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The Fight for Bike Parking In London – Will the Campaigners Win??

June 15, 2009

 

Westminster, London, England – The year long campaign for free motorcycle and scooter parking in London’s heartland, Westminster, stepped up a gear this week with the news that Westminster City Council intend to bring forward orders to make the current trial charging scheme permanent. Coincidently, or maybe not, in the same week 4000 riders took to the streets of Westminster to again make their opposition to the charging scheme clear by blockading City Hall, Westminster’s seat of Government.

No To Westminster Parking Demonstration

No To Westminster Parking Demonstration

Led by Warren Djanogly and his web wise group of activists the No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign (NTBPF) has hadmajor success in connecting a political issue with the usually apathetic London motorcycle and scooter commuting community. NTBPF have undoubtedly signposted the route out of the current doldrum in which UK biking politics finds itself. The way forward is to be found in small vociferous groups of users focusing on single issues and not the traditional scatter gun approach used with little result by the two main UK biking representative groups, the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) and Motorcycle Action Group (MAG). Both of whom are currently struggling to maintain a credible membership level against a background economic downturn and public disgust of the British political system, following the UK Members of Parliament expenses scandal.

NTBF have it all. An easily understood campaign, no parking fees, bikes and scooters are part of the solution to London congestion issues. A well organised IT savvy leadership supported in huge and equal numbers by streetwise bikers and commuters and, key to any good campaign, a hate figure in one Councillor Danny Chalkley Westminster City Council Cabinet Member and lead on the parking issue.

The need for a positive outcome to the NTBF Campaign is, in many ways, crucial to the continued use of scooters and motorcycles by those commuting to the centre of London and by default other UK cities. For a defeat here will surely mean other London Boroughs and UK cities will not hesitate in introducing parking fees and enjoy the income stream thus produced.

The need for a Westminster Council win and the commencement of charging is certainly not lost on Councillor Chalkley and his fellow Cabinet members. Indeed the stakes for Danny Chalkley are high. He is Chair of the Board of the pan London Partners in Parking Organisation. A QANGO hell bent on charging bikers and scooterists to park. So a defeat in Westminster may well dent Councillor Chalkleys future plans. Indeed Councillor Chalkleys affiliations may well be at least one of the reasons why the campaigners have been treated with incredible arrogance by Westminster’s elected officials to the extent that they, the Councillors, ignore the very people they convinced to elect them.

Will the Campaigners win. I hope so. But as we near the tipping point of the campaign the need for clarity from the campaigners in the form of a policy and environmental statement to which undecided Westminster Councillors can hitch their wagon is paramount. As is the need for a massive response to the up coming consultation on the Traffic Orders necessary to make the current changing scheme permanent. 

If you ride in London its in your hands.

Further info:-

No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign website:-

www.notobikeparkingfees.com

No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign on Flickr:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/notobikeparkingtax/sets/72157618034282160/

No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign on YouTube:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=9kPd-iiU33M

No To Bike Parking Fees Campaign on Face Book:-

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=67279250190

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 7:59 pm

    Riders of scooters all around the Unitied Kingdom may also like to view this video:

    Which attempts in four minutes to explain some of the key points, and why it’s believed through PiP the tax will spread nation wide.

  2. June 18, 2009 9:06 pm

    Too right we’ll win – and if we don’t by any chance, I predict a huge campaign of ‘civil disobedience’ that will make it impossible for Westminster to enforce the charges. Watch this space….

  3. James permalink
    June 19, 2009 3:24 am

    I’ll be there on 1st July with my biker mates 😉

  4. UKFRANCE permalink
    August 8, 2009 7:44 pm

    We will win the campaign! The next step seems to be to take Westminster City Council to court, as per the campaign’s website http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com

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