U-turn on Yorkshire bike meeting spot ban

Following opposition from motorcycle groups, a parking ban on motorcycles at a popular meeting spot in Yorkshire has been removed


The motorcycle parking ban that had been implemented at a popular meeting spot for bikers has been removed.

The news comes after opposition was presented to the parking ban by motorcycle groups on both local and national scales. The branch and political representative of the Motorcycle Action Group’s (MAG) North Yorkshire branch, Richard Suddaby, had said the group would organise a “peaceful demonstration” if it did not get a response from Northern Rail. North Yorkshire MAG was joined in its opposition to the ban by the wider, national Motorcycle Action Group, and the British Motorcyclists Federation made public its support, too.

The Whistlestop Cafe posted to its Facebook page confirming the removal of the sign, which had signalled the ban, from the car park. It said: “Following the feedback that Northern Rail have had since putting the signs up they have agreed to take down the signs and still allow motorbikes in the car park.

“If you are in our private spaces using the cafe then you don’t need to pay but they have said other spaces on the car park you are expected to pay and can have 2 bikes parked in each space. 

“They will release more in a few months but we will keep you updated on any more developments.”

The ban at Whitby train station was implemented earlier in December. Northern Rail owns Whitby station, and it justified the ban by saying that motorcycles were parking one-to-a-space.

Motorcyclists have also made a popular meeting spot out of the Whistlestop Cafe that is on the site at Whitby train station. The cafe has also hosted a regular bike night on Thursdays, which Northern Rail said it did not give permission for and which it therefore used as another justification for implementing the ban.

Those who contacted Northern Rail about the ban were met with what the Motorcycle Action Group described as a “template response” which read: “The decision was made due to motorcycles often occupying individual parking spaces, thus hindering access for cars that require these facilities. Additionally, there's a lack of evidence that all motorcycle users are paying the appropriate tariff, which is a requirement for all station customers. Moreover, motorcycles are frequently parked in pedestrian walkways, pavements, and areas designated for other vehicles.

“Regarding the Thursday Night Motorbike meeting, Northern Trains has not granted permission for this gathering. Therefore, controlling the car park's usage becomes necessary to prevent further disruptions to its operation and revenue.”

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