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What’s the true reason for the bike parking tax?

August 2, 2009

We have come across a very interesting Freedom of Information (FOI) request that asks why electric motorcycles are exempt from the bike parking tax in Westminster. According to the Frequently Asked Questions in the motorcycle parking section of the Council’s website, it appears that “the City Councils’ policy for charging motorcycles to park is not based on emission levels”. The Council’s response to the FOI request states that “electric motorcycles park for free because they produce zero tailpipe emissions”. Right, so on one hand, we are told that the policy for taxing bikes to park is not based on emissions but, on the other, we are told that electric motorcycles park for free because they don’t contribute to air pollution. All this sounds a little bit inconsistent and contradictory, doesn’t it?

The Council’s response to the same FOI request also advises that “Westminster’s decision to introduce a charge for motorcycles was not based on environmental or congestion related concerns, but to address the ever-increasing demand for Westminster’s limited kerbside space and due to the reason above, electric motorcycles were exempted”. So, in other words, Westminster City Council not only regard electric motorcycles as non-pollutant (because of course the electricity that they use is produced without polluting the environment), but also they believe electric motorcycles do not occupy any parking space at all. We wonder on what planet these guys actually live and work because, in our (French) world, electric motorcycles take exactly the same amount of space as any other type of bike.

Well, it’s not the first time that we are coming across a ridiculous and contradictory response from Westminster City Council. And interestingly enough, both responses that we have in mind (i.e. to this particular FOI request and a contested PCN issued to a bike that was legally parked on a piece of private land, as described on a previous post) come from Mr Kevin Goad, Assistant Director of Parking at Westminster City Council. It looks like this man changes his mind like the wind changes direction. One day, the bike parking tax is based on kerbside space issues, another it is based on environmental concerns. On one occasion, your bike is parked on the footway, on another it is not parked on the footway but on part of it.

But one thing is for sure, Westminster City Council never change their mind when it comes to grabbing public money! They are always prepared to suck as much public money as they possibly can, and justify the reason for their financial appetite with non-sense and contradictory excuses.


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. The next demonstration is on 16th August 2009, don’t miss it! Visit

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. La prochaine manifestation aura lieu le 16 aout 2009, ne la manquez pas! Consultez


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