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London: motorcyclists welcome permanent access to bus lanes but still say NO to the bike parking tax

January 23, 2012

We are delighted to say that as of today, motorcyclists are given permanent access to all bus lanes that are under the management of Transport for London (TfL). The Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced his decision a few weeks ago to grant bikers permanent access to bus lanes after two successful experimental phases of 18 months each.

Boris Johnson’s decision has been very welcome among the motorcycling community as it shows a strong commitment to protect the safety of bikers and the recognition that the use of motorcycles is to be encouraged as a mode of transport that considerably cuts congestion and pollution in large cities such as London. Boris Johnson’s predecessor, Ken Livingstone, had been heavily criticised for his continued refusal to open bus lanes to motorcyclists on the grounds that it would make them unsafe, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians whilst crossing the road, despite numerous studies that revealed the exact opposite. Among other issues, Livingstone’s continued decision to keep bus lanes closed to bikers had cost him his re-election, a massive mistake that he is now without a doubt severely regretting.

Boris Johnson’s decision comes at a time when Londoners are thinking about who to vote for at the next Mayor elections in May of this year. Let’s not forget that these elections are not just open to Londoners who are British nationals, but also Londoners who are nationals of any member state of the European Union or the Commonwealth, as long as those Londoners are registered with their council’s elections department. For some bikers, the choice is already made: they will vote for Boris based on his recent decision to open bus lanes to them. For other bikers, the choice is not totally made yet. Although Boris has clearly demonstrated strong support to the bikers in opening bus lanes to them, he has so far failed to support the same bikers in their fight against Westminster City Council’s most hated motorcycle parking tax introduced some three years ago in central London for no obvious reason other than that of stealth taxing the use of a congestion-free mode of transport to bring extra revenue to the council. Whilst Boris has put an incredible amount of pressure on Westminster City Council to successfully force them to scrap their plans to charge motorists to park in the evenings and weekends in the sole purpose of bringing extra revenue which could have had a desastrous impact on the local economy, he has so far not shown any support to the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign designed to put pressure on Westminster Council to scrap their deeply unpopular motorcycle parking tax.

During one of the many bikers’ demonstrations against Westminster’s motorcycle parking tax, we recall Boris threatening the bikers of losing access to bus lanes if they carried on with their weekly demonstrations (see video below). So what’s Boris’s views on the use of motorcycles in London? By granting motorbikes and scooters access to bus lanes, he seems to be in favour of their use as a cheaper, greener and anti-congestion mode of transport, but at the same time, he has done nothing so far to help the bikers get rid of the most unpopular measure that has been taken against them and that is of stealth taxing motorcyclists to park in the central London Borough of Westminster.

So, Boris, where do London motorbikers stand? Are you fully supporting them or not? Elections are coming soon…


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


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