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No Rain, No Pain for Riders in Spain!

July 7, 2009
Inovative Lane Marking in Barcelona - Spain

Inovative Lane Marking in Barcelona - Spain

Barcelona, Spain – Is it me? Probably – but Great Britain does not seem to be in the forefront of much anymore, I’m talking motorcycle and ease of use here. Yes indeed good old Grosse Britannia seems to be bobbing in the wake of some other European Countries these days.

Take parking as an example. The Mayor of Paris noted that motorcycle and scooter parking was at a bit of premium on the Parisian boulevards. Instead of trying to reduce demand by introducing charges, London, City of Westminster style, he announces plans for 10,000 more spaces and eases parking elsewhere, allowing bikes to be parked provided they are not causing an obstruction.

Interesting that two representatives of Transport for London (TfL) were present when the Paris parking announcement was made, they were in town on a preliminary mission for the European Safer Urban Motorcycling (eSum) Project, London is one of the eSum partners. Apparently there was much nodding in agreement from the London boys when the French pointed out that providing sufficient parking in line with demand was also a way of ensuring rider safety by reducing traffic conflicts as riders sought a space to park. Presumably the trip back across La Manche caused selective memory loss to the TfL lads, as TfL later supported legislation that effectively bans motorcycles and scooters being parked anywhere in the Capital. Except in designated parking places that is, pretty handy that especially if you plan to charge users to park.

Now in Spain, where commonsense and Government biker friendliness rules things are to say the least a little different. Biker friendly crash barriers are installed as a matter of course though out the country. The cities of Barcelona, also an eSum Partner, and Madrid have introduced advanced stop lines at traffic intersections, allowing scooter and motorcycle riders to wait in front of other vehicles at stop lights. An idea shelved by the UK’s Department of Transport following a successful trial. In both cities as, in most of Spain, parking is simple not an issue, it’s provided as a matter of course. This week the Spanish government has approved a plan called MotoE, which will help people to purchase a motorcycle or scooter. Announcing the scheme Vice-president Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega explained that the central government will provide between 75 and 250 Euros per person, and that manufacturers and regional governments may also provide added financing and discounts which could reach up to 750 Euros for larger engined bikes.

Spain and a number of other European countries certainly are taking facilities for us forward. The UK’s one hundred and one reasons why something should not be done culture is leaving us not only bobbing in Europe’s wake, but also as a biker colleague of mine would have it, rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

One Comment leave one →
  1. Simonwb permalink
    July 11, 2009 6:17 pm

    Interesting blog, thanks and keep posting!

    On your ‘bikes are cheaper than cars’ article, it’s not so simple as you or MCIA would have it. Have a look at this thread in the forum for the bike I ride:
    The upshot from the riders contributing there is that we bikers choose two wheels because we like it, not because we can really justify it financially, because in many cases we can’t.
    But I do appreciate this is for bikes 600cc+ – I can imagine smaller capacity machines are cheaper to run, but not much use for a rider like me that does 90 miles round trip a day.

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