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Some motorcyclists are banned from coming into Westminster

September 4, 2010

Westminster is the only borough in the United Kingdom and beyond that stealth taxes motorcyclists for parking. Bikers are being stealth taxed purely because the council has failed to provide parking facilities that justify a charge. The vast majority of the motorcycle parking bays in Westminster have remained in exactly the same conditions as when their use was free of charge until August 2008, but since then, the council has felt that motorcyclists should pay for parking although they don’t receive a service that is worth a charge. The council promised security devices in all parking bays as a justification for the charge but the bikers are still waiting to see them installed, over two years after the introduction of the charge.

As a biker, paying for your parking in Westminster can only be done by mobile phone or online and using a bank card, whether debit or credit. There are no other ways to pay for your parking since a paper based method is not viable for motorcycles for obvious reasons. So what happens if you do not have a bank card and/or a mobile phone and you want to park your motorbike or scooter in Westminster? Well, basically, you are being discriminated by the council.

Until now, the council has been arguing that motorcyclists who don’t own a bank card and/or a mobile phone can use the council run car parks where motorcycle parking is free of charge. That is correct (although two of those car parks were sold in the last year or so), however, there isn’t necessarily a car park that is close enough to your destination so you may have to walk up to forty five minutes at street level to get to where you’re going. Motorcycles are supposed to be a quick and reliable mode of transport but of course when their use is being administered by headless councillors who have never put their bum on a bike, it makes it very difficult for them to understand and appreciate the benefits of motorcycling.

It should be noted that motorcycle parking in council run car parks became free only as a result of the actions of the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign, because bikers were orginally due to pay for their parking in car parks like everyone else.

The council announced a couple of months ago that all remaining car parks were to be sold to third parties (in the private sector) in the coming months. Oh dear, this means that motorcycle parking is not guaranteed to remain free, does it? No, that’s right, it’s not guaranteed to remain free in the future because the car parks will be managed by third parties and it will be up to them to decide whether or not motorcycle parking remains free of charge.

Funny enough, the council announced its decision to sell its car parks a few days after the results of the court case which opposed Westminster Council to the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign. If we remember correctly, part of the judgement that was in favour to the council was made on the fact that motorcyclists were offered free parking off street as an alternative, but that may well no longer be the case very soon. Let’s hope that the campaign’s appeal will be successful.

So what can a motorcyclist, who doesn’t own a mobile phone and/or a bank card, do when they want or need to come into Westminster? Well, basically, they have no way to pay for their parking and the car parks, which Westminster have so far been using as a golden excuse to rebut any claim of discrimination, will shortly no longer be under their management.

It results therefore that some motorcyclists will shortly be banned from coming into Westminster simply because they don’t possess the technology required to pay for their parking. Those motorcyclists are under no obligation to own a mobile phone and/or a bank card if they don’t want to and the council should offer payment methods that suit everyone. If you’re a car driver and don’t own a mobile phone and/or a bank card, you still have the option to buy (using cash) a parking card from one of the council’s libraries and one stop services, but if you’re a motorcyclist, those parking cards are not viable, so all you’ve got to do is stay away from Westminster unless you are willing to be issued with a penalty charge notice (PCN) for non-payment of the parking tax.

Discrimination is against the law in the United Kingdom and more widely in the European Union, isn’t it? Oh well, let’s hope that once Westminster have disposed of all their remaining car parks, someone will not be tempted to take legal proceedings against the council for discrimination.

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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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5 Comments
  1. BillyBloggs permalink

    Phoned up Westminster parking, told them that as I don’t have a valid credit or debit card I will not be coming to London by motorcycle, so would have to come by train at considerably greater expense, and that as the call is being recorded to note that I will be submitting a complaint under Human Rights, as they are discriminating against the financially disadvantaged.

  2. Phil Randome permalink

    Je n’ai pas une carte de crédit ni un téléphone mobile et pour cette raison ilya une possibilité que je serai le mec qui prendra Westminster CC au tribunal. Sans doute cette action de WCC est une discrimination flagrante.

    I have never owned a mobile phone nor credit card & for this reason it is possibility that I may be the one to take Westminster Council to court. This is a blatant example of discrimination by WCC.

  3. Thierry permalink

    I have a mobile phone and a cedit card but there is no way that I would trust the evil empire of Westminster City council with my card details.
    I just avoid central London now and do my shopping elsewhere where parking is free for bikes.
    The only poeple benefiting from this parking tax are the fat cats shareholders of the pay by phone company, the friends of the Westminster councillors of course, who else !

  4. Tom Evans permalink

    I don’t shop in the City of Westminster any more and when I do occasionally have no choice but to park in the City of Westminster, I always use the free motorcycle parking spaces in the Westminster car parks (even though it usually means a long walk). When Westminster Council sell of their car parks and the new owners start charging for motorcycle parking, I don’t know where I’ll park my moped. I refuse to use the Verrus pay by phone system because I don’t want to give my credit card details to Verrus UK Ltd. I still can’t beleive Westminster Council has dictated to us that a mobile phone and credit/debit card is required to park in Westminster motorcycle bays. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have a fully charged battery on my mobile phone and there is no way I can charge it on my moped. So even if I wanted to give Verrus PayByPhone my card details, it still wouldn’t mean that I would always be able to pay the parking fee. All this hassle just to park a bike and all for “only a pound a day” (to quote Westminster City Council).

  5. Andrew permalink

    Now Manchester City Council have introduced parking charges for bikes. Except they want to make it the same price as a car.

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