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Bikes charged same as cars for parking in Waltham Forest

Someone in London Borough of Waltham Forest council really doesn’t like us:

So heads up if you find yourself in Walthamstow, Leyton, etc.

I have to pay for a permit for my motorcycle in Guildford. Had to be very inventive in how I display it as I use a cover too… such a headache, I have a tax disk holder on a chain under the seat that I pull out and lay on the pavement when I put the cover on. I pay the same as my car and take up a quarter of it’s footprint? Makes no sense to me.

I even argued to my local councillor and absolutely no hope. Bikes should be encouraged as a means to reduce congestion/pollution for people who can’t ride bicycles because they live too far out. Not discouraged to the point that a car starts to make sense.


In the past Waltham Forest never enforced motorcycle parking due to the problems in displaying the permits. Now that LBWF has gone over to virtual permits motorcycle parking can and is enforced.

The real scandal is what they charge for the resident parking permits. The good news for now

In order for motorcyclists to get adjusted to the transition from free to paid for parking, between 1 April - 1 July 2019 we will only issue warning notices to motorcycles parked in areas where they would previously have been able to park for free. From 1 July 2019 actual penalty charge notices (PCNs) will be issued to any vehicle in contravention.

Yep. After years of cuts to central government funding councils are now completely financially fucked. They have a massive shortfall in their income, and are doing anything to increase it. This sort of thing is going to happen more and more over the next couple of years.

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So there’s a few weeks grace before they start charging and fining. How generous. And the ‘now we have paperless technology’ thing is spin. They could have easily had stickers or tax disc type things. But they were kinder people.

Which also means that any visitors won’t know what the score is, when they see bikes without permits parked up, until they get the FPN in the post. What a shambles.

The street signage says it all ‘Permit Holders Only’

That includes virtual permits so LBWF will not need to alter the street signs. Also note there has never been an official motorcycle parking exemption, the council simply didn’t enforce it until now. Three months seems to be fair warning assuming the Enforcement Officers are issuing sufficient warning notices.

I visit LBWF once or twice a month on my motorcycle and so far two visits since 1st May and no warning notice received. Has anyone received a warning notice yet? Are LBWF ticketing motorcycles with the warning notice or posting them as they would a FPN?

But this often excludes bikes. For example in The Regent’s Park, The Royal Parks have a Pay and Display system. Information explains the payment required and the two hour permitted duration but nowhere is it mentioned that motorbikes are exempt.

If I was visiting LBWF for the first time, I might reasonably assume a similar system is in place.

Your assumption is far from reasonable. Regardless of what happens elsewhere how can ‘Permit Holders Only’ mean anything else?

To exclude motorcycles from parking enforcement requires a separate order, what we have here is an authority that didn’t, until now, enforce it. The Courts will see it has a straight forward parking infringement.

I don’t know where you’re getting this information from or why you’re defending the imposition of the charges, against long-term custom and practice. It would be interesting to see the original order that includes motorcycles, if you have a copy.

its all in the earlier thread here Parking in Waltham Forest

and here

Well apologies for repeating a topic. I don’t know why we couldn’t say that to start with.

My replies sound a bit grumpy, and I don’t mean to be. Off to get a coffee.


It’s only reasonable if you consider the experience of a motorcyclist faced with the parking regime at The Regent’s Park. Every sign tells him/her similar “permit holders only” messaging but the reality is motorbikes are exempt, they just haven’t told the motorcyclist.

It’s the same if you visit Hammersmith & Fulham. The Residents’ Bay will say “Permit Holders Only” but motorbikes are exempt. Again, the signage doesn’t tell you this, you have to be in the know.

If this has been your experience of London motorbike parking, it is not unreasonable to think other boroughs follow suit.

I’m not in favour of these secretive exemptions. I wish the signage was clear. I wish there was some sort of pan-London rules for parking.

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And some sort of pan-London bus lane exemptions!!!

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Well maybe the assumption is reasonable. The question is “is the exemption of solo motorcycles in London Borough ‘Permit Holders Only’ bays the exception to the rule or the general rule”?

To be clear do more or less LB’s make exceptions for solo motorcycles?

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Now you’ve started me. Only yesterday I was on a bit of the A5 I don’t normally use, and surrounding by HGVs, taxis, buses and LGVs, I moved into the bus lane because I needed to be in lane 1 for an imminent left turn. As I moved in I caught a glimpse of the bus lane sign, I was only quick enough to read that it did not include motorbikes but I wasn’t quick enough to read the hours of operation.

There are so many other more important things we need to be concentrating on the roads. All bus lanes should have the same conditions for this reason alone. I suggest 24 hours for simplicity, and motorbikes allowed.

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I’ve too much time, according to

17 London Boroughs (including LBWF) do not allow free solo motorcycle parking in resident bays vs 14 that do. Therefore the assumption should be you need to pay to park, even if it is only the price of a cup of tea (Walton on Naze cafe law).

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As you have the time, how many of those 17 boroughs refuse to provide bike bays? If there are no bays, is it still unreasonable to expect free parking in other spaces? How many boroughs now charge the same price as cars for parking, including for council car parks?

What are we trying to prove here? It’s not just the parking fee, everyone makes mistakes and sooner or later picks up a fine. Delivery riders and young people on scooters are often financially vulnerable. They may not have or be able to borrow the £65, and so up the fine goes. BBC filmed a drama about exactly that. Worth a watch before pushing the blame onto the rider.

I got screwed over visiting my girlfriend in Highgate a couple of years back. Used to park on the side of the road free in residents bays, confirmed online. One day I park 10 meters away from normal, around the corner and got fined. Turns out the border between the two councils was on that corner and the other council fined me. 10 meters cost me £130 for two fines.

It is ridiculous how inconsistent London is, both with this and the stupidity of bus lanes being random.