Westminster to raise 5.8 million+ from motorcyclists

Westminster are to introduce a £1:50 a day motorcycle parking charge across W1 as of August, apparently in order to ‘fund’ 1,000 extra spaces.

Now, given possibly 10 machines per space will effectively be possible this is basically £15 a bay (assuming all day use by commuters paying daily fares, although obviously this will vary slightly) over what will be an estimated 1500 bays giving a net income of at least £22,500 a day from motorcyclists. Obviously the actual figure may very well differ and invariably will be higher but it simply demonstrates the nature of the revenue collection process.

In the first week of its roll-out this August this will mean a potential income of £105,000+…Not including additional parking fines and tow aways made possible by the process.

I would have thought that at that rate the painting of new lines and signs would have been happily covered in the first week alone. As it is the scheme will pay for itself many times over year on year and with obvious increases this will become another fruitful revenue raiser for Westminster.

Staggering to think that 5.8 million pounds will now be raised by Westminster Council for something that has long been considered a given right and basic freedom for motorcyclists.

How long I wonder before the rest of the capital follows suit and indeed other councils elsewhere.

An amazing contradiction on the part of the authorities to introduce charging for bikes on the back hand of their popularity following the congestion charge, it really does demonstrate the absurdly hypocritical nature of the London authorities very clearly.

Doesn’t it make you proud.

what doesnt make me proud is how easily we let this happen and how no protest was made


Its not as if we weren’t aware that it was going to happen.

LB forewarned everyone over a year and a half ago.

No one did a thing… nothing… not a sausage… no protests, there were about 3 letters written to MPs which was a valiant effort but frankly, MPs in one area have no influence over another, so it was more of a token gesture than anything useful, there wasn’t even an online petition lodged about it.

Essentially what it means is that we can all afford to pay that money… otherwise we WOULD have done something …

So man up and cough up. Or else get up off yer bums and actually do something for a change

(yes, I’m obnoxiously unpleasant sometimes, but apathy is so pathetic)

I think Westminster CC’s argument will be the standard UK government one. Where demand outstrips supply, a charge should be applied to restrict demand.

It’s always stick and no carrot in this country. Where as in the rest of Europe it’s about choices, cheap, good public transport or a Car/PTW. It’s only £2.36 and hour to park your car in the centre of Paris and £4.80 here!

It’s the same argument that they use for petrol prices all be it with one hastily applied coat of green wash.

The one thing about Ken’s Buses everywhere (mostly driven by bully boys clinging to that ‘give way to buses’ sentence in the highway code) strategy that I never understood was why didn’t he lay on Air conditioned buses (they have them elsewhere), given that we cant put AC on the tube because of the small tunnels surely this would have been an obvious summer plus!

I certainly made my feelings clear, not that Westminster Council actually gives any credit to the views of the tax paying public.

I utterly resent the idea of having to pay to park a motorcycle in W1, the whole idea is ludicrously at odds with making the option of 2 wheeled transport in the capital easier. At the end of the day motorcycles are the only feasible alternative to car use for many on longer commutes, I hardly imagine that the public transport system offers a serious alternative for many.
As urban transport we should be encouraged not penalised.

5.8 million plus per year simply for the sake of a few lines and signs, it’s detestable.

Very true, but be honest, it may have been free up until now. But we do use the roads and we do take up space and in a city the size of London the demand is enormous…

So where does this concept of “Its always been free, so it always should be free come from…”… That’s like saying, when I was a kid I always got a stocking from Santa, and now I’m an adult and know he doesn’t exist, I still want one…

Its a ludicrously unrealistic concept, we use up space, so why shouldn’t we pay like everyone else… what gives us the right to free parking, when car drivers have to pay? Are we “better” than car drivers, cos if that is the sole basis for our disagreement with this idea, then we’re on ruddy think ice…

but we are better than car drivers:
we take up less space,
there is always 50% of capacity occupied (one rider),
less emissions,
less road tear,
no congestion

i thought all this was the purpose of the Congestion zone.

**** in a year or two i can see myself on a bicycle :crazy:

there’s no need to be rude… :slight_smile:
No but seriously, sure we take up “less” space… but can you honestly say we take up NO space? of course not, so its a bit of a flawed argument to say, car-size space, costs, bike size space free, cos its smaller than a car size space… you may think differently, but that’s cos you’re the biker benefiting from this “free parking” but how are you gonna use that argument to convince everyone else who has NOTHING invested in the idea of letting you park for free…?

I’ve written to the Westminister counsellor for parking to ask him why it will cost me more to park my bike in westminster than my car. I’ve just had to buy a car for which Westminster charge me £115 a year to park, whereas to keep the bikes in the bike bay will be £150 per year each.
He hasn’t replied yet.

I wouldn’t mind too much if every vehicle has to pay, but electric and hybrid cars can park for free (for now), get fee fuel and are exempt from the congestion charge, even though the space used up one is about the same as any other car.

Well the logic is simple, congestion charging was all about encouraging the 2-wheeled transport alternative, hence bikes by their very nature were deemed untaxable and able to enter the ‘zone’ free of charge.

This new parking charge represents a ludicrous back step on the whole principle of the congestion charge, its aims and objectives.
By deterring car drivers you’ve encouraged motorcyclists and now have decided to tax them too! So in effect bikers are now paying for the success of the congestion charge…Great, wonderful logic.

The benefits of 2 wheeled transport are vast, i.e. 10 bikes per a single car bay, one fifth of the road space in effective use, the inability to cause gridlock, less emissions and pollution in effect due to less petrol wastage sat stationary etc etc. You could also add that journey times are also dramatically reduced again freeing up road space…

So obviously to encourage the alternative incentives should remain, i.e. good accessible free parking - which could just as well be achieved by allowing bikes to use vacant car spaces free of charge. The use of space is entirely negligible compared to the amounts of space given over to car parking.

The argument put forward that the cost of new spaces somehow necessitates £22,500+ a day in new revenue is laughable. 5.8 milion plus a year will now be raised through removing the basic and just right of motorcyclists to park free of charge in congested urban centres.

To solve London’s congestion problem you need to encourage 2 wheeled transport and the public transport alternative. This does nothing to solve the problem, it merely works as a disincentive.

Actually Congestion Charging was about reducing congestion, not encouraging motorcycles/scooters. They chose to exempt bikes because they didn’t cause much congestion, not because they wanted to actively encourage their use. Also that was brought in by the Mayor/TfL whereas this is Westminster Council - and you should know by now that different bodies are never joined up :wink:

Personally I don’t object to paying £150/yr to park in town - obviously i’d rather it were free etc, but that’s not unreasonable vs what cars pay, and as Toby says we do still take up space. What concerns me more are things like

will there be enough bike bays even with the extra provision?how much it will go up to?will we have to pay a separate charge in every London borough at some point?is it zoned rather than covering the whole of Westminster, so that if you can’t find parking where you have your season ticket you have to pay again in the next zone?when are we going to get something back for the money - like security bars to chain the bike to, CCTV coverage, or properly defined spaces which mean noone sqeezes in next to your bike and scratches it?

I’m afraid I have to agree. Congestion Charging wasn’t about promoting motorbikes, it was about reducing vehicle numbers, helping the environment and improving traffic flow.

We cling to the “promoting bikes as an alternative” argument cos it suits us to, but it was never devised with that in mind…

However, the most important argument that you need to understand is that the Congestion Charge is a TFL initiative. However, Parking rules and regulations are decided by the individual Boroughs… the two are TOTALLY unconnected. TFL is in charge of traffic flow through London, but each Borough is given the right to decided how to dealing with parking, numbers of spaces and any charges they want to levy in their own areas…

So these two policies which seem to be at odds bearing in mind our bike-orientated views thus proving the stupidity of modern government actually aren’t proofof that stupidity, they complement each other. Albeit not to our advantage.

That means, Westminster couldn’t give two ruddy hoots that you or I think their policy conflicts with the Congestions Charge… the Congestion Charge is in fact, the reason they’re raising revenue from us.

Apparently many businesses in Westminster claim the congestion charge has reduced flow through that Borough… fewer vehicles, fewer shoppers, visitors, etc, meaning less business.

They need more money, then here we come paying nothing… BINGO, great new revenue stream, and being bikers no one EXCEPT bikers are going to be upset that the people who have been getting away for parking for free (us) now have to pay too just like everyone else…

it seems quite logical and if you’re honest about it quite fair too.

It may be a better arrangement to pay, dissuading parking bay congestion by those who can use bicycles or walk :smiley:

I just said exactly that to my boss (also rides) - if this comes in in WC1 i’ll just cycle all the time and leave the proper bike at home, so yeah, more spaces for people that don’t have that option!

I did go to the Westminster one Stop Shop last week to try to get more information on this, as there is only very brief stuff on their website. As I suspected the first person I spoke to there couldn’t answer my questions and started to become stroppy as they often do, until she spotted the bullet cam on my shoulder. Amazing how that restores politeness back to the conversation. In the end the guy I spoke to could only confirm that it did not seem fair that bikes pay more than cars, and seems to go against any green policy Westminster may have.

My visit only confirmed that this has been brought in a hurry, with not enough done to publicise its introduction. On some bike bays Westminster have put notices on the parked bikes and scooters, but nothing much on the ones around me, just a small notice clipped to a post near to the affected bays. I believe the wardens, or whatever they have been renamed to this week, will have a field day ticketing bikes and scooters in the first few days.

If you pay for a days parking or annually you can move your bike around during the day and park on any bike bay in Westminster. Each London borough that charges for bike parking will be separate, so you will need to be sure which borough you’re in and pay accordingly. If you enroll in the Westminster scheme before the end of this month you get the first month free.

I remain convinced that this has only been introduced because Westminster brought in a pay by phone system which got rid of the need to stick a ticket on the vehicle. They quickly realized they could also then start charging two wheelers. I think if this was truly about generating money for bike bay improvements the fee would be reduced after they reach their stated target for bike bay improvements, but of course it won’t be. As I said earlier I don’t mind paying so long as it’s fair and across the board. I look forward to Councillor Danny Chalkleys’ explanation as to why it is cheaper to park a car in Westminster than a bike, and why electric and Hybrid cars park for free. I would hate to think all this environmental stuff is just spin and another way to make money.

If this is a so called ‘trial’, what constitutes success?
Does that mean if all bikers abandon all the bays, thereby not generating any revenue this will be deemed a failure and we go back to free parking. Of course not, so what is the point of calling it a trial. Once in, it sticks.
So I guess anyone who pays £1.50 per day or £150 per annum contributes to the successful trial for Westmin council and then we will see a plethera of neighbouring Councils who are going to point to this ‘successful’ example and be next.

So come on then. When’s the demo? I’ll be there.

Westminster have already trailed charging for bike parking. It was a flop as hardly any body used it. It was either in Hanover Square or Berkeley Square I think. However, if every council starts to bring this in what choice will riders have.

I’m still getting emails back from Westminster, they don’t seem to have their answers worked out yet, thought they would have it all sorted by now. I just cannot get my head around that a Toyota Hybrid gets to park for free but not a bike. Bike are much nicer to look at, they add colour and sparkle to any street:P

As for the demo, look at how much effect the biggest demo ever had against the war in Iraq on the powers that be.

According to the flyer ‘electric bikes park for free’. As alluded to above…

Why exactly???

It seems pretty obvious to me. If I was trying to encourage people to use bikes that had a smaller carbon footprint, didn’t add to particulates or smog generating chemicals in the air of London and did not contribute to noise pollution, whilst also helping to promote innovation in non-petroleum based commuting I might do the same thing.