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Prince Charles on a motorbike

Have you ever seen a member of the British Royal Family sitting on a motorbike? Well, Prince Charles has obviously broken the record by sitting on a Harley-Davidson motorbike for a spin during a recent charity event with the Royal British Legion Riders Branch to raise £1 million in just one day across London.

Could the Prince of Wales become the Prince of Bikes?

This event formed part of a wider charity initiative run by the Royal British Legion during the Poppy Appeal to raise a total of £42 million (up £2 million compared with last year) to carry out vital work such as, for instance, life-long care to the families of the armed forces who find themselves in need.

Let’s hope that they managed to raise as much money as they had hoped for, although we would have loved to see Prince Charles go for a ride!

Further reading – Prince of Wheels: Charles takes a Harley Davidson for a spin

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Paris plans to ban bikes older than 10 years

Bertrand Delanoë

Betrand Delanoë (left), the current Mayor of Paris, has this week announced plans to ban all motorbikes and scooters from Paris if they are older than 10 years. Proposals, if accepted by the Paris Council, will come into force in 2014, thus banning all motorcycles manufactured in 2004 and before.

Delanoë believes that banning older bikes from the French capital, together with cars older than 17 years, would significantly cut pollution as a result of the reduced traffic on the Paris roads. This supercedes plans from the previous French Minister for Ecology, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who had also put forward proposals to ban older motorbikes and scooters from city centres across the nation in an attempt to improve the quality of the air that French citizens breathe outside their home. Although the new Minister for Ecology, Delphine Batho, has decided to put the stupid proposals of her predecessor to bed, the Mayor of Paris has put forward the same proposals again.

Delanoë not only intends to ban older motorcycles from central Paris but also from the immediate surburbs surrounding the French capital. He also proposes to force all vehicles to limit their speed at 30kms per hour (18 miles per hour) in the city, again in an attempt to cut pollution.

Needless to say that Delanoë’s proposals are being heavily criticised, not only among the motorcycling community, but also among the wider community who argue that motorcycles are the solution to traffic and pollution issues in large cities such as Paris. Motorcycles dot not cause a problem, they in fact save substantial road space, alleviate traffic, pollution and parking space thanks to their minuscule size compared with cars, lorries, coaches and buses. It’s also been demonstrated several times that the Carbon Footprint of a motorcycle is much lower than that of a car, even in the case of an older motorcycle.

These older scooters will be banned from Paris if the proposals put forward by Bertrand Delanoë go ahead.

The social impact of the proposals also represent a major concern. Motorcycles represent a cheaper mode of transport for many individuals with financial difficulties, who cannot necessarily afford the ever increasing cost of the public transport and/or enjoying the use of a car. Banning older motorcycles from Paris would imply the scrapping of hundreds of motorbikes and scooters whilst their owners would not necessarily be able to afford replacements.

Delanoë will officially present his ridiculous plans on 12 November and one can only hope that the Paris Council will see sense and reject them. If not, you can rest assured that the most famous and well respected Fédération Française des Motards en Colère – FFMC – (French Federation of Angry Bikers) will put considerable pressure on Delanoë to abandon his plans by organising enormous protests that will bring Paris to a complete standstill over and over again until the Mayor sees sense and puts his proposals to bed. Why not click here to see for yourself what the FFMC is able to do by gathering more than 15,000 bikers to gridlock the city and bring complete misery for hours!

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Motorbikes and scooters put on fire in central Paris

Since May 2012, the French capital has been the scene of motorbikes and scooters being put on fire for a reason that is still unknown. About 100 riders so far have turned up at their usual parking spot in the morning on their way to work to find ashes replacing their machines.

Although the reason for the on-going fires remains unknown at the time of writing, the local authorities seem to believe that it is highly likely to be criminal in nature. Would it be because of the high number of motorised two wheelers in circulation in Paris that a group of other road users would have decided to take criminal action against the bikers in an attempt to reduce the number of bikes in the French capital? It is true that in Paris, the number of motorbikes and scooters is probably more than three times higher than in the British capital that is only located 300 kilometers (188 miles) further north, and where we have yet to see such activities taking place.

Whilst the local police is making every effort to try and find the exact cause of the fires and the individuals responsible for them, around hundred riders now have to rely on the Parisian public transport to get to and back from work until claims have been processed by their insurance and financial compensation has been granted.

The fires have given rise to a lot of concern and anxiety among the motorcycling community in Paris with riders getting up in the middle of the night to check that their machines are still in one piece. Bikers who are lucky enough to benefit from an indoors parking spot are willing to share it with other riders living in the same area. Solidarity between bikers in such circumstances is always very well appreciated.

We now leave you with a short video of the on-going tragic events.

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

The Carbon Footprint of Motorcycles

As mentioned in a previous post, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and other green party activists were trying to get motorcycles and cars manufactured before 2004 banned from city centres in France. Luckily, Ms. Kosciusko-Morizet has now moved on and her replacement, Delphine Batho, under the immense pressure of the very famous and well respected French Federation of Angry Bikers (FFMC – Fédération Française des Motards en Colère), has decided to put an end to her predecessor’s ludicrous proposals. Bikers, however, are never fully protected from legislators who keep trying to push through such invasive laws, whether in France or the United Kingdom. A part of our argument against motorbikes and scooters being accused to be environmentally unfriendly needs to be that there’s not much conclusive evidence that motorcycles are actually more detrimental to the environment than cars manufactured after 2004 are.

In fact, motorcycles have numerous environmentally-friendly advantages over most cars, including even hybrid cars. Here are some of the many eco-friendly qualities motorbikes boast:

1. Motorcycles are considerably more fuel efficient than most cars. For instance, the average 100cc commuter motorcycle gets over a hundred miles per gallon (mpg). Even a supersport motorcycle, which isn’t designed to be fuel-efficient gets around 40 mpg, which is around as many mpg as many cars that are considered outstandingly eco-friendly get.

2. Fewer natural resources are required to produce a motorcycle than are required to produce other types of vehicles. Think about it. Even the biggest motorcycle requires fewer parts to make than small cars require.

3. Motorcycles create less carbon dioxide than cars because they burn fuel more efficiently. Since carbon dioxide emissions could be argued to be the primary cause of global warming, this is significant. Some will assert that motorcycles produce more smog pollutants than cars, which is often true. However, the addition of catalytic converters to motorcycles solves this problem. Since the 1990s, an increasing number of motorcycles have been built with catalytic converters, which convert carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen and thus allow motorcycles to contribute less to air pollution.

The eco-friendly perks of motorcycles mentioned above are just some of the reasons anti-motorcycle legislation lacks credence. We need to have a serious discussion about the impact of a motorcycle ban like the one that was proposed by Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, and lawmakers need to listen to our side of the story.

Motorcycles definitely have a carbon footprint, but so do all motorised vehicles. The nickel batteries used in many hybrid cars, for instance, have an incredibly detrimental effect on the environment. To produce hybrid car batteries, nickel first has to be harvested (which takes a toll on the environment), and then that nickel has to be sent to refineries and manufacturers around the world to be turned into a battery. Once a nickel battery ends up in a landfill after years of use, the damage it does to the environment continues.

There’s no way around it. Using any kind of vehicle isn’t necessarily eco-friendly. As responsible motorcyclists, we need to figure out ways to reduce the environmental impact of how we get around. This could mean riding our motorcycles less and walking more often, for instance. Still, we depend on our motorbikes to get us to work and for enjoyment.

There’s nothing better than riding up on your motorcycle to your favorite café in the city centre on a beautiful night. Politicians shouldn’t deny us that pleasure. They should, instead, be focused on helping manufacturers figure out ways to craft more environmentally-friendly motorcycles to provide motorbike riders with more sustainable options in the future.

Stacy Holmes is a motorbike enthusiast, mother, and freelance writer for motorcycleinsurance.com and other motorcycle sites and blogs. When she’s not riding around on her Sportster, Stacy likes to spend her time writing about her adventures on the open road.

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

French bikers protest at proposed European road worthiness test

The European Union (EU) has recently come up with proposals to force all motorbikes and scooters to go through a compulsory road worthiness test in all 27 member states. Such test is already compulsory for bikes in some EU countries such as the United Kingdom (the test there is called MOT), but the objective of the EU is to make it compulsory and universal across the board.

Motorbikes and scooters are currently exempt from road worthiness tests in France but the most powerful and respected French motorcycle pressure group called Fédération Française des Motards en Colère – FFMC (French Federation of Angry Bikers) is radically opposed to any proposals that consist of introducing a road worthiness test for bikes in France. Statistics clearly show that the main cause of accidents involving motorcycles is due to four wheels motorised drivers not paying attention to road traffic conditions and not looking into their mirrors. A minor percentage of motorcycle accidents are due to technical (worthiness) issues directly relating to the motorbikes or scooters involved.

Thousands of French bikers, together with a large number of other EU motorcyclists, are planning a series of massive protests outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the European Commission in Brussels. “We will not tolerate for a minute to be the victims of non-sense and money grabbing policies imposed on us by the EU without sound justification when our own domestic legislation exempts motorcycles from road worthiness tests” reports an angry French biker who also happens to be one of our readers. “This is not acceptable and we have a right to say NO to the EU”, the same angry French biker continues.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, hundreds of bikers also continue to express their anger at the same EU proposals as, although motorcycles are subject to road worthiness/safety tests under British domestic law, the proposals made by the EU would have a significant impact on how the tests would need to be carried out in the UK.

As a first step at expressing their anger, a number of French bikers, under the supervision of the French pressure group FFMC, gathered outside the offices of a company called DEKRA (located just outside Paris) on Thursday 20 September 2012 at 11.30am local time. According to the bikers, DEKRA has had a very strong influence towards the EU with regards to the proposed introduction of road worthiness tests. DEKRA are believed to have prepared and published a series of studies to justify the introduction of the proposed road worthiness test for motorcycles across the European Union.  

The angry bikers left a bit of a mess behind them!

The bikers, without prior notice, turned up at DEKRA offices and parked their motorbikes in front of the main doors, thus completely blocking access to the building. At the same time, the same bikers threw eggs, oil and flour all over the windows and doors of the building whilst DEKRA employees were watching the scene horrified. A lorry also unloaded a ton of gravel just outside the DEKRA main reception lobby and the FFMC left its flag standing in the middle of the mass of gravel.

One ton of gravel was unloaded just outside DEKRA offices!

It would appear that the introduction of a road worthiness test for motorcycles across the EU would generate a massive 1.5 billion euros per annum, so no doubt why the EU, with the help of DEKRA, is so keen to impose such measure. We all know that these proposals are a simple way to generate extra income and the bikers are just fed up with being treated like cash cows.

According to the FFMC, this is only an “avant-goût”, i.e. one of the many protests that French bikers are planning ahead to force the EU politicians to abandon their proposals at their earliest convenience. Today, 30,000 bikers are protesting across France, Ireland, Finland and other EU states to oppose the proposed road worthiness test for motorbikes and scooters. The bikers’ war against these EU proposals is far from over!

We now leave you with a short video that will show you the sequence of events that made up the first of a series of protests in France against the introduction of a road worthiness test across the EU.

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Speed cameras also used for directions in France

A fair proportion of road users try to locate radars (speed cameras) by surfing the internet in the hope to find websites that show their exact location. Well, you may no longer need to do this if you ride your motorcycle in France as it would appear that some people are keen to disclose their location alongside the road to attract fellow road users into their shops or restaurants. With the current economic downturn, why not find alternative ways to boost your business?

One of our readers has recently come across an advertisement alongside the road that says below the restaurant name “1st junction after the radar” (see photo on the left). Now this is a really smart way of attracting customers into your business, isn’t it? Not only drivers avoid getting caught by the speed camera by being warned of its presence but also they can enjoy a nice French meal on the money they have saved by not being caught overspeeding.

Radars have become a real and serious business in France with 630 million euros worth of income for the government in 2011 through 13 million pictures of car drivers and motorcycle riders across the country (up 1 million compared with 2010). The government predicts to make 700 million euros in 2012 with an additional 400 machines installed and 324 million euros already cashed in between 1st January and 30th June. One radar on its own located on the A41 between Annecy and Geneva brings to the government 22 million euros worth of income per annum with 462 pictures of overspeeding road users per day. This is even getting worse with the new “segment radars” where a series of cameras are installed on the same road and across a certain distance to calculate the average speed of a driver or rider rather than simply flash them at a specific location.

The new French socialist government is desparate for money and is keen to do whatever they can to fill in the coffers. Catching drivers and riders overspeeding by increasing the number of speed cameras on the roads is one thing but the government is also looking to find ways to increase taxes (and implement new taxes) wherever they possibly can. So those who are keen to boost their business can use advertising in a smart way like this particular restaurant.

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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/

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Forging a Career in Motorbikes

France and the United Kingdom are renowned for their love of motorbikes, whether it’s watching the superstars of the world racing around Silverstone or Le Mans or finding alternative methods to getting to work, weaving in between the stationary cars and lorries to get to work on time and unflustered, or even taking advantage of the motorbike only lanes.

But a lot of these bikers only assume that careers are based around racing, which is far from the case. People all over the world, including a lot of motorcycle fanatics, are struggling to find work or employment that makes them excited to go in each day. There are so many who arrive at work in a bad mood because of the traffic and then that mood worsens because they’re in a job they hate with no chance of getting some excitement.

How about becoming a mechanic?

It really does make you wonder why some of these people who are so enthusiastic about their motorbikes don’t turn that passion into a career because there are so many possibilities, both as an employed and self-employed person. Firstly, and most obviously, you have a career as a mechanic available to you if you’re the sort of person who loves taking your bike apart, cleaning it, servicing it and putting it back together and feeling a noticeable difference in the way it runs. You could make money doing that as a job and, what’s more, you can learn about all kinds of other bikes – Suzuki’s, Honda’s, Yamaha’s, Ducati’s, the list goes on and on.

Why not become a courier?

You could even become a courier, offering to ride your bike for a living, delivering parcels and packages to different areas of the country, and even abroad if you wish. Rather than sitting at home limiting your job search to jobs in Sheffield or Manchester, Paris or Marseille, you could find yourself riding out to towns, cities and villages that you wouldn’t normally get to go to, seeing the world from the comfort of your saddle and making money doing so. Transporting goods by car, van or plane can be expensive and take a lot of time, particularly if it’s a cross-city delivery. On a motorbike, a company could send an item out and the recipient could be opening it within the hour because of your ability to filter through the traffic and use the bike lanes.

There are even opportunities to work at race circuits. Track days are becoming particularly popular in both the UK and France with many of the top tracks opening the gates for wannabe Valentino Rossi’s to test themselves. These circuits, therefore, need marshals and administrative people to organize everything and make sure that the day runs smoothly for everyone. This is a great way to get up close and personal with all kinds of bikes and riders.

All it takes is a little bit of imagination and passion to turn a hobby into a career. So get away from the day behind the desk doing something you hate for little money, and do something you love.

This article was written by Chris White for UK France bikers.com

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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/

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

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

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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Top five safety tips when riding your bike in heavy rain

British summers aren’t exactly known for their consistently glorious weather. While we love to use the bad weather as a fun topic for grumbling conversation, heavy winds and rain can pose a serious threat for motorbike riders who are caught in a storm unaware. This also applies to the other side of the Channel, with forecasts leaping between heat wave and monsoon. Every rider worth their leathers should be able to handle themselves when the weather takes a turn for the worse, so here are a few tips to keep you safe when the heavens open.

Know the road

Forewarned is forearmed as the old saying goes, and this definitely applies when riding in bad weather. Visibility in heavy rain is seriously reduced, so being unfamiliar with the road surface and your surroundings could put you at risk. Painted road markings, metal surfaces and fresh tarmac are slippery when wet, and are much harder to detect in the rain. It helps if you know the route and what’s coming up so you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Warm is better than dry

Getting your gear wet isn’t ideal if you’re riding your motorbike in heavy rain, but it’s far more important to make sure that you stay warm. This is especially true when riding in Britain when the temperature likes to take a nose dive whenever the rain hits. If the cold gets to you when you’re out on your bike, your hands and feet are the first to suffer for it, meaning that you’re going to have slower reactions and less control of the bike. Make sure that you either wear an extra layer to keep you warm or invest in specialist thermal gear. Being wet is an inconvenience. Being cold is unsafe.

Shine on

With rain usually comes much denser cloud cover and mist, which all serve to reduce your visibility. Given that road conditions aren’t going to be favourable anyway, making sure that you are seen by other road users should be a top priority if you’re heading out into a storm on your bike. A high-vis vest should give oncoming vehicles ample warning that you are there, giving them time to adjust their own driving as you pass each other.

Relax

If the wind is blowing hard and trying to knock you this way and that, the best option is to clamp down, tense up and keep control of the bike, right? Wrong. Locking your muscles will only make things worse, as every twitch you make to compensate for the bad weather is amplified in the movement of the bike. It might seem counter intuitive, and it’s hard to override that natural instinct to tense up against the rain and wind, but loosening your muscles and maintaining a relaxed riding position will enable you to ride straight, brake and turn with ease.

Own the road

Give yourself plenty of space when you’re on the road, and do your best to stay clear of the edges. There’s a definite risk of aquaplaning and veering away from the centre of your lane, so give yourself as much space as possible to correct any mishaps. The last thing you want is to ride too close to any oncoming motorists who are also having trouble maintaining control. If you’re in a group, ride single file to keep as much distance either side of you as possible, especially when turning.

This post was written by Jamie Gibbs, the resident blogger for motorcycle insurance comparison site Confused.com.

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

GPS Tracking: a solution to bike theft

In the UK more bikes are stolen than bought brand new

A shocking statistic that will surely have all bikers quaking in their leather boots, and motorbike theft is also a major problem in France with around 85,000 bikes being stolen each year. Whereas 16% of stolen bikes are recovered in the UK just 9% are recovered in France.

A survey conducted by the National Crime Intelligence Service showed that it takes only 20 seconds to steal a motorbike worth £10,000. Sickening statistics for all bikers, this survey also revealed the UK hotspots for motorbike theft with Central London, West Yorkshire, West Midlands and Manchester coming out on top. Thefts are generally carried out in Urban areas and 80% of stolen bikes are taken from the owner’s home, showing that bike owners need to invest in more stringent theft prevention methods such as solid lock-ups or improved alarms and immobilisers, which will all act as deterrents to thieves.      

Statistics from 2011 showed that in France – a country renowned for favouring motorcycles of all varieties from race-replica street bikes to city run-around scooters – eight motorcycles were stolen every hour, and the same research showed that Paris was the city where your bike is most likely to be stolen from. Many victims of theft are left with very little help from the police force who are simply unable to assist with the number of thefts, and those affected are forced to attempt to recover their bikes themselves by searching the city or advertising their stolen bikes.

Gangs who go around targeting what they see as “easy steals” make motorbike theft easy. Groups of criminals will drive alongside motorbikes in a van and lift the bike inside using scaffolding poles. To passers by, this can look like the bike is simply being recovered by break down companies or the owner is packing it up in the van to take it to a track. This method allows criminals to steal £3 million worth of motorcycles every month in the United Kingdom, and the vast majority of bikes are sold on for spare parts, which is a simple way for thieves to make themselves some serious cash. While many garages who deal in spare parts will ask to see documentation to check that the bike belongs to them, many “experienced thieves” will know where they can take the parts and not be questioned.

So how can we, as bikers, protect our machines?

Anti-theft devices aren’t just useful on cars, vans and lorries, motorbike owners would benefit a great deal from devices such as GPS Tracking Systems. Tracking systems could dramatically increase the amount of stolen bikes that are recovered, a particular problem in France as mentioned previously.

If you don’t know what a GPS Tracking System is, then think back to the film The Da Vinci Code where Tom Hanks drives off in the bank’s bulletproof van. Once the theft is reported, an electronic device was switched on which enabled them to track them down – this device was a tracking system.

Tracking systems are the perfect size for motorbikes, with most being no bigger than a mobile phone, some even as small as coins, and they are easily concealed so you don’t have to compromise style for security, something which is a major concern for bikers who have spent a lot of money on bikes purely because of the paint job.

Using GPS tracking systems, police would be able to pinpoint the exact location of a stolen bike, increasing the rate of recovery significantly. It’s a known fact that motorcyclists are treated with a great deal more disdain than other road users, a fact that the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC) would quickly back up so it’s up to us, as motorcyclists to protect our bikes and find solutions to increasing bike theft.

This post was written by Laura McGreary for UK France bikers.com

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Surviving the London 2012 Olympics by bike

The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics have been called “Britain’s largest peacetime logistical exercise” and when you look at the numbers you can certainly see why. There are expected to be over 11 million spectators to the games, and when you add in the number of extra people that the increase in tourism will bring, you can begin to see how getting around London during the Olympics could be a nightmare. Thankfully, bikers will be in a better position than other road users, but there are still some things to look out for.

Two wheels trump four

The sizable increase in people will also mean a large increase in the number of cars on the road, which is almost certainly going to lead to a lot of road congestion and traffic delays. The best solution to this problem is to take your motorbike or scooter and the extra traffic becomes far less of a problem. Research from Transport for London (TfL) shows that travelling by motorcycle cuts a third off your travel time (thank you, filtering). While car drivers are stuck in stop-start traffic and cursing one another, you’ll be able to zip around the city with relative ease. Don’t forget also that, as a biker, the congestion charge doesn’t apply to you, giving you a lot less anxiety and potential road rage than your four-wheeled counterparts.

Preparation is half the battle

The Games themselves are set to run from the end of July to mid-August, but the Olympic venues are open from the end of June up until mid-September. That’s about three months of potential disruption, road closures and route changes. The Olympics Route Network (ORN) means that there are dedicated ‘Games lanes’ to allow athletes and officials to move between venues with ease. It is believed that about 30 per cent of London roads will be affected by these changes, including popular areas such as Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. TfL have a dedicated page on their site where you can predict potential delays on your route at peak times. Even though travelling by motorbike is still the quickest method of getting around, it pays to figure out alternative routes that stay away from the Olympic hot-spots and to know when the peak times hit. This way, you can avoid the throng of spectators and tourists and shave even more off your journey times.

Be Considerate

Despite the benefits that taking to two wheels has during this busy period, bear in mind that a lot of other bikers will be having the same thought, so expect to see a lot more motorcyclists on the roads during the Games. The extra people will bring with it extra stress, so remember to be considerate to your fellow road users. This is especially true when it comes to filtering in traffic. There is some contention about the risks of filtering and a small percentage of car drivers aren’t keen on bikers doing so, so make sure you keep aware of obstructions and limit your speed when filtering. There will also be a large increase in pedestrian and cycle traffic as part of the ‘ride and ‘stride’ initiative during the Games, so be careful when driving through the more built up areas of London.

Seeing as you’re in the city during the Olympics, take some time and enjoy the atmosphere that the event will bring. It’ll be a busy time, sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

This guest post was written by Jamie Gibbs, the resident blogger for motorbike insurance comparison site, Confused.com with which UK France bikers.com has entered into a partnership agreement.

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Motorcycles: the solution to the nightmare of commuting in France and England

Commuting is a nightmare whichever city you live in, and whichever country you live in it seems. We hear so much about “this city is the most congested in the world” and “traffic here is the worst in the world” and in many cases both of these statements are severe exaggerations. That isn’t to say that traffic doesn’t exist either, and two of the worst countries to commute in are France and England. Both are major countries, not just on a European scale, but globally.

The two capital cities, Paris and London, are notoriously treacherous at the best of times with cars and buses whizzing everywhere and there just never seems to be a period of the day where you can make real progress with your journey, hence both cities having such famous public transport with the Metro and Underground services helping to get traffic off the roads.

While both are very good ways at reducing the number of cars on the roads, they don’t solve the problem. There is still the inevitable bumper-to-bumper queuing at rush hour both to and from work, and in London you get charged for the privilege! One of the methods brought in by the UK authorities in an attempt to reduce the number of cars on the road was to bring in the congestion charge, a daily payment which allows drivers to move through the city. Effectively, you get charged to sit in a queue and arrive at work stressed and out of pocket.

But there is a way around paying the congestion charge in London, and it is a method used by many in Paris and other major French cities such as Lyon and Marseille, and that is to use a motorbike or scooter. If you use a motorcycle in London, you are exempt from paying the congestion charge, so if you’re a keen biker, you get the best of both worlds – riding your beloved motorbike and not paying to do so! (Except the rather excessive price of fuel of course).

As anyone who either lives in or has visited Paris, Lyon and Marseille knows, you can barely go anywhere without hearing the sound of a horn or a moped driving by. This is because car drivers there are becoming frustrated at sitting in traffic while motorcyclists drive freely between the traffic and in dedicated motorcycle lanes which are springing up in attempts to improve safety for two-wheeled riders of the human and petrol powered varieties. If you’ve not been fortunate to visit France, then you must have seen images of vehicles queuing up along the Champs Elysees and right around l’Arc de Triomphe, often four or five abreast. Why risk almost inevitable damage to your car sitting in that traffic when you could travel much more easily and weave between the queuing traffic on your motorbike?

Other cities in the United Kingdom, such as Manchester and Birmingham, who both claim to be “the second city”, also struggle with traffic congestion, particularly at rush hour, and their way of resolving the traffic is to segregate it. As mentioned previously, many cities are installing dedicated motorbike and cycle lanes, making it much safer for commuters and this is something that many bikers are simply falling in love with. The number of bikers on the road in the two cities is on the rise as riders take the opportunity to combine travelling through the congested cities easily and getting to ride at the same time.

So if you’re a motorcycle fanatic, why leave it locked up in the garage only to sit in a queue of traffic on your way to and from work, or relying on the public transport systems running to schedule – which they regularly don’t – when you could get out on your motorbike. We all love bikes. The freedom they offer and the experience associated with all the power between your legs and testing the handling to the limit – you just don’t get that in a car.

Leave your car in the garage, take the bike instead! Have fun! Amusez-vous!

This article was written by Chris White. A motorcycle enthusiast and experienced writer currently working on behalf of uShip – the experts in courier, house removal and man with a van services.

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

90,000+ angry bikers bring France to a halt in demand for new road safety policy

With just one month to go before the first round of the French presidential elections, at least 90,000 bikers gathered this weekend in every town and city across the whole of France to remind candidates that they had better come up with a robust road safety policy if they don’t want to see the whole nation brought to a complete standstill on a regular basis and during their presidential time.

The thousands of bikers, represented by the extremely powerful French Federation of Angry Bikers (in French: Fédération Française des Motards en Colère), demonstrated across the whole country this weekend and blocked all cities and towns for hours to demand from the government a motorcycling road policy focused on safety rather than the constant implementation of stupid and meaningless measures designed to treat motorcyclists like cash cows. According to the impressive 90,000+ angry bikers who demonstrated this weekend, the French government has so far failed to recognise that motorbikes and scooters are the SOLUTION to transportation, pollution and congestion issues, certainly not the problem. The angry bikers want their government to recognise that motorcyclists, like any other motorists, are responsible road users and it is therefore totally inappropriate to constantly and blatantly punish them with repressive measures. French bikers demand the introduction of a new module in the driving test to make motorists aware of the presence of motorcyclists on the roads and teach them how to share the roads with them in a safe manner. Why does the motorcycle training programme teach riders how to take care of cars on the roads whereas the car driving training programme does not teach how to take care of motorcycles?

French bikers also demand the introduction of road safety courses in school education, the improvement of road conditions and maintenance nationwide as they claim there are too many hazards on the roads making riding unsafe and dangerous. They also demand from the government the full and permanent scrapping of a proposed legislation to force all riders to wear 150m3 of reflective clothing around the arm in an attempt to make them more visible on the roads, when statistics clearly show that the vast majority of accidents involving motorcyclists are caused by car drivers not paying attention or not looking into their mirrors due to poor or no training.

France was the scene of angry bikers blocking the roads nationwide and everywhere, including motorways, city/town centres, ring roads, flyovers and express roads. Even the smallest towns saw at least 100 bikers protesting and expressing their disgust at the existing government’s attitude towards motorcyclists.

Because of the time difference with mainland France, the first demonstrations took place in the French overseas territories including the beautiful volcanic island of Réunion (located off Madagascar and Mauritius) where 500 bikers took over the roads between Saint-Denis and Saint-Paul and gathered outside the local council offices. The demonstrations continued with hundreds of bikers gathering in other French overseas territories, including the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Carribean and also New Caledonia located off Australia and New Zealand.

Hundreds of bikers' demonstrations took place all over France on Saturday 24 March 2012 and in Paris on Sunday 25 March 2012. There was not a single town or city that was left out!

The demonstrations then hitted mainland France with more than 90,000 angry bikers protesting nationwide on Saturday and Sunday (including – to name a few – 10,000 in the second largest French city of Lyon, 7,500 in Bordeaux, 6,500 in Lille, 3,000 in Strasbourg, 1,500 in Nantes, 4,500 in Brittany including Brest, Rennes, Quimper and Saint-Brieuc, 650 in Cherbourg, 2,000 in Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Etienne, 2,000 in Tours, 1,200 in Dijon, 1,000 in Grenoble, 690 in Nevers and 680 Auxerre). Paris alone saw more than 15,000 bikers on Sunday, blocking the whole traffic and making the heart of the French capital truly theirs!

More than 15,000 bikers gathered on Place de la Concorde in Central Paris shouting at the goverment in a carnival atmosphere and reviving their engines to express their anger and remind the authorities that bikers are voters and are entitled to have their say in transport and road safety policies.

More than 15,000 bikers join the protest ride in Central Paris to express their anger at the government's existing measures to treat them like cash cows. "The government must replace their money-grabbing measures with robust road safety policies and we will go away, otherwise they must be prepared to see the whole country brought to a complete standstill until we obtain what we want" said a protestor whilst reviving his engine in fury and anger.

The bikers’ demonstrations made the national news on television, radio and newspapers throughout the weekend. The ball is now in the court of the government and all presidential candidates for them to come up with a revised road safety policy that satisfies the angry bikers, otherwise France will continue to see enormous demonstrations that have the power to humiliate the government and bring the whole country to a complete standstill. No retreat, no surrender!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL FRENCH BIKERS FOR STANDING UP AGAINST THEIR GOVERNMENT AND HAVING THE COURAGE AND DETERMINATION TO SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

We now leave you with a series of videos that will give you a good idea of how French bikers demonstrate and cause complete chaos when they are angry.

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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).

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

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.

Thousands of motorbikes and scooters banned from French city centres

Who would have imagined that someone could possibly come up with the idea of banning motorbikes and scooters from city centres, when the same motorbikes and scooters are the transport solution to ever increasing congestion and pollution issues? Well, only one politician has come up with such a ridiculous idea and that is Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (left) from the French green party, who has successfully submitted proposals to ban all vehicles manufactured prior to 2004 from city centres, including motorcycles.

Riders who commute on bikes that were manufactured before 2004 may not enter French city centres or else see their machines immobilised and issued with a fine of 65 euros payable on the spot. The same rules apply to their car counterparts in an attempt to reduce congestion and pollution in all cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The French government has recently approved Kosciusko-Morizet’s proposals although no official date has yet been announced for their implementation.

One could wonder how long it may take a French citizen or organisation to start legal procedures to sue the French government in the European Courts for discrimination against those who cannot afford to buy a new vehicle, especially during the present economic downturn that is causing thousands upon thousands of job losses across the whole of France. We have indeed heard of plans to sue the French government in Europe in an attempt to force Kosciusko-Morizet to scrap, or at least revise, her stupid and possibly discriminatory plans.

Whilst other European countries have taken a series of measures to reduce pollution and congestion in city centres, none has so far taken measures that consists of banning motorcycles. The congestion charge in the British capital does not affect motorcycles nor does the low emission zone measures. Whilst London’s Westminster Council decided a few years ago to treat bikers like cash cows by introducing a unique pay-by-phone bike parking tax (the method of which is currently being challenged before the European Court of Human Rights), other councils across London, the rest of the United Kingdom and beyond have thankfully not followed suit, mainly because of the socially exclusive aspect of charging bikers by mobile phone in the absence of any other suitable on-street charging method.

Not only may Kosciusko-Morizet’s proposals be discriminatory towards those with financial difficulties but they may also be detrimental to the French economy as many car and motorcycle dealers may not be able to sustain their second hand business any longer. Has she thought about the wider implications of her proposals rather than concentrate solely on green issues? We suspect that such proposals have been made by a politician from the comfort of her own office and who has never sat on a motorcycle before.

A series of enormous demonstrations designed to bring the whole of France to a complete standstill by more than 100,000 bikers are scheduled for 24 and 25 March 2012. The demonstrations, organised by the most respected Fédération Française des Motards en Colère – FFMC – (French Federation of Angry Bikers), will be to show the bikers’ opposition to Kosciusko-Morizet’s proposals but also to express their disgust at the French government’s attitude to treat motorcyclists like cash cows by imposing measures designed to make riding difficult and expensive (e.g. the continued ban on traffic filtering or lane splitting, obligation to wear a small reflective strap around the arm even during day light when it is not reflective at all). Let’s hope that the demonstrations, which will take place less than four weeks before the first round of the presidential elections, will be a real slap in the face for a number of presidential candidates for whom road policies and safety are nothing but an opportunity to grab as much money as possible from motorcyclists who are keen to relieve congestion and pollution by using a mode of transport that is greener and less congesting than its four wheel counterparts.

ANY_CHARACTER_HERE

If you’re based in France and want to take part of 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.

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

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…

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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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