the ferry and then turn up on foot would I get away with a facepalm and “I knew I’d forgotten something!” – as it’s in my morally uncomfortable zone to try, but doesn’t make any sense to me why it’s cheaper in the first place. Could I take a toddler-style bike in my satchel? Would it count?

    Thanks in advance for any anecdotes/advice/abuse/pictures of cats you may have.

    p.s. As there’s seemingly a few france based folk on here, how amenable are their trains generally for taking bikes? (preferably fully put together at that stage) St Malo to Guingamp areas if that’s relevant.

    Righto, i’ll do that then. thanks for the help. (went out for a bit, so tardy replying)


    I’m taking my bike to france in June, ride on, ride off with Brittany ferries. As a pedestrian you could just claim your bike was stolen?

    I don’t know about coaches, but you could get a train most of the way and ride (though trains are really epensive IME!)

    though trains are really expensive IME!

    there’s the bugger of it. I’d much prefer the train, but over the last couple of years they’ve become so much more expensive than the coaches i can’t justify it (a weekend in southampton last month cost £25 return for the coach compared to £40+ on the train)


    As national express dont own the coaches they subcontracted out from local coach companies, it may be best to ring the coach company that is being used as some may well wory about oil in their nice big luggage bay.

    are they really? i’ve noticed a range of differently aged coaches (none of them with a decent amount of legroom even for a short-arse like me), but all liveried for N.E. – they hire and then repaint them?


    all coaches have to disply the owners name and address at the side of the passenger door,low down.

    Stagecoach group,(megabus) own all their coaches.

    M Wyer

    If you are going by Ferry with a Bike ticket you are expected to be able to roll on by bike with the cars, lorries etc. not with the foot passengers. As long as you can push the bike on (or at least a BSO) perhaps carrying a bike bag then you should be ok.

    You may remember some fuss during the great volcano evacuation where some people had to buy bikes to come back by ferry as all the foot passenger tickets had already been sold.

    I hadn’t thought of any of that, good point.
    National Express have given me the thumbs up for using a bike bag, so the take-the-bike plan’s looking good (once i buy a bag). I’d probably best check with the ferry folk as to whether it’ll need to roll, as was hoping to get all the train journeys out of the way before re-assembling the thing – seems less hassle.


    We’ve done that route. The French trains aren’t particularly cheap and you can only use certain ones with unbagged bikes.

    UK trains to Portsmouth can be dead cheap (we got about 10 quid each way from Bristol) if booked early and bike bookings are free. If you have to change trains make sure you get all sections of the journey booked for the bike.

    The french trains don’t seem too bad really, until i compare it to prices i’m whinging about paying over here. It’s looking like £56 St Malo – Lorient return, taking the same 4 1/2 hrs each way as the brum-pompey coach that’ll cost £22 (megabus). I’d poo myself with indignation at that over here, yet for some reason I don’t mind too much, maybe as it’ll be an adventure (and spending foreign money doesn’t feel like spending real money, does it?).

    I’m getting to wonder whether taking the bike’s more hassle than it’s worth (the savings’ll be spent on the carry bag, and without it I’d fit in the car convoy coming back), but it feels like it’ll be a holiday this way, rather than spunking a fortune just to watch my sister get married. Ho hum..


    Hi Spasmic Gherkin,

    I work at Brittany Ferries. Can you send me an e-mail with your telephone number and we will look into the pricing for you.


    it’s a shame you don’t have someone that could lend you a Brompton or something…

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