LB Newsletter Sponsor - Motorcycle Parking

Today I received the usual email newsletter from LB.

However, the article at the top of the newsletter had the heading “Thousands of new spaces for bikers in Westminster”. Initially I thought this was a news article by LB but on closer inspection I saw that it was a “Sponsor Statement”.

The manner in which the “article” is written appears to give a wholly positive feel to the issue of charging for motorcycle parking in London. However, what’s more disturbing is that it gives the impression the article is written by LB and that LB promote the idea.

Does this mean that LB has sold it’s soul to the devil and is running advertising by Westminster City Council? :angry:

I fully appreciate that such advertising helps to keep this great site running but the manner in which this appears is misleading to members. It gives a positive message to the issue and none of the negative aspects are conveyed.

The “article” also has the audacity to quote Danny Chalkley saying "“We have listened to the views of motorcyclists in Westminster…” However the fact of the matter is that WCC did NOT listen to motorcyclists who were wholly opposed to the idea.

Ouch LB - what are you doing :unsure:

This was always potentially controversial, but we’ve never shied away from controversy here, in fact it’s a daily occurrence it seems.

Here’s the thinking: there was a fair bit of discussion by the community about Westminster’s new charging policy, but ultimately there was no big push to make issue of it and do something about it. If anyone could do, it would be lobby groups like MAG or The BMF. Doing something ourselves was never on the table, we’re not a lobby group and don’t have the resources to be either.

With this in mind, we weighed up the pro’s and con’s of accepting Westminster’s request to promote their piece and it came down to the fact that everyone who rides into Westminster needs to know about their new scheme, whatever your opinion on the matter, and LB needs to pay its not insignificant bills each month, so why not.

If we as a community had objected to the degree where we wanted to do something about it, then we wouldn’t have accepted the request, but as it stands, there’s been minimal response about the advert.

I can see two sides here, those who don’t like the idea of paying for parking, and those that like the idea of increased security and the cost that goes with it. I understand both sides; we’ve never paid before, so why now? Also, it seems to go against the mayor’s office’s strategy of trying to reduce congestion by getting people onto alternative forms of transport, but also, I’ve had a bike stolen myself whilst parked up in Central London, so I totally understand why people ARE willing to pay for better parking facilities. Double-edged sword if ever.

Either way, LB is essentially just a vehicle for communication, both for our members and the motorcycle industry as a whole. We’re not taking sides, we’re providing a way for everyone to get together and share their views or information.

I hope that explains why we chose to run with the ad. I don’t think we’ve done any harm, if anything we’ve brought more attention to the situation, which the community can then act upon as they see fit.

Come on Jay, fess up, they offered some money and you took it, why try to dress it up ? :wink: LB has had ads from some very unpleasant companies in the past like Bennetts who are the biggest rip off and screw you merchants going. Your costs can’t be that great even if you own your own server :slight_smile:

Everybody agreed that Westminster have done this in a sly, underhand and devious way and apparantly a lot of the so called security has yet to be installed, quite possibly it will never be installed and the number of additional bays they claim hasn’t materialised either. (Anybody able to put some figures to these ?) If what they claim does actually materialise then £150 a year might be good value, but how long will it stay at £150/year ?

If you want to take advertising from people like Bennetts, MCE, Westminster Council etc then fine, your site and you can do what you please with it, but please don’t try to dress it up and treat us like idiots :w00t::smiley: On the one hand you claim LB is a community but on the other treat people as if they don’t count . . . very difficult to reconcile sometimes :pinch:

We’re not assuming anyone’s an idiot Steve, we’re just trying to balance the needs of the community with the needs of the site. The site has to pay for itself or it’ll go nowhere very quickly, and of course we only want to work with the best advertisers. I’m not making excuses as it’s not right for me to comment on whether or not we think an advertiser is deserving or not, but whether or not you like some companies, the fact is, they bring in the money, which allows us to provide a service. Just look at how much big-name sponsorship there is at shows, racing events and the like as an example.

We vet all ads, we won’t run anything that we think is detrimental to the community or LB as an entity, but the concept of having ads support the site is a relatively new one, so we’re still trying to develop this and bring in good advertisers which can benefit the community and the readers. Until then, we have to work hard to get it to where we want to be.

I would not mind paying the £1.50 if there was something to chain the bike too or some other security measures westminister council can introduce.

Maybe you can push this idea, Jay?

B4 any1 says my firm is moving to westminister soon so it will concern me.

From other stuff I have been reading it looks like they were met with a wave of apathy from the first devices they trailed, they had so little response from bikers they are now looking at device No 2.

That’s fair enough but this “ad” was all text and the content was incorrect and misleading. As such it doesn’t seem to have been “vetted” very well :unsure:

It was also not clear that this was an “ad”. I’ll be honest in saying that initially I thought this was written by LB which initially raised my concerns.

For those that are interested here’s the list of parking amendments the Westminster have just approved, these are to come into force on the 1st Oct 2008

Additional Parking

and this is what is available in the car parks

Motorcycle Spaces from 4th August 2008
Car Park Number of Spaces
Abingdon 6
Chiltern 12
Chinatown 36
Cramer Street 10
Harley Street 69
Knightsbridge 10
Leicester Square 77
Oxford Street 33
Park Lane / Marble Arch 40
Pimlico 42
Queensway 20
Soho 12
St. John’s Wood 12
Trafalgar Square 8

Looking at the document they came into force on the 1st Oct 2007, not 2008.

However, not sure whether all those amendments have since been implemented - the document merely ratifies the proposal.

Personally I only ever park in Westminster for less than half an hour. So the £1.50 per day is a little irrelevant. Cars can pay parking by the half hour (or less?). So for short periods I think it is better to park in the car spaces and pay by the miniumum period. Which is certainly less than £1.50 I believe.

Recently my spending at shops in Westminster has totally stopped because of this parking change.

Afraid not, 30 mins in a car space = £2

For cars it varies depending in which “zone” you are in. See attached pic for details.


Pay £1.50 to have your pride and joy jammed into a sardine like gap between rows of knackered commuter scoots, finding it scratched, knocked over or not there at all as some thieveing scrote has put it in the back of a van?

I think not.

For me its £4 at the nearest NCP every time imho.

Now if LB could get some kind of discount from NCP for its members that might be worth having a bit of dressed up sponsorship.

That’s not something you do every day is it because surely that works out to be quite expensive :pinch:

The majority of riders have to park in normal bays because they have no choice. Being crammed in like sardines and now paying for that privilege is what upsets people.

Jay mentioned that this should be left to the likes of the BMF and MAG. However, at the time Westminster came up with these proposals the BMF was in disarray (remember last year - they were in chaos). At the time MAG consulted with WCC but they sold bikers out IMHO. That totally lost my support of MAG.

If riders still feel passionate about this issue then I suggest you support the group over on FaceBook:

These guys are low on support at the moment but it’s growing all the time. They are also “pro-active” which is good. Expect to see more demos and other action. Did MAG do anything ? No they didn’t. However such groups need the support of riders - don’t expect someone else to do this for you, get involved and make YOUR voice heard.

As for Westminster advertising on LB. Then personally I think it would have been better if they had created an ad with an image linking to the WCC website. At least LB members could then make their own informed choice instead of being doctrinated by Danny Chalkey with his misleading and patronising comments.

free4bikers (03/09/2008)

I think we have a bit more nouse than you give us credit for. Do you think we wouldnt have spotted something that you clearly have!

Who’s we ?

What point are you trying to make ?

The bit I have issue with is where you say “At least LB members could then make their own informed choice”. There has been a lot of discussion on this forum about the Westminster charging and I, as a part of the group you call LB, am perfectly capable of seeing the issues at hand and the difference between an advert and discussion without needing clarification or to be “protected” by you.

Im not “trying” to do anything. I AM making a point - something I would have thought you would support as freedom of speech.

This is nothing like making things simple, the zones charges should be in a logical order! ie A & B £4 C & D £3 etc… How can anyone ever remember the current charging system!

Typical WCC!

“For cars it varies depending in which “zone” you are in. See attached pic for details”

Yup where I generally go in Westminster - Queensway - is £2 per hour but if you are only there 15 -20 mins… Certainly less than £1.50.

Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed or something - chill out. You’ve totally misunderstood my comments.

I’m not “protecting” anyone but I am raising the issue for discussion - your remarks are not necessary and frankly quite rude and not very constructive.

Such negative comments will have WCC laughing in their ivory towers.