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Old 6 Jun 2010
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Parking the bike in <insert UK city here>

Quick question: how do I know whether or not I have to pay for parking the bike in any UK city? We're currently in London and I never know whether those pay & display bays are free for motorcycles or not.

Is there maybe a list somewhere that I could print out and carry with me? I am really not willing to pay 120 GBP just because I didn't know how the system works. We're leaving London tomorrow but may be visiting other bigger cities (Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, etc.). Also what about parking the bike on the sidewalk - good or bad idea?
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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sidewalk is a bad idea, you risk having your bike removed (lifted by truck to a pound). and the laws on what's private/public in the pavement are worse than on the road.

london is the only place I've seen contradictory parking signs (should be on lamp posts). but the best bet is to just hang around for 5 mins and ask a traffic warden. any list you had would be out of date quickly.

generally (outside london) anywhere that has 'm/c only' or 'motorbikes' painted onto the road by the parking space should be ok and free.

it's much simpler and safer just to ask a traffic warden. there are plenty of them around.

in Edinburgh there's lots of free bike parking bays along George St in the centre of town ('m/c only').
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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I should maybe add, the rules on parking are not 100% 'national', they are made up by the councils themselves, with lots of exceptions and 'local by-laws'. parking fines is a big industry in the UK, and yet the wardens always seem happy to advise you (makes a change from them being abused I guess).
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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Do not park in car bays either. Use council carparks, read the pay and display sign, if it has bike parking bays will say free or how much. I believe UK councils are obliged to have bike parking bays. Other ideas, hospitals generally have free bike parking places as do supermarkets and shopping centres.
Costs a fortune if you have the bike removed to get it back so only use bike bays or supermarket spaces. NEVER the pavement.
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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In London, the only place you have to pay for on street parking per se is in the City Of Westminster. Its currently £1.00 a day if you stick it in a m/c bay BUT if you use a car bay, its £4.00p and then you have to pay by texting a central number and so need a mobile phone (also for a bike). It's crap and designed to fleece you and that's why we've all been protesting regularly and will doing a lap of the M25 on June 19th to bang home the objection.

Somebody has already said that parking is down to councils and this is true in London too. What I do if in doubt is buy the cheapest ticket I can find, take a slightly too close pic of it on the bike, ( so its out of focus) keep it, and then wait. I've never been billed as yet, but if I am, I can produce the photo and argue the toss. Most places tho don't charge bikes. And of course no congestion charging is applicable.............
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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Mainly London orientated but they have other cities, airports etc too.
A summary of rules and advice about pavements, verges etc.
Not exhaustive but certainly useful. Updated from time to time.

When in London I have on the bike a print off of their summary of which Boroughs allow us to park free on residents and general car bays and council car parks.
They don't mention Royal Parks (Regents Park Free - Wardens say totally although machines say 4 hours).
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Old 11 Jun 2010
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If Salisbury is on your list of cities to visit, some of the local authority car parks with m/cycle parking have limits of 4 or 5 hours free. Market Square in the centre (assuming no market) is probably your best option.
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