London protest sees hundreds of bikers out against £14,000 parking charges

Hundreds of bikers turned out in opposition to parking charges targeting motorcycles proposed by a London council over the weekend.

Save London Motorcycling protest against Hackney Council parking charges on 8 October.

The protest held by Save London Motorcycling in opposition to proposed parking charges for bikers in Hackney saw hundreds of bikers turn out against the plans. 

Save London Motorcycling (SLM) organised the protest to take place in Hackney in conjunction with the Greater London Motorcycle Action Group (GLMAG), and on 8 October “hundreds” of bikers turned out in support of their campaign, according to an SLM press release. 

The proposed charges by Hackney Council would see two-wheeler owners paying up to £14,000 per year to park in Hackney, including not only residents in Hackney but also those commuting through the borough, or who work there. 

Save London Motorcycling’s protest ride-out began at Downs Park Road, and was in support of a petition which now has over 7,000 signatures demanding Hackney Council do not go through with their plans for parking charges. 

Before the ride-out began, there were speeches from several guest speakers, including TV personality Matthew Wright. 

Wright was originally planned to attend the event in person, but in the end was unable to be at the protest physically, so sent a recorded message instead.

“I don’t think any reasonable person would think that what Hackney Council is doing is fair,” Wright said, “and therefore it’s vital we take this protest onto the streets and persuade the council to do the right thing and back down.

“How can driving motorcycles off the road do anything for congestion? They don’t care about us, our safety on the roads, but they do care when they can squeeze us for a few pounds, so let’s say no to these ludicrous parking charges and let Hackney Council know how strongly we feel about it.”

Other speakers included GMB Trade Union official Steve Garelick and Karen Neill, owner of Zenith Motorcycles. 

Garelick said: “We’re in a cost of living crisis at the moment. This is hurting everyone, to add an extra cost on individuals who can ill-afford it, especially at the moment is very questionable.

“It’s an extra ordeal they can do without. The cost of parking, the cost of enforcement, against a minority is wholly inappropriate.”

Karen Neill said: “This is going to affect every single one of us, we all know it doesn’t matter what you ride, you are doing your bit for the environment, for congestion and for your pocket.”

Finally, a spokesperson for Save London Motorcycling said: “Hackney Council must urgently reverse their position which will increase car use, congestion and pollution, and price working people out of the borough.

“Right now the way Hackney Council are planning to impose these crazy charges running into thousands of pounds on some of the lowest paid workers looks a lot like punching down. Enough is enough.”

The Best Motorcycles for Beginners | Best bikes for new riders from 300cc to 700cc

The Best Motorcycles for Beginners | Best bikes for new riders from 300cc to 700cc