Bikers vow to continue parking charge fight

"Some people thought we would just give up, but we're sticking to our guns and not going away"

BIKERS IN LONDON have vowed to keep up pressure on Westminster Council against bike parking charges, despite a reduction in the planned charges to £1 a day, or £100 a year.

Yesterday, around 1200 of motorcyclists converged in Westminster for the latest protest against bike parking charges introduced by the council.

Charlie Lort-Phillips, a member of the No To Bike Parking Fees campaign group, said: "We think the demonstration went very well. There was a turnout of around 1,000 to 1,500 people, which shows we're still taking on the council and standing up for ourselves. Some people thought we would just give up, but we're sticking to our guns and not going away."

The movement have been campaigning for the past 12 months against daily parking fees in the borough of £1.50, or £150 a year. In May, Westminster Council reduced the charges to £1 a day, or £100 a year, and also introduced 900 free motorcycle spaces in its car parks.

An official decision about whether the £1 daily charge will be made permanent is expected by the end of August.

Westminster Council's cabinet member for city management, Councillor Danny Chalkley, said: "We have listened to motor-cyclists and responded by making available 900 free motorcycle bays in our safe and secure car parks, and reducing the daily charge to park a motor-cycle all day anywhere in the city to just £1.
There are now almost 7,000 dedicated motorcycle bays in Westminster and these new changes demonstrate our continued commitment in providing excellent parking services across central London. We recognise that motorcyclists are an important part of the transport mix.

"We were one of the first councils in the country to permit motor-cycles to drive in bus lanes and we continue to welcome open and constructive dialogue on the future of motorcycling in Westminster."