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Charging for motorcycle parking: an idea that is being abandoned?

September 29, 2009

Last month, we published a post titled “Are Westminster Conservative Councillors left alone with their bike parking tax?“, where we explained that Westminster is the only council in the United Kingdom, and the rest of the European Union, to stealth tax motorcyclists for parking. Other councils throughout London and other parts of the UK have been closely monitoring Westminster’s trial to introduce parking charges for motorbikes and scooters, but so far, not a single local authority has followed Westminster’s example.

In last week’s mass email, we were advised by Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign, that a number of councils, other than Westminster, had been contemplating the idea of charging for motorcycle parking, but based on Westminster’s experience, they had abandoned the idea, purely as a result of the enormous opposition generated by the campaign. Such opposition, so far, has consisted of regular demonstrations with thousands of bikers invading the streets of Central London, hundreds of Freedom of Information requests submitted to Westminster Council as a result of their parking department not answering emails and letters sent by the public (including their own residents), investigations into the way the Verrus pay by phone parking system has been introduced in Westminster, which has revealed that the contract awarded to Verrus UK Limited may not comply with the European Directive 2004/18/EC, which the campaign may use to take the council to the High Court should the motorcycle parking tax be made permanent. Not to mention the thousands of objections to their charging scheme that Westminster Council received by 18th February 2009 and again on 1st July 2009, during a scheduled demonstration.

Councillor Danny Chalkley is now left alone with his bike parking tax. Not only it may be illegal under European law, but also, he does not appear to have the support of any other council in London and the rest of the UK. We have spotted a statement recently made by the City of London Corporation, which shows how reluctant they have become to the idea of introducing a parking tax for motorcyclists, based on Westminster’s experience:-

“Officials, however, showed no enthusiasm for the idea [that is of charging for motorcycle parking], citing practical problems and reminding committee of previous protests from bikers, which had blocked City streets”.

We have also spotted a Freedom of Information request submitted to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, where they advise that they have no plans to introduce parking charges for motorcyclists in their borough:-

“At this time, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have no plans to introduce compulsory charges for visitors to park motorcycles”.

So these are two examples of local authorities, who may have contemplated the idea of charging for motorcycle parking, but abandoned their plans, based on Westminster’s experience.

Below is a statement from Warren Djanogly in his latest mass email which says it all:-

“Make no mistake about it, we are very close to getting this vile & unjustifiable attack on motorcyclists and scooterists scrapped, and thus it is crucial that we put on an “increasing” show of strength as it could well be a deciding factor. We need you [the campaigners] now more than ever, so there can be no doubt that, even after a year of campaigning, we are NEVER going away until it [the bike parking tax] is scrapped. Remember, it is not only Westminster that needs to realise this, we need EVERY OTHER COUNCIL that might dare to contemplate a similar scheme know that they will be fought to the bitter end”.

Campaign logo

 

The message is very clear: motorcyclists do not want to be charged for parking anywhere! The campaign will remain and intensify until Councillor Danny Chalkley finally realises this. But will it be too late?

 

Sources (click to view):-

City of London Corporation statement (scroll down to page 5)

FOI request to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

 

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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