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CONGESTION CHARGING - THE HIDDEN AGENDA

Just as thousands of Londoners prepare to take to two wheels to avoid congestion charges, scores of on-street motorcycle parking bays are under threat, claim the 140,000 strong British Motorcyclists Federation.

Whilst cautiously welcoming the Corporation of London’s recent announcement of six hundred extra motorcycle spaces in the Swan Lane and White’s Row multi-story car parks, the BMF have discovered that the on-street parking of motorcycles is being frowned upon by senior administrators.

According to The Corporation of London Borough’s ‘Street Scene Challenge’ programme, plans are already in hand for a major clean up of eight areas in 2003/04 with a second round of projects in 2004/05.

The ambitious plan is primarily designed ‘to create a safe and pedestrian friendly environment’ and as a result, all on-street parking is to be ‘rationalised’ and the effect of traffic ‘minimised’. While supporting these basic aims, the BMF say that the result will be that motorcycles and scooters will be moved to the off-street parking of private companies or to Corporation/NCP car parks.

Areas in the first round are: Queen Street Area, King Street Area, Southwark Bridge Area, Carter Lane/South St Pauls’ Area, Fetter Lane/Fleet Street Conservation Area, Bouverie Street/Fleet Street Conservation Area, Aldgate/St Botolph Street, Junction of Aldgate/Fenchurch, St/Leadenhall St/Mitre Square - all areas heavily used by motorcycle and scooter riders..

  • The BMF are now demanding that the Corporation of London:
  • Provide sufficient secure motorcycle and scooter parking to meet demand
  • That parking remains free
  • That motorcycle and scooter users are consulted in regard to future changes
  • That a policy document on motorcycle and scooter parking is drafted based on the needs of City users

Commenting, BMF spokesman Jeff Stone said: “The UK stands alone in refusing to accept the motorcycle and scooter as a legitimate and sensible means of city transport. The essence of two-wheeled travel is convenience, something you’re not going to get with remote centralised car parks. This plan will only add to the annoyance of city commuters”. “It’s short sighted and short on logic,” he added

 

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