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Paris are scrapping 2,500 car parking spaces for motorcycles! Will Westminster ever do this?

October 15, 2009

One of our readers based in Paris has notified us of the local Mayor’s decision to scrap 2,500 car parking spaces to respond to the ever increasing demand for motorcycle parking in the French capital. A total of 18,000 brand new parking spaces for motorbikes and scooters will be created in Paris by 2014, and to help achieve this exemplary initiative, 2,500 spaces, currently dedicated to car parking, will be converted into parking spots for bikes.

Unlike Westminster City Council, the City of Paris is not focused on sucking public money. The existing 2,500 car parking spaces generate revenue on a daily basis, and by converting them into motorcycle parking spots, free of charge and with security devices, the local council is prepared to lose substantial parking revenue, for the sake of reducing road congestion and air pollution. Westminster City Council, on the other hand, have decided to stealth tax motorcyclists to park, in a pure attempt to control the increasing popularity of motorcycles and raise additional revenue.

In Paris, like in Barcelona, Singapore and Milan, motorcycles are viewed as a major transport solution to reduce road congestion and air pollution, and for this reason, the number of bikes in the French capital have been increasing at a much faster rate than in London. Parisians are actively encouraged to switch from four to two wheels because bikes do not congest, relieve pressure on the public transport and offer a cheap, fast and reliable mode of transport. The use of cars in Paris is highly discouraged, and to achieve this, the local authorities are starting to reduce the number of parking spaces for them. They have also introduced wider lanes for buses, cyclists and motorcyclists, in a view to considerably reducing the space that cars can occupy on the roads, thus making the use of cars increasingly difficult.

In Westminster, the use of cars is encouraged (and bikes discouraged) because some Conservative Councillors, like Susie Burbridge, consider that “motorcycles, even small ones, pollute more than Hummers“. What makes us laugh is that she blamed the French Government for having published a study on motorcycle harmful emissions compared with cars, when it is precisely the French authorities that are promoting the use of motorcycles across the Channel by, for instance, creating an additional 18,000 parking spots for them in Paris, free of charge. What also makes us laugh is the recent decision made by Westminster Councillor Chalkley to open resident car parking spaces to visitors between 10am and 4pm. Good strategy to boost your parking income, Danny, after all, that’s all you’re interested in. Environmental issues are like a foreign language for Westminster City Council, which is not surprising, since they have totally ignored them in their motorcycle report published on 1st October 2009.

In addition to scrapping 2,500 car parking spaces for motorcycles in Paris, new free and well equipped bike parking spots will be created in underground car parks, on the pavement and by extending the existing bays.

We now leave you with a couple of pictures of the parking facilities for motorcycles in Paris. Can you imagine thousands of new bike parking spaces like the ones shown below, with fantastic security devices and all free of charge? Hmm, this may make us consider returning to Paris soon, where the local authorities, unlike Westminster City Council, seem to have a lot more common sense and are keen to listen to the views of motorcyclists.






Sources (click to view):-,3295.html


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

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


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  1. Phil Randome permalink

    It is now permissable to drive a 125cc motorcycle/scooter on an ordinary car licence in France & Portugal – no “L” are plates required & a pillion can be carried. I also read in “Le Figaro” (2nd October) that the Piaggio MP3 scooter, both the 250cc & 400cc (3 wheelers) can be ridden on a car licence. This demonstrates a pragmatic determination in France to encourage the use of motorcycles & scooters to obviate pollution & road congestion in cities but here in the UK the reverse is true despite being the most populous country in Europe. This tunnel vision begins in central government with out of touch politicians & ends with local councils & administrations who interpret it as just another chance to make as much money as possible from any plausible excuse. Brave new world ? I think not.

  2. Thierry Muller permalink

    I have come back from a trip round the world and have not seen any city in any country tax scooter or motorcycle parking. On the contrary, I found that “biking” is actively being encouraged all over the planet.
    Westminster council is grossly out of touch with poeple living in London and the whole world !

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