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Camden’s latest attempt at wasting taxpayers’ money on motorcycle parking

February 1, 2010

We have today been made aware of the installation of brand new security devices in some motorcycle parking bays in the Central London Borough of Camden. At first, we were pleasantly surprised by this piece of news, thinking that at least one council in Central London was recognising the many benefits that motorcycles can offer to a congested and polluted city, by providing security devices for free in their parking bays.

When we subsequently realised what these security devices looked like (above right), we were just horrified. Yes, horrified, and the term is very weak. Let us explain.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) introduced a couple of years ago a parking charge for their residents, justified by the provision of dedicated bays equipped with exactly the same security devices as the ones recently installed in Camden. Those security devices were (and still are) solely used as an excuse to charge their resident motorcyclists for parking, in a view to filling up the council’s coffers. So, can we assume that Camden are making plans to stealth tax motorcyclists for parking with their newly installed security devices?

Empty residents' bay equipped with ground anchors in the RBKC

Anyway, that’s not it. Take up of these ground anchors in the RBKC has been extremely low if not totally inexistent, which suggests that this type of security device is not popular at all with motorcyclists, to say the least. Of course they’re not popular because you’ve got to lift up a dirty handle at ground level, covered in dust, rain water, ice, and so on, with your hands, which, as a result, become as dirty as the handle itself. You’ve also got to carry a chain to use these security devices, which is heavy, and becomes as dirty as the device. Because of these worse than useless security devices, resident motorcyclists refuse to pay to use them, making the parking bays dedicated to them constantly empty and forcing all bikers to park their machines like sardines in free visitor bays, when they’re lucky enough to find a space within reasonable walking distance to their destination.

Now, we have found out that Westminster Council have also bought 200 of these unpopular and useless ground anchors, in a desparate last minute attempt to justify their motorcycle parking tax. It is obviously a lot more important to Westminster Councillor Chalkley to keep the employees and shareholders of his pay by phone parking supplier (Verrus UK Ltd) wealthy, by paying them 8 pence for every pound collected from parking transactions, than have the decency to consult motorcyclists, before wasting their money in purchasing useless security devices. After all, why is he worried about wasting more than £41,000 worth of taxpayers’ money (excluding installation costs) in those useless ground anchors, if this can (in his own dreams) help to push through his motorcycle parking tax, which brings in millions of pounds per annum?

And now it’s the turn of Camden Borough Council to buy and install this rubbish. Who is next at wasting thousands of taxpayers’ money?

Let’s not forget that all three councils, Westminster, Camden and the RBKC, are members of the Partnerships in Parking scheme, established by Westminster’s former Director of Parking, Alastair Gilchrist, in order to harmonise parking regulations across London. What was a very good idea in the first place seems to be seriously lacking of communication and consultation between members of the scheme, and we have here a great example to illustrate this. What the hell are these guys talking about during their quarterly meetings? Well, let’s at least hope that they’re talking about the 150 pages document, prepared by the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign, in which it is explained how Westminster City Council wasted some £675,000 of taxpayers’ money in setting up a scheme that could well turn out to be illegal (download a copy of the document here for more information).


Sources (click to view):-

Purchase of 200 security devices by Westminster Council

Installation of motorcycle security devices in Camden

8 pence for every pound paid to Verrus UK Ltd


Further reading (click to view):-

Bikers are getting angry at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Kensington & Chelsea are having a taste of Westminster’s defaced bike parking signs

Residents’ bike parking bays in Kensington & Chelsea continue to be defaced


Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


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

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

  1. Pissed of biker permalink

    Great story, this is what’s going on, money being spent to show that they are doing something, yet none of their actions is backed up with any proper consultation with the end users, that’s us.

    All they are doing is pissing off an ever increasing number of people, the public. But we aren’t stupid, so look out!

    We are about to take this directly to Camden.

  2. stopwasting ourmoney permalink

    Why are they installing these, nobody ever uses them, I have seen them in a few bike bays in London and they are a complete waste of space.

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