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Are Westminster parking services operating from the Republic of Ireland?

September 4, 2009

Last week, we exposed our understanding of Westminster’s kerb space management strategy, based on a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to Westminster City Council (click here to view the post). Now, we’re going to examine another part of the same FOI request, which is about markings in motorcycle parking bays (click here to view the details of the FOI request).

In their response to the FOI, Westminster City Council advised the following:-

“I [Westminster City Council] can advise that the dimensions of the actual motorcycle bays comply with the Road Traffic Act 2002. The rationality for Westminster City Council 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”.

Below is a comment we found in the  forum (the author has granted us permission to quote their own words), in relation to the above response, which, we think, describes the issue very well:-

“If a space of 0.8 meter by 1.86 meters is required to be considered a minimum space for parking a motorcycle/scooter, then a space of 1.6 meters by 1.86 meters should be the minimum space for parking 2 motorcycles/scooters and 2.2 meters by…. you get the idea.

As such, the bays they [Westminster City Council] have marked already have a maximum occupancy, which is denoted by how many times that 0.8 x 1.86 meters can fit into it. So by not marking off individual spaces of dimensions no less than 0.8 x 1.86 meters, and admiting to encouraging above maximum occupancy the space they [Westminster City Council] are providing, is NOT a valid motorcycle parking space by their own specification, and therefore they [Westminster City Council] have yet again failed to provide something which they said they would supply! As a result I’d like everyone [motorcyclists] to email WCC [Westminster City Council] quoting this FOI  and asking for a full refund for failing to supply the service promised to them”.

The comment goes on:-

“Westminster resides in what city?

I would hope you all got the right answer but for those of you being overly clever and answering “the city of Westminster” the answer I was looking for was London.

What country is London in (or if you were overly clever what country is the city of Westminster in)?

This one should be answerable by most of the world, with the answer obviously being England.

So why the hell are Westminster quoting the Irish Road Traffic Act [in their response to the FOI]? Did we loose a war I didn’t know about? The last time UK law revised the Road Traffic Act was 1991!! HOW STUPID ARE THEY [Westminster City Council]!!! – Irish statuebook shows a 2002 Road Traffic Act. – the UK Office of Public Sector Information, which is part of the national archives and contains every UK Act of Parliament. For the section that covers the year 2002, it shows NO Road Traffic Act.

Can we borrow laws from anywhere now then? Could I for example start carrying a shooter round Westminster and be covered under the second amendment of the US constitution?”

We believe that Westminster City Council are experiencing severe difficulties to cope with the very high volume of Freedom of Information requests they receive from motorcyclists, as a result of Councillor Danny Chalkley, and his fellow Conservative colleagues, not answering their emails, and having introduced a highly unpopular stealth tax on motorcycle parking. Why don’t they admit defeat instead of making themselves look so foolish and unprofessional, by even not checking the information they send out to the public? To us, this FOI request has revealed that Westminster parking services are even not aware of their own local regulations.

We hope that the above findings will be of some use to the legal fight declared by the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign against Westminster City Council. Could it be that all Westminster motorcycle parking bays do not comply with the English Road Traffic regulations? Well, we will find out sooner or later, and we notice that the author of the FOI request has asked Westminster City Council to provide a copy of the (Irish) Road Traffic Act 2002 to which they are referring in their answer, but will Westminster realise their ignorance?

One thing is for sure, this FOI request, as hundreds of others, would not have been submitted if Councillor Danny Chalkley had not introduced a tax on motorcycle parking. When is Danny Chalkley going to finally understand that the longer he drags on with his bike parking tax, the more Westminster City Council will see a deluge of Freedom of Information requests submitted to them, most of which being designed to reveal what these Conservative politicians are on about, behind the back of their own residents, who elected them in the first place. Will the same Westminster residents be voting Conservative again in May 2010? We shall find out in less than nine months.

Come back next week, when we will show you whether Westminster City Council have been complying with the motorcycle parking policies issued by the Department for Transport (DfT).

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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