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Judge turns down bikers’ appeal against Westminster Council, but…

October 9, 2010

Back in June 2010, Warren Djanogly, Chairman of the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign, along with the UK motorcycle community, took Westminster City Council to court to challenge the legality of a £1 parking charge imposed on motorcyclists by a council desparate for revenue and failing to recognise the many benefits that motorcycles bring to London, such as reduced pollution and zero congestion.

Unsurprisingly, and considering the politics involved in a case opposing a public authority to a member of the public, Mr Djanogly lost the case. He then made an application to the judge, Lord Justice Pitchford, for appeal as Mr Djanogly felt that the judge’s decision was unacceptable and the case had not been properly assessed. Again unsurprisingly, Judge Pitchford rejected the appeal this week on the grounds that Mr Djanogly had “no reasonable prospect of success”, which is exactly the same excuse/explanation that was given on the day of the verdict.

We are obviously not best placed to comment on or challenge Judge Pitchford’s decision, however, we were quite shocked (to say the least) when we found out that Peter Large, Head of Legal Services at Westminster City Council, had written to the court following Mr Djanogly’s application for appeal, to request that the same judge (Pitchford) assesses the case again, should Mr Djanogly’s application be successful. We won’t comment any further on this, we let you draw your own conclusions.

Anyway, everything’s far from being lost for the bikers. The case will now go before the Court of Appeal, where complete different judges will be assessing it. To a certain extent, this is the best possible outcome for Mr Djanogly given that, had his appeal application to Lord Justice Pitchford been successful, chances are that the decision would have been identical as the one made in the first round. The No To Bike Parking Tax campaigners are convinced that the first judgement was made incorrectly and the case had not been properly considered. This comes as no surprise really, given that in this corrupted world, public authorities are always right.

While bikers are waiting for a hearing date from the Court of Appeal, they are getting prepared to ride en masse to the EU Commissioners’ Office in Brussels on 28th October 2010 to officially submit a demand that an investigation be immediately launched against the British Government into the violations of EU Directives by Westminster City Council (and others) when they allowed a brand new entity called NCP Services Ltd to perform the Parking Enforcement Contracts vacated by National Car Parks Ltd in March 2007 when the contract should have been re-tendered, in accordance with European law. This will mark an historic event whereby the British motorcycling community is taking the initiative to expose abuses perpetrated by a local authority that has dared to treat bikers like cash cows while potentially breaking European law (for more details, click here).

If Westminster Council can get away with their (corrupted?) activities under United Kingdom law, this may well not be the case under EU law. Some of our readers will recall the outstanding claim made to the EU Commissioners about the Westminster lead Partnership-in-Parking (PiP) scheme, which consists of encouraging other councils throughout the United Kingdom to adopt the Verrus (now Paypoint) cashless parking system, in exchange for a nice and comfortable fee payable to Westminster City Council. Although this all sounds like a good idea in principle, as it would harmonise all parking regulations and systems across the country, PiP encourages councils to adopt the Verrus pay-by-phone parking system without giving an opportunity to other organisations to present their products and services, thus allowing fair competition between companies across the European Union. Under EU law, all contracts costing more than £156,442 must be opened to tender to enable fair competition between businesses, and it is alleged that the PiP scheme is precisely failing to do this. Let’s wait and see what the EU Commissioners have to say on this.

Thank Goodness, the UK is a member state of the European Union, as we sometimes wonder how some public authorities manage to get away with their dodgy activities under UK law.

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

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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