Say No To Bike Parking Fees Rally
I’ve been a little peeved for a while by the confusing and costly parking charges for motorcycles in Westminster. Firstly they seemed to be implemented back in August 2008 with little fanfare and secondly it irks me that I was actively encourged by the powers that be to get on to two wheels, get a free pass through the congestion charge and have now been hit for parking charges, that were previously free, in the most central of London boroughs, Westminster.
This ‘scheme’ has been pitched as a trial, but from experience we all know that trials always become permanent. This is why the Say No To Bike Parking Fees campaign is so important to support. If Westminster council decide to make this scheme permanent it will only be a matter of time before the other London councils start to enforce parking charges and those charges will just rise as all other charges do.
This is now effectively an extra tax on bikers and scooterists alike. An excuse that I’ve heard is that the parking charge pays for road repairs etc… but I thought my road tax pays for that… that’s the road tax on my scooter that I’ve paid on top of the road tax I pay on my car!
So this evening I went along to the rally in Trafalgar Square in support of the campaign. It was extremely good natured and there were a lot more than the reported 100’s of bikes. The organisers spoke in Trafalgar Square before laying the ground rules for the ride out down to Westminster Town Hall. The ride out was led by Police riders on BMWs who couldn’t say whether they supported the campaign or not, but it was obvious!
Over the space of about 30 minutes or more the convoy parked up and a select few were allowed to attend the public meeting discussing the parking charges.
A lady I spoke to seemed to think that this wouldn’t be the last protest while I was a little more optimistic. I hope that the turn out will show the leaders of Westminster Council that the bike riders that are using the parking facilities in their borough (or not) are a force to be reckoned with. Maybe they will think again about their plans to move this silliness from a trial to a permament solution.
Until then I’ll either get the train in to Westminster or park in Camden, Southwark, Lambeth or any other neighbouring borough that is more supporting of motorcycling as an alternative form of transport.
See some photos from the rally
Find out a bit more about the campaign
Find somewhere else to park