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Hackney riders protest parking plan

Save London Motorcycling (SLM) is organising a mass ride out to protest against proposed new parking charges from 2023 for powered two-wheelers by Hackney Council. The Council is planning to charge motorcycles and scooters £6 per hour to park in a marked bay, with a maximum stay of four hours. The charge applies equally to mopeds, litre-plus adventure tourers and even to electric motorcycles and scooters.

In response to a question from the BMF, Hackney Council provided this statement: “As a Council we are committed to improving local air quality and tackling the climate emergency. As part of this commitment, and following a full public consultation in 2020, Cabinet agreed in February 2021 to place motorcycles on the same footing as all other vehicles, with permit prices based solely on the emissions they produce. These changes will allow businesses, delivery riders and other organisations that provide valuable services to continue to do so, while also discouraging the use of motorbikes for commuting, which contribute to local emissions and take up valuable kerb space from local residents and businesses.”

“The proposed charges are an insult,” said a spokesperson from SLM. “Hackney Council are imposing this tax on hard working Londoners in the middle of a cost of living crisis.”

The protest ride-out will take place on Saturday 10th September, starting from Downs Park Rd, E5 8JY –  sign up for the event here.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, added: “ The BMF are totally opposed to this short sighted policy.This is obviously not based on emissions, as stated, as zero emission electric motorcycles don’t have any. It’s also a nonsense that motorcycles ‘take up valuable kerb space’, compared to what? An electric assisted bicycle? What’s the difference? As usual it’s a cynical way of taxing the use of registered vehicles, which can be ticketed. I’d suggest that anyone who can join the ride-out protest do so. Remember this: once one council does this, they all will. If there’s a precedent it’s the ‘Say no to the Westminster bike parking tax campaign’ which many will remember from a dozen years back.’

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Tim Fawthrop