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Motorcycle parking facilities in Singapore versus Westminster

September 13, 2009

We visited Singapore last year and, while looking at our pictures with friends the other day, we remembered that we had taken a couple of photos showing the motorcycle parking facilities over there, 13 hours flight away from Westminster. The pictures were taken in the evening, in a residential area, just a couple of tube stops from the city centre.

 

100_2066

 

100_2067

 

Singapore, like Paris and Barcelona, provide excellent parking facilities to motorcyclists, who are seen by the local government as major contributors to reduce road congestion and air pollution. Singapore is a very busy city, the weather is constantly hot and humid, so motorcycles are a great transport solution for many Singaporeans to go shopping, to work or visit friends and family.

Note the amount of space that is provided to each motorcycle. Each bike has its own space, so that it faces very little risk of being damaged by other motorcyclists trying to park their bike in over-crowded bays, as it is the case in Westminster.

For those of you based outside London and the United Kingdom, have a look at the very poor parking facilities offered in Central London, by Westminster City Council, and compare them with the ones provided in Singapore (above), Paris and Barcelona (below).

 

Westminster motorcycle parking bay

parking 1

 

Note that this is what Conservative Councillor Danny Chalkley (the man in charge of parking at Westminster City Council) refers to as “excellent parking services“! We wonder how he would qualify the motorcycle parking services in Paris, Barcelona and Singapore then.

 

Paris motorcycle parking bay

Paris1

 

Barcelona motorcycle parking bay

Barcelona Parking2

 

So far, we haven’t found a single city in the world which offers motorcycle parking facilities worse than the ones in Central London, particularly in the borough of Westminster. And yet, Westminster City Council introduced a stealth tax on motorcycle parking in August 2008, for their third world parking facilities. This tax has been generating a massive amount of income (circa £4 million per annum), but Westminster City Council have decided that motorcycle parking is definitely not worth developing, especially when they keep claiming that 16,000 motorcyclists ride into Westminster every single working day. So those of you who read this blog from outside the United Kingdom, you have every right to be shocked by what is on offer to motorcyclists to park their bike in Central London, especially in the borough of Westminster. And those of you who are based in the UK, you also have every right to let Westminster City Council know what you think of their motorcycle parking facilities (click here to contact them), especially when compared with the ones in Singapore, Barcelona and Paris.

Westminster City Council admitted that they had always wanted to charge motorcyclists for parking, but they didn’t have the technology to do so in the past. Now that they have adopted the awful Verrus pay by phone system, they believe that their motorcycle parking facilities are so excellent that they’re worth charging for. But what Westminster City Council don’t seem to realise, is what motorcyclists and other road users think of the Verrus pay by phone system. The latest comment we have come across is “the [Verrus] pay by phone system is really atrocious and I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with it any more!” (click here to view the source). If, at this stage, you are still not convinced about how bad the Verrus pay by phone system is, then click here, then here again and finally here for more details.

Oh, and for those of you based outside of London (whether in the UK or overseas), don’t even think about travelling to London by motorbike, unless you are very keen to find your bike damaged in the parking bays, or pay a parking tax to Westminster City Council, which will NOT be reinvested into motorcycle parking (click here for further details). But the decision is yours and you will have been warned!

 

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  http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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 http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

 

If you have a story you would like to see published on UKFRANCE.org, please contact us here.

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

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One Comment
  1. Hi there from Singapore! Public parking lots are administered by two agencies – the Housing Development Board (in housing estates) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (in commercial / non-residential areas). The lots are indeed marked individually. However, in popular carparks, it’s quite common for motorcyclists to attempt to “squeeze” in between lots. This is especially so if the bike is a small “cub” bike (we call them “kupchai” here) and takes up little space.

    You can see an extreme example here. This carpark is very popular due to the lack of available parking space, and construction work nearby (most of the construction workers arrive by kupchais from Malaysia): http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/motoring_goondus/250328/3_motorcycles_share_one_lot_at_seah_im_carpark.html

    As for private parking operated by commercial buildings, much of it is a hit and miss. Some buildings allow free parking; they leave a space next to the gantry for motorbikes to pass through, and you pretty much park in empty spaces around the carpark. Some have paid parking. Some do not allow motorcycles to enter at all.

    This is particularly a serious problem in our Central Business District area where a majority of the buildings do not permit motorcycles to enter. Public carparks provided by the URA is limited and very popular, so many motorcyclists resort to parking on the pavement instead.

    BTW, we are not allowed to park on pavements. It is an offence and merits a hefty fine or even disqualification! Of course, we still do if there are no parking lots available, and most of us try to park out of the way of pedestrians.

    We do have problems with parking enforcement these days, since it’s been outsourced to private operators. One major problem is with the display of tickets. We pay for our parking not at parking meters, but with prepaid coupons. We tear off tabs on the coupon to indicate the date and time, and normally attach the coupon on the tank.

    The problem is some of us still get fined for not displaying a valid coupon. It becomes a case of he-said-she-said, since nobody can really prove that the coupon was or was not displayed. The motorcyclist would argue that the parking attendant either ignored or removed the coupon so that he/she could issue a ticket; the parking attendant would argue that the coupon simply was not there in the first place.

    Anyway, it’s been quite fun reading of the protests in Westminister and Paris. I doubt we’d go that far in Singapore though. Keep it up!

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