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  #1  
Old 17 May 2009
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Unhappy Motorcycle Parking Charges, London - We Say "NO,NO,NO"

This is an URGENT call to anyone who can PLEASE ATTEND OUR NEXT DEMO RIDE ON Tues, 9 JUNE 2009 around Westminster, London W1 and a mini demo planned for Sat, 23 MAY 2009.

Westminster City Council have introduced MOTORCYCLE PARKING CHARGES and are quite simply cashing in on environmentally conscious motorcycle and scooter riders who reduce congestion and pollution in our city by using this mode of travel. This scheme is presently on trial but Westminster City Council are adamant this ‘pay by phone’ scheme will shortly become a permanent and are pushing for it to go Nationwide. The scheme was stated by Westminster City Council to be a "non-profit making scheme" but the Council were already in profit by over £2 million in the first 6 months!


We have a very strong ongoing campaign to stop this tax before it spreads country-wide or further. Our last two demos were attended by up to 5,000 bikes - we would love to at least double this number for our next demo on 9 June!!! THIS ISSUE AFFECTS ANYONE WHO TRAVELS BY MOTORCYCLE or SCOOTER so please join us and show your support .

All details can be found on No To the Bike Parking Tax - Campaigning to have all parking taxes for motorcycles & scooters abolished. (the discussion forum is on Login - follow the link forWestminster Bike Parking Tax’).


MOTORCYCLE PARKING CHARGES IN LONDON? ..... WE SAY NO, NO, NO


Videos of our last demo can be found on:

YouTube - Notobikeparkingfees protest 11th May 2009 Part 1
YouTube - Notobikeparkingfees protest 11th May 2009 Part 2
YouTube - Notobikeparkingfees protest 11th May 2009 Part 3
YouTube - Notobikeparkingfees protest 11th May 2009 Part 4
YouTube - Notobikeparkingfees protest 11th May 2009 Part 5
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  #2  
Old 17 May 2009
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Why is it such a hardship to expect motorcyclists to pay a parking charge in one of the most traffic congested cities in Europe? A capital city to boot.

From what I understand the parking charges will, in most cases, provide a secure parking spot (anchor point) and only charge a relatively small charge.

I would gladly join you in the protest if this was something that was going to affect smaller cities and provincial towns but surely in a major capital city one would expect some sort of parking charge for a bike?
Remember, bikes are not subject to the congestion charge and can also use bus lanes.
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Old 17 May 2009
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Count me in for support! Already been to a couple of the demos.

There's really not much point allowing motorcycles and scooters exemption from the congestion charge and then charging them to park. The exemption was brought in to encourage motorcycles and scooters as a cheap alternative to expensive and overcrowded public transport, and sales of both increased as a result. Westminster just can't bear the idea that there's potentially tax money to be milked which there not getting theor grubby little paws on.

After all this time this 'non profit making charge' has resulted in exactly zero bays have had security fitted to them. (£1.50 per day, + the cost of calling their charge number - you HAVE to give your card details!)

Don't think for a second that every other council in the country aren't keeping a close eye on the Westminster 'experiment'. Westminster might have it now but if they go ahead it's be coming to a bay near you soon!
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Old 17 May 2009
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Will be there on the 9th and will leaflet bikes parked in my local area. I missed the last one but was there on 31st March. A nice party as well as a brilliantly organised demo!
People don't seem to believe you when you tell them you not only have to pay to park in Westminster, but you need a mobile phone to do it! And I don't have one! Even the congestion charge doesn't require you to have a mobile phone!
Can you imagine what all the Monsieurs and Mesdames in Paris would do if bikes there were charged for parking? They'd have the whole city blocked up in pretty short order as they did many years ago in a demo against French government insurance proposals.
And make no mistake, this will spread to the rest of the UK, and eventually include bicycles as well.
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Old 17 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur-to-go View Post
Why is it such a hardship to expect motorcyclists to pay a parking charge in one of the most traffic congested cities in Europe? A capital city to boot.

From what I understand the parking charges will, in most cases, provide a secure parking spot (anchor point) and only charge a relatively small charge.

I would gladly join you in the protest if this was something that was going to affect smaller cities and provincial towns but surely in a major capital city one would expect some sort of parking charge for a bike?
Remember, bikes are not subject to the congestion charge and can also use bus lanes.
With respect, I think you have missed the point here.

Firstly, Wesminster City Council have a national framework contract in place when their experimental order goes permanent. Five other councils in London have currently got the same pay-by-phone experimenting through this framework. This will go national when/if this goes permanent. Right now it is only an experimental order.

Secondly, Westminster City Council promised secure parking for the motorcycle bays. More than 90% of all motorcycle bays in Westminster have no security whatsoever, i.e. security stands/bars which was promised by Westminster City Council prior to the introduction of charging.

Thirdly, Westminster City Council said this scheme would be 'revenue neutral' with an estimated annual income of £600K. In the first 6 months they had already taken £2.3 million. This is just a money making scheme as more people have moved to motorcycles and scooters from cars as a more environmentally, less congestive form of transport.

And lastly (and by no means least) - bikes do not pay congestion charge simply because THEY DO NOT CONGEST.

Protest now or this WILL go national and be taken up by every Borough Council in the country.

Last edited by Rach; 17 May 2009 at 23:20. Reason: typo correction
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Old 19 May 2009
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.......2nd post to rant already?
A small fee to park in London with a ground anchor isn't really unrealistic.
Might be worth not being too rash about this ... - Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222-230 -
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Old 19 May 2009
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Monsieur-to-go: it's also an issue of pathetic (delayed and overpriced) public transport. It's all very well charging people to drive/park and thereby encouraging people out of/off their own vehicles and on to public transport BUT you've got to have a robust, functioning and reasonably priced public transport infrastructure in place first.
London is bent on getting their ££ from us but not investing anything back into services to make us not resent shelling out.
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Old 19 May 2009
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Don't get me wrong, I'm the first to rant about parking charges and motorists being fleeced to line the government's coffers.
But, I keep reading about riders complaining about the lack of suitable parking for bikes in major cities. In an ideal world parking for bikes would indeed be free and good quality but I aslo drive a car and may (with my drivers hat on here) find it unfair that I have to pay very high parking charges whereas a bike gets this free.

Now I know that bikes decrease congestion - I ride one mainly so I can avoid traffic hold-ups - but if I could get safe, suitable and good quality parking for my bike then I don't think I'd be against a reasonable charge for the priviledge.

If I'm wrong and this is just a sneaky way of getting extra money from people then I'll eat my hat (If I can find it!).
But I sense that this is a council listening to rider's gripes and providing a good service but also having to find the money to pay for it from somewhere - hence the charge.
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Old 19 May 2009
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So what you're saying is give the councils the benefit of the doubt?

I really don't think that's wise. If people hadn't petitioned for Bikes in Bus lanes, for example, then they would all to easily have been derailed or forgotten. Bikers seem to believe that they deserve some notion of equal treatment in the minds of the transport planners but policies show time after time that we aren't adequetely considered unless we voice an opinion.

This charging is not just about the money it's about our bikes' place on the greener, less congesting side of the arguement. It puts us on the side of the cars where charges are used to dissuade and control behaviours. That's why we need get behind this initiative. When bikes jam the streets and pollute us uncomfortably then we'll start a different thread about that...
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Old 19 May 2009
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Sorry, Westminster are a million miles from providing a good service. I used to live in the borough but now live on the edge of London. I travel by car, motorbike, bicycle and public transport.

In the "good old days" I used to always use the motorbike to go to London, unless a pub was involved. Parking was easy and there was sufficient.
Now, I truly can't remember when I last went to central London by motorbike. If you arrive in the West End after, say, 9:30am it may take you an hour of going round in circles to find a space (you can't park in car spaces anymore, years ago you could). Then, you'd be so far away from your destination you'd have to take a bus or Underground anyway! And you CAN'T PARK without a mobile phone, and I don't have one, nor want one.

The City of London still has free parking and I'm convinced there are more spaces there than in Westminster. On my few visits there by bike you can usually find a space not too far from where you want to go.
So Westminster are bandits pure and simple I'm afraid.

As another contributor says, there are hardly any security fittings provided.
There's also the issue of Westminster, certainly a few years ago, pandering to property owners who would object to bike-parking spaces being provided on the public road close to their buildings, purely because "they didn't want bikes parked close to their offices! Cars, no problem!"
I think there's still evidence that they won't provide bike parking in places where office-owners object on no better grounds than perceived status. Hence the shortage of bike parking in Westminster. The Duke of Westminster owns most of the land - maybe he's the culprit, but he doesn't own the public roads.

In comparison, I sometimes drive up to Westminster by car. I dread doing so, but I know I can be confident of finding a car space near where I want to go. Can you ever imagine, ten years ago, being told it's easier to park a car in London than a motorbike!

Lastly, there's one silver lining. I more often now than in the past cycle up to London when convenient. The congestion charging has made it a joy, and the lack of motorbike parking an occasional necessity.
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Old 19 May 2009
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it may take you an hour of going round in circles to find a space (you can't park in car spaces anymore, years ago you could).

And you CAN'T PARK without a mobile phone, and I don't have one, nor want one.
Please explain the "Can't park in car space anymore" and " Can't park without a mobile phone".

Some of us in the USA can't relate.
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Old 19 May 2009
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er..

“Can't park in car space anymore". Bikes used to be able to park inside a car-sized space in “parking-restricted” areas. To be fair, you often had to pay the going rate for that space as car spaces haven’t been free (in London at least) for as long as I can remember.

" Can't park without a mobile phone". In London, and probably elsewhere, councils are replacing parking meters with phone numbers that you call up/text and pay for your parking using your mobile. This is to reduce administrative costs and deter theft from coin meters.
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Old 20 May 2009
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Please explain the "Can't park in car space anymore" and " Can't park without a mobile phone".

Some of us in the USA can't relate.
Yes, it's probably a peculiarly British thing.
Years ago a bike could park in a car space, in areas where parking is restricted. You'd have to put some money in the meter if it needed it. If a small car was already in the space, with enough room for a bike, you could park there for the time remaining on the meter (that the car driver had paid for). Anyone who doesn't remember this, I'm talking about the 1970s, roughly.

Now, in London, during the hours of restricted parking, bikes can only park in bike spaces. (And maybe the rest of the country for all I know). And in Westminster, the only way to pay for this is to phone a number from your mobile, quote your registration number, and the parking charge is added to the cost of the phone call.
This is an absolute outrage, whether or not the council is just trying to avoid cash payment machines being on the street. It would be incredibly easy for Westminster to arrange for the parking to be paid from an ordinary phone, for instance from home before you left, or on the internet, as for the London congestion charge. But they don't.

As others have said here, other borough councils are ready to copy this, and I'd bet that Croydon will be the first. They've recently re-arranged and re-laid-out a lot of bike-parking places in the borough. I'm convinced this is to make it easy to start charging bikes when they think the time is right.

This sort of thing can be stopped, but it needs all bikers to turn out for the demos.
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Old 20 May 2009
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I seem to recall that Westminster's original arguments was that the money raised would pay for the cost of converting bays, but they dropped the argument when it was pointed out that based on the number of bikes parking each day, if they started on the monday they'd have paid for the changes by the following weekend!!

One of the big problems on this issue is that London, the Mayors Office and Transport For London (who control many of our roads) don't have a overall policy on this or any other issue. Each borough makes their own policies and as those of us who live and work know, the morning's ride to work or elsewhere takes you through several of these boroughs and you're expected to know the rules of each borough. Westminster's council have made their intentions clear yet others, such as Hackney (and others i believe) simply let bikes park in any car bay as long as you park at the end of the bay. Simple, cheap and fair as it recognises the benefits of motorcycles and scooters.

Other parts of the UK are equally progressive, i know from past rides to Stratford on Avon that there are anchored bike bays (with security cameras too) available at no cost.

Westminster Council (the same delightful people who brought us Shirley Porter!) certainly aren't playing fair, which is all the more reason to stop them in their tracks.
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Old 21 May 2009
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It will be cheaper to stay at home if it keeps on like this. My wife works for the NHS in Carlisle, a 60 mile round trip from home with no public transport available, she is charged to park at work. Maybe we should claim for a second home, with a moat and tennis court? Thieving government scum.



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