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Motorcycle parking charges: now Westminster – Camden, Hackney and Islington next

June 30, 2012

Who would have ever thought that motorcycle parking in the United Kingdom was going to remain free forever? Westminster City Council started to stealth tax motorcyclists to park in the heart of the British capital in 2008 and the concept is now spreading to other London boroughs, namely Camden, Islington and Hackney. Surely other councils will follow suit and we will see motorcycle parking charges all over the United Kingdom and beyond in a lot less time than one would have ever imagined.

Those of you who to date have not been concerned about the implementation of a motorcycle parking tax by Westminster City Council, either because you don’t live/work in the borough or else because you don’t live in central London all together, then think twice as you could see your local council starting to charge to park your motorbike or scooter outside your home or office in the near future. Those who live, work or shop in Camden, Islington and Hackney will most likely be forced to pay parking charges as those councils have clearly stated that they are seriously considering it. How will they charge you? By mobile phone and credit/debit card like in Westminster, where motorcyclists have to dial a number (shown on the signs standing by the parking bays) and pay the tax by phone. What if you don’t have a mobile phone and/or a credit/debit card or internet access at home where you can pay before reaching your destination? Then you are being socially excluded as, to our knowledge, there is no law in the UK or Europe that forces each one of us to hold a mobile phone and/or a debit/credit card, even in order to benefit from a service that is being offered via this technology.

Camden Borough Council issued a Parking Policy Strategy report in October 2011 (download here) which clearly states that not only motorcycles are the unique form of private motorised transport that currently benefits from free parking in the borough, but also, “in order to effectively manage the availability of on-street parking, provide fairer parking and encourage the use of alternative modes of transport, it may be necessary to restrain demand on parking through policies”. The council goes on saying that “it is acknowledged that the availability of parking is a major influence on the use of motorcycle vehicles, therefore, a motorcycle parking strategy will aim to find a balance between providing adequate parking provision and the ‘encouragement’ of motorcycles as a mode of transport”.

It is obvious that one of the aims of charging for motorcycle parking is to restrict the use of motorbikes and scooters and encourage the use of public transport instead, as the council clearly states in its review: “in light of the information regarding the increasing number of registered motorcycles both in London and Camden, combined with evidence that shows that motorcycles contribute to NOx and PM10 emissions, there is a case for restraining demand on motorcycle parking with a view to encouraging usage of public transport and more sustainable modes of transport”. The council goes on saying :“the overall number of registered motorcycles both in Camden and London has increased dramatically in the last 15 years (alongside car use). Introducing motorcycle charging will help to restrain demand and limit non-essential journeys”.

So if you thought that motorcycle parking charges would never affect you, then clearly you were wrong. Even those of you who live in France could soon see motorcycle parking charges coming your way. Let us remind you that parking charges for cars were first introduced in London and look how fast they have spread all over the world. You can expect motorbike parking charges to follow the same path. Now that the technology is available to charge bikes to park, nothing can stop local councils and governments to do so unless we all stand up for our opinions and beliefs and protest en masse.

The ball is in our court: do nothing and pay to park (with increased charges over time) or stand up and stop motorbike parking charges from spreading. Join the No To Bike Parking Tax campaign today which is the ONLY pressure group in the UK specifically aimed at stopping and scrapping motorbike parking charges.

Of course, we look forward to see what the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) and Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) have to say on this issue as, so far, they have each done absolutely nothing to protect the UK motorcycling community from the introduction of parking charges and defend the parking rights and interests of motorcyclists, at least in London.

We now leave you with another quote from Camden Borough Council’s Parking Policy Review: “Subject to agreement, the aim is to go live with motorcycle charging with other boroughs. Initial conversations with the London Boroughs of Hackney and Islington have indicated interested and this will be confirmed should the policy change be agreed”.

Do you still believe that motorcycle parking charges will never affect you?

Further reading: Parking charge threat

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If you’re based in France and want to take part in the fight against the Government’s proposed introduction of a compulsory annual environmental and road safety test for motorcycles and their continued policy to ban motorcyclists from filtering through traffic, then contact the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – French Federation of Angry Bikers).

Si vous habitez en France et souhaitez participer aux manifestations contre la proposition du gouvernement d’introduire un controle technique pour les 2 roues motorises ansi que de continuer a empecher la circulation inter files pour les motocyclistes dans les embouteillages, contactez la Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC).

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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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