Camden latest Council to Charge Bikers

Camden Council are proposing scrapping free solo motorcycle parking bays replacing them with pay-to-park facilities. What is worse is that they are rushing this through and you have only until 18th December to comment! Unless action is taken now, this is what you will have to get used to all over the country.

We reported back in February that Hackney were scrapping free motorcycle parking and moving to pay-to-park schemes. Now Camden is following suit. You can bet that the other London boroughs will also fall into line as a great source of revenue. That is unless you have your say and oppose the measures. Don't think that because this is London it won't affect you, people in Camden thought that when Hackney made their proposals. Once all of London starts doing this then other cities and councils will do the same.

The proposals are part of a wider look at vehicle parking and use in the borough. The reasons given for charging for motorcycles is because

  • Motorcycles are a source of carbon emissions;
  • Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in collisions resulting in fatal or serious injuries to pedestrians or cyclists;
  • Motorcycles are too noisy.

However when you realise that they are also going to be charging Electric motorcycles that are not be a source of Carbon and are not noisy in the slightest then you realise this is just an excuse to charge people more money.

As to the claim that motorcycles inure or kill more pedestrians and cyclists than other transport, an analysis of National Travel Survey data back in 2018 stated that "For incidents where others were involved, participants reported a total of 3,598 categories of road user involved in their incident, not counting themselves. Only 2% (104) were cyclists or pedestrians, while 83% were cars, 13% other vehicles, and 1% motorcyclists." Even a rather anti-motorcycling review of injuries to pedestrians in 2019 by the BMJ stated that lorries and buses were more dangerous (anti-motorcycling because their advice is to ban only motorcycling).

You will soon have the pleasure of paying £6 a day for a temporary permit no matter whether you have an electric or petrol motorcycle - so much for encouraging use of low carbon emission vehicles. If you pay for parking then you will need to pay from £3.43 to £5.92 per hour (depending on the area). Residents permits will almost double in cost too!

Using parking charges to modify vehicle behaviour is not the right policy. It's not the parking that causes pollution, or noise, or accidents - in fact when parked a vehicle is at its safest! The charges will only encourage people not to park but instead to do drop-offs which will only cause more pollution, more noise, and more accidents. The solution to curbing pollution must be to charge the source of the pollution at a National level by increasing the tax on the more polluting fuels - the more you use a vehicle the more you pollute and the more you pay and if your vehicle uses a lot of fuel then it will pollute more and you will need to pay more for the privilege. I know that might not be popular with those who drive a lot but it's better than paying even more for badly-thought-through resident parking charge schemes.

You may not be aware but the rights of motorcyclists are under attack - far more so than at any time before. You might be reading this thinking that you'll always be allowed to ride motorcycles however there are several pressure/lobby groups at work trying to convince councils to put measures in place to discourage motorcycle use. Charging for parking is just one of those. We encourage you to write to your MP, contact your local councillor, get involved with MAG and the BMF, and stand up for your rights. If you don't then you will lose them - simple as that.