Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Saturday, 17 April 2010 13:33 UK

Man forced to cycle on to ferry

Tom Noble
Mr Noble took six trains and three taxis to reach the French ferry port

A London businessman stranded in France by the no-fly ban is back in the UK after having to buy a women's bicycle to allow him aboard a returning ferry.

Thom Noble, 52, from Highgate, said operator Norfolkline had no foot passenger tickets left and would only let him on as a cyclist.

He said staff at Dunkirk even made him ride the cycle, which he bought from a second-hand shop, up the ferry's ramp.

Norfolkline was not available for comment on Saturday.

Child's bike

He said half a dozen people grounded by the volcanic ash had the same idea and boarded the boat in a wobbling parade of two-wheelers.

One man, a British Airways gold card member, was riding a children's bicycle.

Mr Noble, the managing director of a marketing company, and his colleague, set off on Friday morning from Zurich in Switzerland.

The trip involved six trains and three taxis just to reach the French ferry port.

He said the second-hand shop had had a run on bicycles and he bought a women's bike for 49 euro (£43) while his colleague picked out a bright pink contraption with a giant basket in front.

Mr Noble said once in Dover they were forced to dump the bicycles in order to get on a bus to go to the railway station.

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