I use that car park every day and so was a bit pissed off to find out it was going to close.
Wrote to them about it and asked what they’re going to do about replacing the lost parking …in a nutshell bugger all.
Here’s the full reply:
I write in response to your e-mail of 1630 hours on 29 March 2006in relation to motorcycle parking in the City of London, particularly in relation to the scheduled closure of Swan Lane car park.
The City considers that parking for commuters who travel to the City by motorcycle should be provided within the building or site where those commuters work so that commuters are not attracted to use the on-street solo motorcycle parking bays, which are intended for visitors’ use. In the past City building developers have too often made insufficient provision for the likely number of workers at the development who will travel to their workplace by motorcycle. To respond to this underprovision within developments, the City adopted a new motorcycle parking standard in the City of London Unitary Development Plan 2002 (which was adopted as the City’s principal land use planning document on 9 April 2002). This new standard requires that a minimum of one motorcycle parking space be provided for every 750m2 of gross floor space in all new and redeveloped office, retail and leisure buildings in the City where car parking is to be provided. This is three times the amount of motorcycle parking that was previously required under the City of London Unitary Development Plan 1994. Buildings constructed to this standard are likely to have sufficient motorcycle parking available within the development for all employees who wish to travel to work by motorcycle in all normal situations, meaning that these developments will not produce any demand on public motorcycle parking provision, making it easier for visitors and those persons who do not have motorcycle parking provided at their workplace to find space in the public facilities. Obviously it will take some time for a sufficient number of buildings to be built or redeveloped to this new standard for pressure on public motorcycle parking to be noticeably reduced, but the City anticipates that, over the whole of the next decade, rebuilding rates in the City will be roughly equivalent to those experienced over the last decade, when a remarkable 37% of City office space was rebuilt. In this situation of very high rebuilding rates the City anticipates that the reduction in pressure on public motorcycle parking resulting from significantly better private provision of motorcycle parking will be noticeable within a few years.
Nevertheless, the City recognizes that, while this new requirement for the provision of significantly greater amounts of private motorcycle parking is likely to substantially reduce motorcycle parking pressures in the longer term, more immediate improvements are required to assist today’s motorcyclists; and that some workplaces will never have motorcycle parking provided within them for a variety of reasons, such as when the building concerned is of historic value and cannot be modified to provide off-street parking. Visitors to the City and commuters who do not, or do not currently, have motorcycle parking provided at their workplace can therefore park in 1 of the City’s 17 public car parks or 1 of the many more in the City Fringe.
The City operates six public car parks in addition to Swan Lane. Since the Mayor of London introduced his congestion charging scheme in February 2003 the City has increased the public motorcycle parking provision in Baynard House car park from 50 spaces to 375 spaces; in Minories car park from 40 spaces to 445 spaces; and in White’s Row car park from 80 spaces to 405 spaces. In addition the Markets Committee of the Court of Common Council will be asked to consider making motorcycle parking available in West Smithfield car park. These off-street public car parks have some significant advantages over the on-street solo motorcycle parking bays, notably protection from the elements, good lighting, security patrols and on-site assistance staff and, in most of the car parks, closed-circuit television surveillance. A map showing the locations of the City’s public car parks is available on the City’s website at http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/maps/locations_of_interest.htm. You will need to use the enlargement, navigation and map key buttons at the base of the map to view it.
In addition to the City’s 7 public car parks, National Car Parks Ltd (NCP) now welcome motorcycles in all 60 of the public car parks that they operate within the congestion charging zone, including 10 in the City and many more in the City Fringe. NCP charge a flat fee of £3 per day for motorcycle parking in most of their car parks; however there is now a special rate of £2 per day for the new secure motorcycle parking facility at their London Aldersgate Street car park (on Aldersgate Street, just north of the Museum of London rotunda). If this secure motorcycle parking facility proves popular with users NCP are likely to roll the security devices and the reduced parking charge out to their other car parks in the City. There is a “car park finder” tool on the NCP website at http://www.ncp.co.uk/multimapform.aspx.
I trust that this information is of assistance and that you are reassured that the City knows about the difficulties with parking that many City motorcyclists, both visitors and commuters, face and is addressing those problems to the extent that the achievement of the City’s other goals allow. Please also find attached a copy of the first issue of the City’s Motorcycle Parking newsletter, which I hope will be of interest.