A cyclist who tried to travel home to Ireland on Irish Ferries’ economy ferry the Norbay by booking her bike on as a motorcycle was left stranded at Pembroke Port and ended up travelling the long way to Tipperary.

Elaine Baker had been visiting the UK from Tipperary, travelling by train and foldup bike and ending her trip in north Pembrokeshire.

As the Stena ferry from Fishguard was not running at the time, she had booked onto Irish Ferries’ economy ferry, the Norbay.

She booked her pushbike on as a motorbike to ensure her crossing, reasoning that if the ferry could take a motorbike it could take a pushbike.

Presumably I can cycle onto the ferry the same way as a motorcyclist could cycle onto this ferry,” she said.

“I think it’s very ridiculous that they wouldn’t accept cyclists but would accept a motorbike.”

Elaine set off from Newport by bus at 5.30pm, she changed at Haverfordwest and arrived at Pembroke Port where she had to wait five hours for the 2.45am ferry.

However, she was refused permission, told that foot passengers were not accepted for ‘health and safety reasons’ and that her motorbike ticket could not be used.

She said that the staff at the port were very understanding but said that the rule was that only motorbikes could board the ferry.

“I can’t see any reason for this rule and nobody could give me any reason for this rule,” she said.

With a wasted Pembroke to Rosslare ferry ticket, Elaine hung around on the streets of Pembroke in the dark before taking three busses and three trains to get from there to Holyhead.

She arrived at Holyhead hoping to get the 8.15pm ferry Irish Ferries boat. Again she was faced by the same problem, that ferry did not take cyclists or foot passengers.

Luckily, she was able to take the Stena ferry at 8.30pm, which did accept foot passengers and cyclists, rather than waiting for the 2.40am Irish Ferries ship.

“In a climate crisis we are trying to make life easier for cyclists and for people who will walk, people who will take ferries rather than fly,” she said. “Instead it’s just made difficult and inconvenient.”

Elaine has set up a petition calling on ferry companies on the Irish sea to provide services to cyclists and foot passengers on every ferry service on which they provide services to motorised cars and motorcycles.

This has already gained more than 500 signatures. She has also asked for a meeting with Irish Ferries but has yet to hear back from the company.

Irish Ferries was asked by the Western Telegraph to comment on Elaine’s journey, as well as why the Norbay cannot take foot passengers and how long she will be running out of Pembroke Port, but has not responded.