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Paris say NON to Westminster’s bike parking tax

February 23, 2010

Click on picture to read the Moto Mag article in full (in French)

Back in October 2009, we published a post to explain that, by 2014, Paris will have scrapped 2,500 car parking bays and converted them all into motorbike and scooter parking spaces, in an effort to create a total of 18,000 additional spaces for powered two wheelers (PTWs) (click here to view the post). The Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, unlike his Westminster Conservative counterparts in Central London, is obviously very keen to promote the use of motorcycles, as a way to tackle congestion and pollution in the French capital. It goes without saying that these 18,000 additional motorcycle parking spaces will be provided free of charge and with security devices to encourage Parisians to switch from four to two wheels, which is a concept that Councillor Danny Chalkley and Alastair Gilchrist of Westminster City Council have obviously never heard of before.

Well, in an article published in Moto Mag this month (a French leading and highly respected motorcycle magazine), we are pleased to note that, not only the council in Paris has confirmed the creation of 18,000 new parking spaces in the French capital by 2014, but they have also confirmed that there

Paris motorcycle parking bay, free of charge and individually delineated with security devices

are no plans to charge motorcyclists for parking, at least for the foreseeable future. While the Verrus parking system, also known in France as Paybyphone.fr, is now extensively used in the town of Issy-les-Moulineaux (located just outside Paris) together with parking meters, there is no question of using this pay-by-phone parking method to charge PTWs to park. “I don’t think that charging PTWs to park is a viable option from a financial perspective. We have never thought about it and no council has ever asked us to design the system for this purpose”, says Philippe Lerouge, Chief Executive of Paybyphone.fr, in a recent interview with Moto Mag. 

UK France Bikers are actually quite reassured by Mr Lerouge’s statement considering how bad the PayByPhone (Verrus) system has been for motorcyclists in the British Capital. It has broken down on many occasions and failed to send the promised text reminders to its users when a top-up payment was required (you can click here and here again for more details), thus giving Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) the inmense pleasure to issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) to help Westminster City Council recover its £22 million budget overspend, £15 million lost in a failed CCTV system and £17 million invested in now failed Icelandic banks. Not to mention of course how unfriendly this socially exclusive Verrus or PayByPhone system may be for PTW users, who often spend up to 20 minutes on a mobile phone trying to pay for their parking in freezing temperatures or in the pouring rain, while motorists can do this from the comfort of their own car! As Mr Lerouge seems to suggest, PayByPhone has not been designed for motorcycle parking but, nevertheless, Councillor Chalkley continues to cynically use it to stealth tax motorcyclists in his wealthy borough, probably following the advice of Robin Bevan, CEO of Verrus UK, when he says the launch of our service in Westminster represents a landmark for Verrus – the first time that any pay by phone service has been introduced in the UK as the only form of payment. This has exciting implications for parking in the future”.

Paris is not the only French city to say NON to the bike parking tax. Nantes have confirmed in writing that they have given up any plans to charge PTW users for parking. The bike parking tax cancer has so far not managed to come out of Westminster, so let’s kill it now while it’s still very local.

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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 http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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  http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/

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

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One Comment
  1. Phil Randome permalink

    Moi, j’aime le pragmatisme français ! D’excellentes nouvelles pour nos homologues français et bien fait au maire de Paris Bernard Delanoë.

    I just love french pragmatism. Excellent news for our french counterparts & well done the mayor of Paris.

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