Parking - But Not In Solo MotorCycle Bays

Okay, so somewhere I said I was looking for somewhere to ask all my stupid questions… well here comes stupid question number 1 (be gentle)

I generally use my bike for commuting. In Central London there are plenty of bike bays dotted about, park with your back wheel against the curb, perpendicular to the pavement, no problems. Whats the general protocol when there are no specific bike bays, like Finchley where I live? A bike shop on the main street has its bikes in a Pay & Display (I think) bay, in the same manner you would a bike bay, but I wouldn’t think they pay for parking for each one… Also, I’m sure car drivers will get annoyed taking a whole parking space up for my bike.

On a similar note, in many large car parks, like at the cinema or a retail park, I don’t usually see bike parking. Do I just stick it in a car space? Should I just leave it on part of the pavement?

I know these sound stupid, but being new to it all, I don’t want to piss someone off or even get a parking ticket as I’ve done something wrong.

You may have noticed in Finchley (where i live too) that there are no bike bays. The reason is that bike parking in parking bays is FREE. Next time, go to the ticket machine and it says it on there in black n white.

The rules everywhere are different. Some boroughs allow Motorcycles to park in pay and display spaces free, and others allow parking in residents bays. However, the rules are absurdly complicated as you need to know exactly where you are and what the rules are.

There is a table showing the rules here -

Look for the rules overview in the menues.

It is also worth checking the borough website to see what info they give on how then enforce the rules.

There are bike parking bays at the cinema? I don’t recall seeing them?

@ Snap & Giuliano - thanks, very useful. So, you just park taking the whole space or do you tend to fit in at one end, perpendicular, giving perhaps a car the chance to park in the space too?

I live in Barnet and bikes park for free in parking bays in the whole borough of Barnet.

I think you’ve got the answer you’re looking for already, but I would just say… be careful when parking in central London. I’ve been down to Soho Square before, wanting to park up, and there’s been NO space in the bike bays.

I cornered a traffic warden to ask if I could park up in a car space, and he said I was more than welcome to, but would get a ticket. I pointed out that there was a car parked in a bike bay, but he said that was fine.

So just be cautious before leaving your pride and joy out to be ticketed.

Oh, also note that there’s fairly little point in covering your numberplate up if you’re going to walk away from your bike afterwards, as traffic wardens are now (I believe) allowed to touch your bike to remove obstacles to ya numberplate. Barstewards!

I always try to avoid ‘squeezing’ my bike in between cars as it makes it really difficult for them to get out. I would rather park in the middle of the bay and annoy somebody than park too close to somebody and they knock the bike over.

Bikes are especially hard to see if they are parked behind a car.

Again it depends on the borough you’re parking in. If you’re using a parking bay some state you must not obstruct the bay for other users e.g Richmond Upon Thames.

Best advice was check the appropriate borough website where you are parking…

Keti: Bike bays cease to be bike only after a certain time at least in Westminster.