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Westminster kerb space maximisation strategy

August 28, 2009

A member of the public has recently submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Westminster City Council asking why the on-street motorcycle parking bays do not provide individual spaces within them, as it is the case in other European Cities, such as Paris and Barcelona, as shown in one of our previous posts (click here to view the post).

We think this is a very good question, as we see no reason why Westminster City Council would not provide individual spaces within their motorcycle bays, given that they now stealth tax motorcyclists for parking.

Here is the Council’s answer to the FOI request:-

“I can advise that the dimensions of the actual motorcycle bays comply with the Road Traffic Act 2002.  The rationality for Westminster City Council (WCC) not specifically outlining individual parking spaces within the bay is that they are attempting to maximise the use of the area to address the demands for motorcycle parking. A motorcycle parking space is an area within a parking bay, which is considered to be approximately 0.8 Meters by 1.86 Meters.  This space may be parallel to, or at an angle up to, 90° from the kerb, and is not usually individually delineated”.

In a more 4 news TV programme (click here to watch it), Conservative Councillor Danny Chalkley advised the following:-

“In Westminster, we occupy a very unique position in the centre of the UK’s capital. We have inmense pressures and we have to manage the kerb space around us”.

Oh, how sweet! Managing the kerb space, in Councillor Chalkley’s opinion, seems to consist of providing the minimum space possible for motorcyclists to park, without worrying about how over-crowded the bike parking bays might be and how damaged our motorbikes and scooters might be as a result of other motorcyclists trying to squeeze their bike in tiny spaces, due to the lack of adequate parking facilities provided in Westminster.

If Westminster City Council, as Chalkley seems to suggest, have “inmense pressures” to manage the kerb space, then why are a large number of car spaces well delineated, as opposed to motorcycle spaces? Is this because Westminster Council, and especially Councillor Danny Chalkley, simply don’t care about motorcycles, although they’re more than happy to tax them to park to fill up the Council’s coffers? And if kerb space is such a big problem in Westminster, is it right that a large number of Conservative Councillors have an official free parking permit to park their cars, unlike their colleagues in other Central London boroughs? We know from a previous FOI request that not a single penny collected from the bike parking tax during the financial year 2008/09 has been specifically spent on motorcycle parking in Westminster, so this explains why Westminster City Council can’t be asked to provide individual motorcycle parking spaces within their bays.

In Westminster’s terms, maximising and managing kerb space seems to consist of stealth taxing road users, including motorcyclists, who use bikes specifically to reduce road congestion and air pollution, instead of providing adequate parking facilities with security devices, which is what Councillor Chalkley initially promised and has precisely failed to do.

Have a look at a previous post, which compares and contrasts the parking facilities provided in Paris and Barcelona, free of charge, with the ones provided in Westminster for which motorcyclists are required to pay. You will realise that Paris and Barcelona definitely don’t have the same understanding of and approach to kerb space management, as Westminster City Council.

We now leave you with a couple of questions for you to think about. What difference(s) can you see between an on-street motorcycle parking bay in Westminster, now that we have to pay for parking, and the same motorcycle parking bay prior to the introduction of the parking charge, a part from a sign telling us that we now have to pay? Can you think of a justification for the current charge that directly benefits motorcyclists? If you do, please leave a comment at the end of this post. We will be very interested to hear your views.

Sources (click to view):-

FOI request re motorcycle parking spaces

FOI request re parking income


Please join and support the legal fight 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 30th September 2009, don’t miss it! For further details, visit

Soutenez et participez au proces dont le but 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 30 septembre 2009, ne la ratez pas! Pour plus d’informations, consultez


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Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

  1. CHARLIE permalink

    Well, I can see one benefit.

    It gives us the opportunity to lay into the self satisfied greedy sh*ts and remind them who’s the boss.

  2. MonkeyBoy permalink

    I have spotted a benefit we get – by charging us £1 they make our pockets lighter so we have less to carry each day – oh but hang on, you can only pay by phone, so that doesn’t work – no, sorry, can’t see any benefit
    And isn’t it £1 PLUS the cost of a phone call or text that we get charged?

  3. Hegley permalink

    Absolutely right, one year on and what have we got for our money Chalkley?

  4. James permalink

    This is crazy. The City of Westminster is charging us for nothing! Where else could you get away with this?

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