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1st July 2009 – thousands of motorcyclists said NO, NO and NO to the bike parking tax in Westminster!

July 2, 2009

Not only Wednesday 1st July 2009 was a hot and sunny day in Central London, with temperatures reaching over 32◦C, but it was also a day during which thousands of motorcyclists and their supporters handed in their individual objection, one by one to Westminster City Council, to their ridiculous plans of making their bike parking tax permanent, which was introduced by Conservative Councillor Danny Chalkley in August 2008 on an experimental basis.

demo 1st july 6

How can the wealthiest borough council in the United Kingdom justify a stealth tax imposed on motorcyclists for parking, and treat them as cash cows to recover £17 million lost in failed Icelandic Banks and £15 million lost in a failed CCTV system, as a result of incompetent management? How can this council dare to introduce parking charges for motorbikes and scooters, when bikes are seen by every other UK authority, whether local or central, as the solution to road congestion and reduced air pollution? How on earth could these Westminster Conservative councillors, during the council’s scrutiny committee meeting on 31st March 2009, vote in favour of stealth taxing bikers to park in their borough, while they give themselves, without letting the public know (unless they make an enquiry), the benefit of free parking for their polluting four wheeled vehicles, and after having received in excess of 3,000 objections to the same bike parking tax at the time, and not a single letter or email of support? The behaviour of these Westminster Conservative councillors clearly demonstrates, in our opinion, that they have no consideration for the public who have elected them, ignore the legal concept of democracy and their only motivation seems to be to grab public money, in a view to filling up their council’s coffers.

We wonder whether Westminster City Council will this time around take into consideration the 3,000+ objections they received last night from angry motorcyclists and their supporters who turned up at their doorstep, and also the 2,000+ emails sent by protestors all over the UK from the campaign’s website.

demo 1st july 3

demo 1st july 5

We very well know by now that democracy and freedom of speech are not in the Westminster dictionary, but given the extremely high number of objections they have received this time around, what excuse can they possibly come up with to ignore them all? If these public servants were working in France, not only can we assure you that their bike parking tax would not have lasted for longer than a week, but also, they would most likely be in the council’s history by now.

The demonstration was also marked by very high press coverage nationwide. Radio and television channels, as well as newspapers, magazines, forums and websites, reported the event and presented their views of Westminster’s motorbike/scooter parking policy throughout the day. The fact that the media felt the need to report the demonstration nationwide clearly shows how shocked they were by Westminster City Council’s attitude towards motorcyclists, who are keen to make every effort to reduce road congestion and air pollution, especially in the current context of climate change. You will find below a national news video and a radio interview which will both give you an idea of the magnitude and impact of the demonstration and how well it was covered by the national media (note how nervous Councillor Danny Chalkley came across when asked to justify his bike parking tax in the news programme).

 

 

The campaign is taking Westminster City Council to Court!

Yes, that’s right! We were told yesterday during the demonstration’s briefing at Golden Square that the campaign has evidence of the council having illegally introduced their bike parking tax. A “fighting fund” is now open for each campaigner and their supporters to lend £10 (i.e. the cost of one tank of fuel) to the campaign to take Westminster City Council to Court and get this tax, and its infrastructure, scrapped once for good. Once the battle is won, we have been told that all funds lent to the campaign will be paid back to the campaigners. The collection started during yesterday’s demonstration and we are advised that an online facility will be put up shortly on the campaign’s website for more campaigners and supporters to lend £10 online.

We now leave you with some more pictures of yesterday’s MEGA and impressive demonstration!

demo 1st July 1

demo 1st july 7

demo 1st july 9

 

Please join and support the campaign to get the bike parking tax in Westminster scrapped before it spreads all over the UK and the European Union. Visit http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

Soutenez et participez a la campagne dont la mission est de forcer la mairie de Westminster a supprimer la taxe de stationnement des deux-roues avant que le concept ne se propage a travers le Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

 

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