Fight against Hackney Council's motorcycle parking charge proposals continues

Criticism has been aimed at Hackney Council after a scrutiny panel was unable to achieve change over motorcycle parking charge plans in the London borough.

Several motorcycles parked int eh same space as one car. - Save London Motorcycling

Save London Motorcycling has criticised a panel set-up to scrutinise Hackney Council’s motorcycle parking charge proposals in the London borough.

Save London Motorcycling (SLMC) has been at the forefront of the campaigns against Hackney Council’s motorcycle parking charges since early-2022. 

Since then, the proposed charges have been reduced from what could have been £14,000 per year per bike to what now should be around £2,300 per year per bike, including electric bikes. 

When Visordown asked Hackney Council about its motorcycle parking charge proposals, it said it hoped that the charges on all powered two-wheelers (PTW) would encourage more people to cycle or use public transport.

The latest development is that a scrutiny panel, set-up by Green and Conservative Party councillors on Hackney Council, has failed to achieve any change in the Council’s plans. This is despite a 77.3% disagreement with the plans among those asked for their opinion in a consultation, and an expectation that the charges will put those living and working in Hackney into transport poverty. 

A Save London Motorcycling spokesperson said: “We, alongside thousands of others, do not accept this result. The council has a responsibility to make policy that is evidence-based and to monitor the impact of their policies on those who will be affected most. In this some of the lowest paid workers and most vulnerable Hackney residents will suffer extreme hardship as a direct result.

“Yesterday's charade of scrutiny laid bare the utter farce which is governance in Hackney today. The panel's questions clearly revealed fundamental flaws in the policy, but still Councillors voted to blindly press ahead with completely unprecedented and devastating charges without any idea what the impacts will be.

“After spending over an hour discussing the cost of living crisis, foodbank use and the devastating impact of a £10 a week benefit cut, in the very next item Councillors dismissed their £50 a week charges for motorcycle and scooter riders as being affordable and insignificant. This level of hypocrisy defies belief, and shows any pretence of Labour Hackney Councillors caring about hard-pressed residents and workers is nothing but cynical empty gesturing.

“We urge everyone concerned with fairness and the lives and livelihoods of Hackney workers, residents, and carers to join our campaign and stand up against this injustice, and all Hackney residents to carefully consider whether this Council displays the standards they want from their representatives."

Steve Garelick of GMB Union said: “We are astonished that despite engagement with the coalition representing PTW riders including GMB that Hackney have chosen to ignore constructive and valuable solutions and take a position that seems to make workers lives harder and create greater expense that may lead to an exodus of workers and business due to draconian pricing on a transport mode that has low emissions impact in comparison to plant machinery, emissions from restaurants and conventional vehicles including buses and LGVs. It is hoped that Hackney councillors reconsider this policy."

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