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Scrapping half of the bike parking tax is not good enough

October 13, 2009

Back in August 2008, Westminster Conservative Councillor Danny Chalkley started to stealth tax motorcyclists to park their bike everywhere in the borough, by cynically using the Verrus pay by phone parking technology, designed for car use only. In June 2009, following the thousands of objections he received to his bike parking tax, Chalkley decided to scrap motorcycle parking charges in off-street car parks only, in the hope that the opposition he had been facing would reduce considerably. We say off-street car parks only, because the thousands of objections that Chalkley received from the public were in fact to request full scrapping of the tax everywhere in Westminster, not only in off-street car parks.

During the month of June 2009, and after introducing a few changes to his motorcycle parking scheme, such as free parking in underground car parks and a reduced daily fare for on-street parking from £1.50 to £1, Chalkley received another batch of circa 3,000 objections to his bike parking tax, an increase of 285 from the first round (source: motorcycle report published on 1st October 2009). The objections were again to request full scrapping of the motorcycle parking tax everywhere in the borough,  specifically on-street, which he failed to deliver the first time around.

Despite all these objections, Chalkley’s unwanted tax is still here for on-street motorcycle parking and he is now considering making the scheme “permanent”. We know that Chalkley is desparate to make his bike parking tax “permanent” because he is keen to raise substantial revenue in a view to selling the scheme to other councils, through the Partners in Parking (PiP) arrangements, lead by Westminster City Council. We also know that he doesn’t give a monkey about the thousands of objections he received to request full scrapping of the scheme, all he wants is push his unwanted tax through, no matter what the residents he has been elected to serve think. While Chalkley takes his time to make his mind up (a decision he was due to make in August 2009), and is considering the potential consequences of such decision, which may include the intention of the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign to sue Westminster City Council for possible breach of European law, we have spotted an interesting Freedom of Information request about the future of underground car parks in Westminster. Following Councillors Chalkley’s and Caplan’s joint decision to transfer the ownership of two car parks into private hands, where motorcycle parking became free in June 2009, the key question is which car parks are going next.

According to the Council, there are currently no plans to transfer/sell/auction off any of the remaining twelve car parks. However, the City Council retains the right to review the position of these twelve car parks in the future. All dedicated motorcycle parking spaces in our off-street car parks are free of charge. There are no current plans to charge for motorcycle parking in dedicated motorcycle parking spaces. However, the City Council retains the right to review parking revenue strategies in the future”.

So here you have it, there is no guarantee that the Council will keep its car parks in the future, and there is no guarantee that motorcycle parking will remain free of charge in those car parks either. Great news, isn’t it?

We are also amused by the terms “parking revenue strategies”, when Councillor Chalkley has been describing and advertising his motorcycle charging scheme as revenue-neutral. It doesn’t sound like revenue-neutral, does it?

But why would Chalkley care after all? He has given himself the benefit of a free official parking permit all over Westminster, and he might also well be one of the 18 councillors taking advantage of his free official parking permit to park his car outside his hours of duty, thus saving him the cost of a resident parking permit. We are sure that, if this is not the case, he will let us all know.

Should Chalkley decide to make his motorcycle charging scheme “permanent”, the No to Bike Parking Tax campaign will launch a legal fight against Westminster City Council for possible breach of European law. Would it not be more reasonable for Chalkley to scrap the tax now?

 

Source (click to view):-

Freedom of Information request re Westminster off-street car parks

 

Campaign logoPlease 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 31st October 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 31 octobre 2009, ne la ratez pas! Pour plus d’informations, consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

 

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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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