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Motorcycle Parking Charges – BATH

Bath and North East Somerset Council Set Out Plans To Introduce Motorcycle Parking Fees Under The Guise of Congestion and Environmental Concerns

Bikers in Bath may have to pay for parking in the future, as Bath and North East Somerset Council is considering charging bikes for the first time. Quoted in Motorcycle News, Councillor Manda Rigby, Liberal Democrat cabinet member for highways, said: “While it’s recognised that motorbikes may be less impactful on congestion, they continue to utilise road space and emit pollutants.” Speaking to a council scrutiny panel on 21st March, she added: “Increasingly motorbikes are of a size where they take up a full bay or a full space, so we are looking to charge them as well.”
The proposed pricing would, as with the controversial parking proposals made by Hackney Borough Council, see bikes paying the same rate as cars. On top of this basic rate would be a sliding rate based on engine size (an extra 5% per capacity band) and emissions (2.5% per emissions band) with 600cc+ machines paying the top rate. According to the report by MCN, this could see a Honda NC750X paying the same rate as a three-litre car.

Councillor Rigby added: “Our aim is to continue the progress we have made in Bath on air quality, reduce congestion and encourage other ways to travel. While targets and legal limits exist for air pollution, there is no safe limit and any measures that reduce pollution from vehicles will have a positive impact on everyone’s health and the wider environment.”

However, BMF Chair Jim Freeman disagreed, pointing to the unfairness of a system which would charge a mid-sized bike the same as a large car. “The BMF are still fighting the Hackney Council, we knew they would set a precedent, and here we are with Bath displaying blatant anti- motorcycle bias. Expect to see more of the same. Bath are joining an ever-expanding group of towns and cities that are simply hanging up signs saying, in effect, ‘we don’t want your business, any visitors not welcome’. Councils are using Riders as cash cows to prop up their failing finances, under the guise of environmental concerns, following the ‘Khan model’ in London, despite the fact that motorcycles contribute just 0.47% to the UK’s total domestic transport emissions and have an important role to play in both reducing traffic congestion in our towns and cities and in the UK achieving its net zero targets. It’s telling that they don’t just ban ICE vehicles, they ‘tax’ them with parking charges and emission zones. Rich people won’t care, the question I’d ask every regular citizen, is ‘Do you feel rich?’ Do you want to ‘Walk, Cycle & Public Transport’? or do you depend on having personal mobility, which doesn’t depend on having two fully functioning legs? The BMF will be working with local motorcycle groups and other key partners to fight these ill thought-out proposals”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image authors own.