Industry

Why London motorcycle parking charges will affect you

The news that the London borough of Hackney is looking at charging motorcycles to park could mean a country wide uptake of the scheme

HACKNEY council in London is currently consulting to see if they can begin charging motorcycles to park, even when they are in a mark ‘motorcycle only’ bay.

While the new scheme may not look from the outset like it can’t affect you, due to not living in London or Hackney, you should probably still be concerned.

Parking and congestion relief schemes, like the ULEZ we first saw in London, rarely remain a local oddity for long. Once other councils catch on to the idea of squeezing every drop of revenue out of the non-public transport using public, they generally will. First London got a congestion zone, and now Manchester and Liverpool have them, with Leicester, Birmingham and even Coventry likely to follow suit.

What do the new London motorcycle parking charges mean?

The premise of the new parking charge is, on the face of it, a good thing. Get the private vehicles off the roads so everyone can move around on buses, bicycles, and space-hoppers in a gluten-free welfare raised utopian paradise. For us, it stinks of an already greedy government becoming greedier, and they have motorcyclists in the crosshairs.

The plan is to add security gates to the bays that are reserved for motorcycles, a good thing you might say. And yes, it’s a great thing, but if a council was looking to reduce motorcycle-related crime and theft – wouldn’t they want to do this anyway?

To access the bays, riders will need to pay a subscription, a bit like the system they use with the Santander bicycles, and then you are free to park in the bay. While this may sound good, and don’t get me wrong, a safer motorcycle is a good thing in London, the way the council is going about it is more than a little bit underhand.

While five or even six small bikes can use the same amount of space as one car, the council proposes to charge even the smallest bikes the same amount as the most fuel-efficient cars. The pricing works on a banded scale. Zero emissions vehicles are £10 per year, then up to 120g/km vehicles are £61 per year. The scale rises to vehicles emitting 226g/kg or over (something they equate to a 2000cc+ engine but, we dispute that logic) would pay £214 per year.

It seems that rather than tackling the problem of congestion pollution in the city, Hackney council is simply looking at a way of targeting as much revenue they can from every type of road user possible. They seem to have completely forgotten that motorcycles ease both congestion and pollution.

To have your say, head to the consultation page on Hackney council: hackney.gov.uk/parking-services/motorcycles

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