back to article Council wins motorbike charges case

The campaign against parking charges for motorbikes in central London has lost a court challenge to Westminster Council. The case, brought by Warren Djanogly, accused Westminster of abusing its statutory powers in order to raise revenue and failing to carry out a proper consultation process before bringing in the charges. …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots

    "A commenter in the campaign's forum said: "As expected. We lose. Now for appeal. No retreat no surrender."

    "The council said it would seek to recover £50,000 in legal costs from Djanogly."

    Obstinance causes some people to do some pretty idiotic things. £50k buys you 136 years of 365 days a year parking..

  2. LB

    Ham_man

    Yup, payup I have to pay for car parking.

  3. Yorkshirepudding
    Troll

    OOooooo £1 a day

    my heart bleeds, can i have my wing mirrors back too

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Christ on a (motor)bike

    Motorcyclists must now pay £1 a day to park in Westminster

    A bargain! how long can you park a car for a quid?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Hold on!

    Hold on, don't forget you can get a season ticket for £100/year, so it's not like it's £1, end of story.

    No I don't agree with it, I think as bikes are smaller they encourage the roads to be clearer, they should be free to park. You can get a half dozen bikes in the same space as a car.

    I don't own a bike before you think I am one of these crotch-rocket jockeys, I just think it's unfair.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      FAIL

      Size of Bike?

      Err, have you seen the size of bikes? You *might* get 6 scooters or mopeds at a push, but take the size of most normal bikes and you'll get 2-3 per space at most.

      Add those carrier boxes on the back of the seat and two bikes will easily fill a single space, and go for a Hog or Gold Wing and a mini would be smaller.

      And how much does a car space cost for a day ? Even if you get 6 bikes, the car is going to pay more than £6 a day.

      And as for the "take up less space on the road" arguement - BOLLOCKS - every biker would agree that they should be "left the same space as a car" for safety! It's only those that cut up the traffic that "save" space.

      (I like bikes - I'm just not buying the arguement here)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        2 or 3?!

        Are you having a laugh?

        In Westminster the number of bikes looking for spaces is vastly more than the number of spaces available. In a lot of bike bays there is barley enough room to get of your bike. Believe me, there are more than 6 bikes squeezed into every space for a car.

        And this is the problem, we have to park inside the bike bays, or we get fined. No space available? Tough. Even with all the empty car bays. (This is especially true in Chelsea and Kensington, where they recently converted a lot of bike bays into permit holder bike bays while the parking machines issue paper tickets. How would you attach those to a bike?)

        The problem of overcrowding is so acute that you'd be lucky to find a spot past 9, and you really wouldn't want to park on the end of a bay as you're likely to have your bike moved and then ticketed.

        Bikes do take up less space on the road, they also cause less congestion and less pollution while taking strain away from London's overcrowded public transport system.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Bikes are small, fast and nimble: everything a car isn't.

        "You *might* get 6 scooters or mopeds at a push, but take the size of most normal bikes and you'll get 2-3 per space at most."

        5 motobikes is not a challenge even, 6 if you stuff a little. Sideways, of course. 8 if you and your friends are trying to save money, but then some of the bikes can't leave until others have gone first. (I've done this, no photograph unfortunately.)

        I should know, I own a bike. Those are less than a meter wide you know. Most parking slots are about 6m long. Gold Wings and other motored sofas are another thing, but three should be easy and four if stuffed a little.

        On the road normal car takes a lane wide and 6m long space, you could easily stuff four bikes in that space, even on (slowly) moving queue, ie. congestion.

        "And as for the "take up less space on the road" arguement - BOLLOCKS"

        Depends on what road and when. Bikes are two side by side and they are about 2m long when they stand at the traffic lights, That's less than a quarter of the space that a car would take.

        Undeniable fact.

        Highway or other high speed roads the bike takes the same space as a car would, that's true. But not the whole truth as you like to say.

        I everybody would drive a bike, there wouldn't be any congestion or parking problems, so Council should engourage bikes instead of punishing them. But greedyness leads to stupid decisions, as usual.

    2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Not long.

      Less time than it takes to walk back to your car with the ticket.

  6. Rogerborg

    The revenue must flow!

    Yup, no surprise. Judges eat from the same trough as other civil servants.

    Synopsis of the judgement (and yes, I've been following the issues, and have read it in full):

    Sure, it's unlawful to levy parking charges solely and secretly to raise revenue. But as long as you're quite open that you're going to turn a honking profit, you can charge whatever you like, break as many promises as you like about what you're actually going to provide in return for the charging (as long as you keep promising it), and spunk the huge excess on anything you like.

    Any car drivers minded to point out that motorcyclists are moaning about paying just £1 a day for parking should please bear in mind that it's £1 today. When the case is finally put to bed, the screws will turn.

    Ah well. As they say, on to the appeal. There may be some judges left, in Brussels if not in London, who still care about what the law actually says, rather than inventing post facto justifications for those who break it.

  7. Marvin the Martian
    Megaphone

    I don't think the pound is what matters.

    Think about it --- "pay and display" on a motorbike?

    You pay your quid, you stick the ticket somewhere on the screen, so it gets blown off or stolen: kazam! The lurking parking attendant comes and fines you whatever it costs now. That will bring in enough... Advanced countries allow for pay-by-txt parking etc, will take some years here.

    Bikes differ from cars in that they're not giant ashtrays/litterboxes, amongst other things.

  8. KevinLewis
    Pirate

    Arghhhh

    I am a car driver

    I am a motorcyclist

    I am a cyclist

    I've done all of the above in London.. and no I haven't knocked off anyone's wing mirrors, juimped lights, killed small animals... but then I may be a miniority.

    So it's ok if it doesn't affect you? It's a £1 today, it'll then go up and up just like car parking. Either way it's yet another way to rip road users off. Westminister will then get more Parking Attendents... there'll be more penalties given out both Car and Bike.. more revenue raised.. still less spent on the roads.

    Then it will spread to neighbouring councils...

    Soon they'll also make cyclists pay for parking. Then make you pay to use council parks...

    So maybe a biker should leave the bike at the train station for free, but do you REALLY want more people on your crowded train in the morning? If prices rise to the level of cars, it may make more sense to leave the bike at home and take the car to work, especially in the winter, may as well keep warm. Do you really like the extra congestion?

    Pirates - Cos Westminster Council will screw you every which way it can...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Almost

      Actually they tend to get nicked off the screen and used by other people - tax discs go missing often too.

      However, Westminister doesn't use tickets, you have to either shout your card number down the phone or SMS it.

    2. James 6

      They're already getting it easy.

      "So maybe a biker should leave the bike at the train station for free, but do you REALLY want more people on your crowded train in the morning?"

      Yes I do, because 20 people on a train is still more efficient and less polluting that 20 bikes on the road.

      But aren't motorcycles already exempt form the congestion charge anyway? So they are already being rewarded for 'taking up less space' on London's roads. And at £1 a day they are being charged far less for parking that their relative size difference over cars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Trains

        Apart from the fact that trains are MASSIVELY overcrowded heading into London, something that is not going to change...

    3. Tatsky
      Happy

      @Marvin the Martian

      Just thought I would point out...

      I live in Newcastle upon Tyne. We have pay by phone and text up here. Easy, ring the number, enter your reg, enter card details, job done. Once setup, paying for parking is a 30 second job as the system remembers your details based on your mobile number.

      so shouldn't be too hard to get it down that London.

      On a personal note, I do think it makes sense to have free parking for motorcycles and bicycles. I mean, what better way to encourage people out of their cars and onto cleaner/less congestion creating modes of transport? I quite often cycle to work, which makes me feel I am doing my bit for congestion, environment, and also keeping myself fit.

      Of course I do run the risk of coming up against the odd motorist who makes it their personal mission to run cyclists off the road, block cycle lanes and generally be obnoxious.

      My 2 cents

      1. Svantevid

        @ Tatsky

        "We have pay by phone and text up here. Easy, ring the number, enter your reg, enter card details, job done."

        Ye gods, that's complicated.

        Here in Croatia we have - since 2001/2002 - SMS parking... you send your reg to a number displayed on the parking sign, and the appropriate amount is deducted from your prepaid/postpaid account. As simple as simplicity itself. :-)

    4. Eden

      I'm a biker...

      I've been biking on average 100 miles a day for over 11 years and never taken a wing mirror and never seen anyone that has and I see a LOT of bikes.

      I've seen lots of idiot car drivers smash themselves and other road users to pieces though!

      And just like everything else they will trial it for something as un-objectional as possible (£1, small zone).

      As soon as it gets the legal go ahead, price goes up, zone expands.

      It works in the form of you park up and phone a number displayed in the bay or and give your bike registration number and credit card details, that gets you a day in theory.

      Lots of stories of people getting tickets anyway despite phoning up and giving details or getting confirmation SMS's.

      It doesn't effect me much as at work I have free parking but that will fill rapidly if the people using the bays move into the free parking spot instead....

      And I rarely have to park up in the city proper unless visiitng China Town or Soho

      I live in Luton and they already did away with all the Motorbike bays replacing them with Pay and Display.

      I phoned up the council asking where I was supposed to park and they said use the P&D...tried explaining that this isn't possible for obvious reasons and is it OK to pay, and take the ticket with me.

      "No you'll get fined use the multistory car park thats free for bikes"

      Ignoring the fact you can't go round the barriers so you need a ticket (paid) to get out...and that's assuming the barrier detects your bike! the number of times I've manged to get a token in only for it to try take my head off as I finally get my gloves back on and start moving just isn't funny.

      St Albans is far more reasonable and allow bikes to use P&D Spots for free and still have some Motorcycle bays.

      The car park there also has "shortened" barriers so bikes can get in and out without having to faff around with tickets.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the story here?

    On the face of it £1/day doesn't seem a lot. It must cost to make the provision for bike parking? If a car used the space of 6 bikes significantly more than £6/day of revenue would be raised? 6 bikes cause substantially more pollution than one car with probably no less congestion? Granted you may well get 6 times as many people around on bikes than you do on cars so cycling/motorcycling should be encouraged. But don't start me on Motrocycle tests and disincentives....

    What is the principle at stake here - just asking.

  10. Bruce Hoult

    where does this fee let you park?

    Is it for normal car park space, or for the odd little places that you can't fit a car?

    Here in Wellington, NZ, the council is reasonably motorcycle-friendly. Every block or two there is a space the size of 2 or 3 normal car parks, marked for free use by motorcycles. The various parking buildings all have little spaces where they allow motorcycles to park free, often under ramps or beside pillars. One of the ticket machine barrier arms will be shorter than the others, such that you can ride around the end on a motorcycle. There are even a lot of motorcycles parked on footpaths and in alleyways and while technically this is illegal they are not molested by parking wardens if they aren't blocking access.

    I hear that Berlin is similar but at one point there was a move to ticket motorcycles parking on footpaths. Motorcyclists responded by organizing to arrive early in the morning and take as many car parks as possible (paying the normal fee of course). This created such chaos that the authorities relented.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Eh?

      Eh?

      > 6 bikes cause substantially more pollution than one car with probably no less congestion?

      Now that you gotta explain. My bike will do around 110 miles on a full tank of 7 litres. How much would a car do?

      How much space in a lane does a car take up while queuing at the lights? Or in stationary traffic? How much does a bike take? Oh, none as we'll be moving down the sides, using available space, so you can crawl your car a few inches closer and maybe get over the lights this time....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Eh?

        "Now that you gotta explain. My bike will do around 110 miles on a full tank of 7 litres. How much would a car do?"

        So about 70 mpg / person

        So car

        70 / 5 people = 14mpg / person (Or 70 /4 = 17.5mpg / person )

        Well think most "normal " cars do a lot more than that, so fucks that arguement up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          Show me a car in a jam which has 5 people in it and is not a bus/taxi?

          "So car

          70 / 5 people = 14mpg / person (Or 70 /4 = 17.5mpg / person )

          Well think most "normal " cars do a lot more than that, so fucks that arguement up."

          I smell BS. Car pollutes exactly the same with one person and you can bet your ass that there is only one person (on average) in a car in any traffic jam.

      2. DavCrav Silver badge
        FAIL

        How many cars?

        Your bike does 70 mpg. So that would be less than three times a small car or four times a larger car. True, six bikes < one Aston Martin, but most people don't do 12 mpg in a car. So six bikes are vastly more polluting than one car. (They take six people somewhere rather than 1-5, so *per person* they are less polluting than a car with one occupant, but more polluting than a small car with three occupants. Also, that wasn't your statement.)

        And my car does 50mpg, so if I carry a passenger, you're more polluting than I am. And how old is your bike? A lot of pollution comes from manufacture, and bikes have a shorter life than cars.

        Also, six bikes will take up vastly more room on a road than one car, unless it's a hummer or something.

        "Oh, none as we'll be moving down the sides, using available space, so you can crawl your car a few inches closer and maybe get over the lights this time...."

        Oh, you mean you're doing illegal manoeuvres? Unless the cars are stationary it's an offence to drive past them. Even when they are stationary, the way bikers do it is usually an offence. I was just looking out of the office window right now and watched a motorcyclist driving on the wrong side of the road past a queue of traffic waiting for roadwork-based lights, moments before the lights let the other direction past. Pretty sure that's illegal and fairly dangerous.

        I'm not commenting on the story or anything, just correcting your misconceptions.

        1. Tharrick
          Coat

          Illegal?

          'Oh, you mean you're doing illegal manoeuvres? Unless the cars are stationary it's an offence to drive past them. Even when they are stationary, the way bikers do it is usually an offence. '

          Highway code, section 88:

          '‘Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers can see you in their mirrors. Additionally when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.'

          Quite clearly stated there that motorbikes can filter through slow-moving traffic.

          Mine's the one with the armour plating, ta

        2. martinX
          Thumb Up

          Anti-pollution gear

          IIRC, motorbikes don't run any anti-pollution gear, either. I ride a 750 cc bike, but the last thing on my list is fuel economy. And have you priced bike tyres lately...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        6 bikes

        means 6 people.

        One 6-person car can do rather more than 110 miles on 6x7=42 litres of petrol. That's an average of about 10mpg- you could strap 5 skateboards to the back of a TVR (to make up for the lack of carrying capacity), gun it everywhere and still be more efficient per passenger per mile.

        So to summarise 6 bikes is much, much less efficient than 1 car carrying 6 people, and less efficient than some small diesels (though I'm not suggesting switching to those- diesel's a horrible fuel for a small car and awful for pedestrians/cyclists/anyone else who wants to breathe when used in an urban environment) but more efficient than 6 cars. And about equal to 3 cars carrying 2 people.

    2. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

      No idea.

      As a biker and former Westminster resident I can honestly say: no idea. £100 a year to park in the center of one of the busiest cities in the world? It's a privilege not a right - get over it.

      Anyway, once the charge came in the parks cleared and I can now usually get a park - previously it wasn't uncommon to have to clamber over 4 or 5 rusting mirrorless scooters to get to the edge of the park.

      Personally I'm a big fan, and I sincerely hope they recoup the £50k from the blinkered tit that bought the case - otherwise they'll recoup it from the rest of us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Not where I am.

        > Anyway, once the charge came in the parks cleared and I can now usually get a park - previously it wasn't uncommon to have to clamber over 4 or 5 rusting mirrorless scooters to get to the edge of the park.

        Not where I work, or the surrounding area. (Trafalgar end of The Strand, Covent Garden.)

        Lots of lovely car parking bays empty though...

  11. dubno
    FAIL

    WC Scum

    The court case AFAIK was about how they introduced the charges - there was no proper consultation done and the managing of the whole system is done by a private company (no other tenders were allowed).. slight case of nepotism perhaps...

    Anyway that is besides the point really - now that this gets the go-ahead it'll likely to rolled out to all councils across the UK and who knows what the final cost to motorists will be. NOTE that it started out at £1.50 before being reduced to a £1 due to all the noise; but how long before that rises again?

    Personally I wouldn't mind terribly having to pay something to park, but as any motorcyclist will confirm, just try to find space in central London to actually park. The bikes are literally crammed into a space. How would you feel having to come back to find your precious vehicle scratched/worse? OK if they made more space available and provided some railing with which to secure chains to.

    Then there is the moronic paying process which requires you to register every vehicle against a bank card and also assumes you'll be happy and able to ring the (badly) automated system and pay for the days parking.

    The end result that as a consumer I simply avoid the West End. I don't even bother doing work there anymore, far easier to just ignore the problem.

  12. Lee Dowling Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Oh

    Oh, *THAT'S* what they're protesting about. Finally, I find out despite the fact that I've avoided Trafalgar for several Wednesdays on the trot (not by car - you have to be an idiot to drive into London, by Tube).

    Having to pay for a parking space in Central London. Aw, the poor dears. They must really be struggling after having to pay the Congestion Char... oh, no, they're exempt. Ah, well, it must really be difficult to park a bike in... oh, there's thousands of bike spaces. Oh, but of course being able to work in London doesn't give them any sort of London weighting because of the extra difficulty of living in such an urban environ... No, hang on. Ah, then it must be because... erm...

    In London, you park, you pay. It might be a new concept to bike-riders but you're already a LOT cheaper to run than a car (and let's not get into the environmental impact or I might have to mention noise pollution, accident rate, casualty seriousness and idiotic driving to counter the argument). London is notoriously over-crowded, vehicularly, and thus paying to park is a way to reduce unnecessary parking and enforce parking, which means that pillocks don't park in the road or leave their bikes across a car parking space. Residents, etc. are always entitled to concessions, discounts, etc.

    Your bike still takes up space and still needs some money to look after that space - probably more than a car space if you include the fact that they can only take phone-payment and not little stickers on the windshield like existing systems, and the security devices that "the motorbikers" demanded, and extra enforcement for the extra spaces, etc.

    Read the judgement - basically everything was thrown out and the council even reduced fees and bought more security devices to secure your bikes because bike-parking was SO popular even with the "old" higher charges - they didn't do that for cars. I wondered what all the fuss was about and assumed that, because I hadn't heard anything in particular, it would be something stupid and petty so that people could cause hassle and go have a beer in Trafalgar Square instead (Is that allowed? I have no idea, just hypothesising).

    You wanna park, then you pay. You can argue about *how* much you pay (e.g. relative to the equivalent parking/protection for a car), you can argue about *how* you pay, you can argue about not having enough parking spaces, you can argue about heavy-handed enforcement in contravention to the motoring laws, you can argue about lots of things. But no, the court case was about wanting to not be required to pay for a service that every other motorist already has to pay for. You could even argue that all parking charges should be scrapped, I'd be right behind you. But they're just being childish and, subsequently, losing in court. Hopefully this will be the end of it that the average Londoner hears about, or if not, after the appeal.

    Aw, diddums. I feel so sorry for those hard-done-by bikers.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer
      Stop

      Lee you muppet

      //In London, you park, you pay. It might be a new concept to bike-riders but you're already a LOT cheaper to run than a car (and let's not get into the environmental impact or I might have to mention noise pollution, accident rate, casualty seriousness and idiotic driving to counter the argument)//

      My Blackbird is far more expensive to run than my 107, double the insurance, treble the tax and half the MPG (don't get me started on tyres), my bike is lovely and quiet certainly quieter than the Punto down the road covered in plastic and an exhaust made from old drainpipe (report noisy bikes, there's laws against them), in both HURT and MAIDS reports around 70% of motorcycle accidents were as a result of "other driver" (I have been put in hospital by a driver pulling out of a car park without looking, I had slowed to about 20mph and sounded my horn, but apparently I "came out of nowhere" on an open wide road), I do concede the point about idiotic driving, but that does depend on your point of view, if nipping out quickly without affecting other traffic, filtering at speed or hard acceleration to get into a gap disturbs you fine, but does it affect you (probably not), I suspect it's jealousy because the biker will be at home with his feet up while you're still stuck in a jam on the north circular.

      //Your bike still takes up space and still needs some money to look after that space//

      Most commonly, spaces for bikes in London are ones where car parking is impossible or wasteful, you also get a tiny amount of space, crammed in next to some ratty piece of crap that won't mind getting the odd dent.

      The reason why bikes don't pay congestion charge, dartford crossing etc. is that they don't cause congestion, and the more people that use bikes the more empty the roads are (which is the point of things like congestion charge), if you drive in london with passengers and need space to carry stuff then a car is required, if not then a bike is a far more sensible option for everybody.

      The £1 charge really isn't the point it's the reasons behind charging, we need to get people to think of alternatives not put things in the way of the alternatves. Are you going to have a go at people who park and ride next because they pay so much less for their parking? why should they pay less when they don't have the hassle of driving all the way in, they even have dedicated bus lanes and get in quicker than those who drive all the way in (this is why you are a muppet)

      Conversely, how come I have to respect horses using my road that I pay tax for? perhaps horses should have road tax? (that makes as much sense).

    2. NumptyScrub

      I ride daily, just not in London

      So I can see why bikers would be worried about this; every municipality I've parked in generally has free parking for motorcycles. This has been the same for decades, even in busy town/city centres that ostensibly have similar congestion issues to London.

      As for people bemoaning bikers asking for better security, when you can get 3 burly blokes capable of lifting a locked M5 or Range Rover Sport straight into the back of a Transit and driving off with it (to break in at their leisure) then paying car drivers will be demanding something to lock their cars to. Most motorcycles used for commuting are 230kg or less, and summer-friendly sports bikes nearer to 160kg. These days theives don't pick locks and hotwire bikes, they just pick them up and drive off with them :(

      Oh and Mr. Dowling, I loved this part:

      "In London, you park, you pay. It might be a new concept to bike-riders but you're already a LOT cheaper to run than a car (and let's not get into the environmental impact or I might have to mention noise pollution, accident rate, casualty seriousness and idiotic driving to counter the argument). "

      You mean that you don't think there should be an incentive for people taking economical transport? My old sports car had a 100dB exhaust and could set car alarms off just by driving past. My old sports car was group 21 insurance because of the accident rate, and perceivably had a higher than average causalty rate (most recorded accidents of the same model being at 60+ mph, and some at 120+mph). My old sports car model is still often driven by idiotic boy racers who in quite a few (most?) cases do not have the driving skills they think they have (see previous insurance point). Yet I don't think you would be quite so vocally agreeing with an unannounced massive increase in car parking charges, or making these self-same points that apparently fit some cars just as easily as they fit some bikes. Note: I say massive because an increase from zero to £1 is technically infinite% ;)

      Some idiots modify bikes and ride bikes dangerously. Some idiots modify cars and drive cars dangerously. I can point out innumerable 1.4 Corsas (or Fiestas, Focuses, C1s etc.) in my locality that fit your motorcycle gripes concerning dangerous driving and anti-social modifications, so I reckon that if motorcycle charges are to go up by £1 per day, that car parking charges should follow suit. And if Westmister council are involved, I'm pretty sure they will.

      Don't worry, I give it 12 months before bikes are paying 30-50% of the car parking charge in Westminster; soon the streets will be free for all those hot hatch driving numbskulls who are far less likely to hurt themselves when they plow into your car on the road than the bikers ever were ;)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    You're missing a point (understandably)

    How long will it remain a pound? Notwithstanding that, commuters working in Westminster who are not residents cannot buy a season ticket, and even if you could its for the same bays where you get everyone else jammed up against your bike so it gets damaged almost every time. Its not really helping to encourage use of PTW's which help reduce congestion.

    The real killer is that the transaction may only be done using a mobile telephone and a credit card. Pre-loaded debit cards are not accepted (due to pricing minimums). Sample transactions have taken over twenty minutes. You cannot pay cash, you cannot use a physical ticket from a dispensing machine that a car may use, you cannot even use the council's own parking vouchers! Micropayment heaven this most certainly is not.

    So if your battery runs out on the mobile, or you're a bit maxed out on the card and want to use legal tender (cash), or even if the network is busy/down (or you can't get a signal, mind you if you have an iPhone 4 then it may not be the networks fault) then you cannot pay to park and you get a ticket. Personally given that this council have said they want to extend all chargeable parking to midnight, I'm not too happy having to stand in the street in the dark and/or rain, holding my credit card in one hand and my phone in the other and having to read the numbers into it for all and sundry to hear. I doubt my bank would recompense me for any misuse of the numbers if someone overheard it. Its a bit socially exclusive for non-cc holders or people who are hard of hearing etc.

    Councils only need to put up a relatively cheap sign at any location and, presto, instant charges as the infrastructure is all virtual. Once they've done it to the bikes, then they'll remove all the physical (and costly) ticket machines and use the same system for cars and then other users will have some of the difficulties mentioned above. The contractor has set up a national system and invited every council to join it, a slight breach of tendering rules which the EU (that model of probity) is investigating separately.

  14. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    A Squid doesn't seem unfair.

    A quid does though.

    Next'll be a bicycle parking charge, followed by a fine for a pedestrian standing still on a pavement whilst window-shopping.,

    Sheesh. I thought Gordon Brown and his ilk had left the country in safer hands. Broken Britain, you have my sympathy. I'll never revisit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: "A Squid doesn't seem unfair."

      Good, feel free to not come back. Over time you have painted a picture of yourself as a tedious, oafish prig, anyway. Don't let the door slap you in the cellulite as you're sodding off.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: "A Squid doesn't seem unfair."

        Oof. Steady on now.

        1. Andus McCoatover
          Happy

          Don't worry, Sarah

          As my mother used to say

          "Andus, you are big enough and ugly enough to look after yourself"

          (I might add, I'm reasonably cellulite-free)

          AC was the funniest response I've seen to my posts. Didn't know it was possible for an imbecile to use a computer, but now (s)he's shown me that it is, I'm corrected.

      2. Andus McCoatover

        Didn't you see the "Joke" icon???

        None so blind as those who won't see.

        Posting as "Anonymous Coward"?

        Daft burger.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: A squid doesnt seem unfair

      You said "Next'll be a bicycle parking charge"

      Westminster Council have said they will try to introduce charges for cycle parking. Its easy really, before the pedallists (I hope its OK to use that term) think they'll get away with not paying as there's no address to send the fine to (no registration in the UK, yet, mandatory in Switzerland). If you dont park in an "approved bay" (ones for the London Cycle hire scheme are being installed as we speak, although I appreciate this is a different schcme) that requires payment, they'll just cut the chain and seize your bike for "obstruction". That will cost you more than the fine would.

  15. Kay Burley ate my hamster
    Stop

    Arrogant, Violent, Speeding, Weaving, Law-breaking, Polluting, Arseholes!

    My daily experience of motorcyclists: Arrogant, Violent, Speeding, Weaving, Law-breaking, Polluting, Arseholes basically.

    I think it's time the police paid more attention to them, and time we had speed limiters fitted to all motorbikes.

    1. M Gale

      "Arrogant, Violent, Speeding, Weaving, Law-breaking, Polluting, Arseholes!"

      And for another bit of anecdotal evidence, none of the bikers I know are anywhere near as bad as you've just painted them. That includes the HA riders and the occasional geriatric with the "Grot Bike Winner" award on the mantelpiece.

      Okay, so maybe the HA guys can get a little loud, but no worse than the Bastard after a good Friday night.

      Speed limiters on a bike. Sure. Fit them to cars too while you're at it. Especially the bastards who like to scream past the motorised or non-motorised two-wheelers and who gives a flying fuck if it causes an accident?

      Ever been on a bicycle and caught in the slipstream from a boy racer who thinks he's God's Gift to Silverstone?

    2. The Beer Monster

      Weaving?

      I think you mean 'filtering', which is completely legal,

  16. Wibble
    Thumb Down

    The law's open to everyone?

    "The council said it would seek to recover £50,000 in legal costs from Djanogly."

    Brilliant; attempt to resort to the law and loose your shirt. That's what Robert Maxwell used to do to intimidate people.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Why avoid just the West End?

    It makes much more sense to me to avoid London altogether!

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Wibble

      It is a very long-standing principle that the the loser pays for costs associated with bringing a case. Overall it is just (in most cases, the winner should not have to pay for the privilege of winning), but this general rule can be amended/waived at the costs hearing.

      Think about it - there are enough frivolous cases blocking up the courts without every twat with a grievance being able to add more shit into the system without at least the risk of a penalty.

  18. Chris Walton
    Unhappy

    More charges?

    Like a previous poster I am a car driver and a biker.

    The £1 a day might not seem much but I already pay tax to the council, income tax, VAT on my car & bike, VAT and duty when I fill them up, VAT when I get them serviced or repaired, road tax every year, tax on the insurance.....

    ENOUGH WITH THE TAXES!!!!

  19. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pirate

    Temporary Citizens...

    Motorcycle riders eh?

    A rare and endangered breed.

  20. Yesnomaybe
    Thumb Down

    @ Kay Burley ate my hamster

    That's funny, because I ride a motorbike, and have the same experience of car drivers. I have even had drivers try to force me off the road (Not just once) and block me, so I can't filter. Sour grapes? Double standards? Probably.

    Don't forget that bike-riders put their neck on the line (Quite literally), and in city traffic, car drivers don't.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      It's everyone

      Motorcycle riders are pricks. And car drivers are pricks. Oh, and bicycle riders are pricks. Of course bus drivers and truck drivers are pricks, and let's not forget van drivers. I think the picture forming here is that it isn't the type of transport that matters, because pricks travel by each of them.

      Are there any train-driving pricks?

      1. Chris Harries
        Badgers

        Tinny sound from the old headphones

        No we just have pricks in the carriage that play their music so loud you can hear it and talk on the phone for 45 minutes talking about their visit to the doctors etc (this happened more the once).

      2. Chris Holt
        Megaphone

        Re: It's everyone

        Of course there are train driving pricks. They are the ones who threaten to go on strike just because .... (insert normal rantting here) ... so don't exclude them!

  21. steogede

    £1 per day

    Given that the only payment method appears to be card payment by phone/SMS they won't be get much (any?) profit from £1 per day. This leads me to think that either:

    * they intend to raise the charges pretty swiftly

    * they are looking to make money by fining people who either don't know about the charges, forget to pay or mis-text their licence plate - after all not many people would risk a fine for the sake of a quid.

    I think the latter is the most likely reason, this is exactly what they did with the CC - who would wilfully not pay the CC when you are 100% guaranteed to get a fine (unless you have some sort of dodgy registration), they basically penalise the forgetful. Then again the first point is equally likely as they did that with the CC too - i.e. doubled the charges when they realised that the original daily rate barely covered costs (or so they claim).

    The upside of all this, is that you don't *need* to park a bike - it should fit most places that a wheel chair will fit, so if you are visiting a wheelchair accessible location, you can just take it with you ;-)

  22. Gordon861
    Stop

    The fight goes on ...

    All the people saying that WCC have added extra spaces and security devices in return for the charge are talking bollocks.

    At the start WCC put in a few security devices and then stopped doing it for the other bays. Also WCC have not increased the provision for parking bikes in the last 4 years. The charge is £1 per day right now, it'll probably be a £1 an hour when they feel they can get away with it, then the scheme will roll out accross London and the rest of the UK. According to WCC just to impliment this scheme is costing the £430k per year, if that's true why continue with it.

    In order to pay you need to stand in the street reading out your credit card number to a foriegn call center, this might be fine in the summer but wait until the winter when it's pissing down with rain and you are trying to shout over the phone to pay for the parking. At the court they claimed that anyone that didn't have a phone could use their underground car parks for free, but failed to mention that they were about to sell off the underground car parks.

    We lost this court case, it's not the end it just means that now the gloves are off. People that have been avoiding Trafalger Square on Wednesdays had better get used to being delayed on other days. We aren't going to stop, we will be turning up at any location in Westminster at any time we choose and cause even more chaos. After the case we closed Lambeth Bridge roundabout with about 10 bikes, no cars got onto it for about 5-10 mins, we can do this anywhere. On Wednesday we blockaded Westminsters Offices for an hour in the morning, we can turn up any day we like.

    We are organised, we can avoid the traffic that we cause, we can stop any part of London we wish, we are here, we are not going away...

    If you go to London, take sandwiches because you may be a little while, see you on the streets.

    1. Evil Graham
      Happy

      This is what I like about bikers

      And the French, come to think of it. They haven't forgotten how to organise a decent protest. If more of us did the same, we might actually change things for the better.

      1. Chris Harries
        Black Helicopters

        What do we want...

        A million people protested against the war...so don't get your hopes up :( though your right, we do need to protest more

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Hope to see you in prison

      Hope you get arrested for some offence the police made up to get you. Twat. You don't like paying to park your bikes so you're going to annoy ordinary people?

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      I'm sorry, Gordon861...

      ... but I think your argument is seriously flawed. Once it has been accepted that parking charges are legitimate for one type of vehicle (e.g. cars), then it is accepted that it is legitimate for any type of vehicle of the same type. Motorcycles and cars are both motor vehicles, and therefore of the same type. Any waiving of parking charges for motorcycles has been at the discretion of local councils, and could be reversed at any time. The increase in the number of motorcycles requiring parking spaces and security has made that waiver untenable for certain councils.

      It seems to me that, unless you are going to argue that no parking charges should be levied on any motor vehicle, you are on to a loser. I'm not even sure that there should be a significant reduction for motorcycles if the requested security is provided - surely the security measures will reduce the number of bikes per space over a "naked" space.

      It seems to me that the argument is properly about the (lack of) consultation, and the (lack of) tendering for the payment system. It would be much more sensible to stick to these points, subject to the relevant time limits for judicial review can be met.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @ Kay Burley ate my hamster

    So you think that the old git that tried to block my legal overtake in a 60 three times and when it failed on the forth attempt swerved violently in my direction almost taking me out ? (before you start about speed the car was doing approx 30 in a 60).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bike Parking Probs

    OK so I don't know the area concerned but in most cities you can only park a bike free in a designated bike space. The problem with this is that you can't find any bike spaces and if you can there's usually a car parked in them anyway. Park in a normal parking space and you have to pay. So while there is theoretically free parking for bikes in reality it seldom exists.

    Where charging for bike parking will cause a problem will be pay and display. In a car your ticket is safely inside the car where are you supposed to stick it on your bike where nobody can nick it? So car drivers looking for free parking only have to find a motorcycle with a p&d ticket and nick it. Nice.

    If we still had nice sensible parking meters this wouldn't be such a problem. Actually back in the day this was kind of fun because we used to stick six bikes on a bay and pay for one. The parking authority could not prosecute unless they could prove which rider had paid, and therfore which five had not. This was in a town where the one designated free space for bikes *always* had a car in it so bikes had to use a meter and pay. So a space would be kept going all day for bikes. Or alternatively you could just sneak into a space behind a small car.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "No retreat no surrender"

    Easily said when you don't have a reverse gear.

  26. Graham Marsden
    Stop

    But it's "In the Public Interest" says Westminster Council...

    ... yet all they are doing is introducing a £1 charge for parking bays that were, previously, free. There is absolutely *NO* benefit to bikers, no extra security features, no extra parking spaces, nothing that justifies this charge other than it makes money.

    Yet somehow this is "in the public interest".

    Presumably that "public interest" is that the WC Council doesn't have to make savings elsewhere because they can tax bikers...

  27. Graham Marsden
    FAIL

    PS To those saying "It's only one pound a day"

    I suggest you read this article:

    http://ukfrancebikers.com/2010/07/04/its-only-1-a-day/

    In 1980 parking charges were £1 a day.

    In 1990 that became £1 per hour

    In 1995 that became £2 per hour

    In 2000 that became £4 per hour

    Now in 2010 it's £5 an hour!

    What more, exactly are you getting for that £5 an hour?

    What is WC Council getting? Well, they're getting a way to pay down their £22 *million* overspend see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8470804.stm

    1. Just Thinking

      I'd hold with that

      Years ago all parking in Milton Keynes was free.

      When paid parking (for cars) was first introduced the council did a very strange thing. They imposed charges in a small section at the back of a car park in a retail park at the edge of town. The car park wasn't busy, and I seriously doubt that anyone had ever parked in those back spaces even before the charges.

      So nobody was really affected, so nobody really objected.

      Ever since then, more and more places have changed from free to paid spaces, throughout the centre. But the principle had been established, so each year they were just adding a bit to what was already there. Now there is hardly any free parking left.

      Anyone arguing that it is only a pound is, sadly, probably wrong.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Once again people miss the point entirely

    when you park your car, you can stop, use your mobile phone in the privacy of your cab to contact the council and provide them with your credit card details to pay your parking fee, this parking is in a secure area which you do not mind paying for

    now imagine they were asking you to do the same with bicycles, since people can relate to bicycles easier, only they want you to pay one pound to park in a square box painted on the side of the road, park anywhere else and you will be fined, you have to stand in the street shouting your card details down the phone (parking to buy a pre-paid thingy is now impossible without paying first)

    the main issue: it is NOT secure parking, despite paying a pound, you cannot chain your bike to anything, because then you get a fine for not parking in the boxed off area.... it's not just a "oh we don't have to pay" it's actually to do with the issues, not to mention bikes don't get stuck in traffic.... and they can park in bunches taking up less space... think about it....would you pay a pound to leave your bicycle at the side of the road and trust people not to steal it?

  29. skeptical i
    Flame

    Bicyclist, slightly off-topic.

    As I see it here (large- ish city in Amurka), too many city/ urban "planners" simply do not entertain the idea that any mode of transport exists outside of cars. It would be a small thing to require builders of public accommodation (shopping centers, administrative buildings, &c) to have bicycle (and motorbike) racks within line of sight of, and close to, the entry (and not hell and gone in the vandalism zone) but they don't. It would be a small thing to require buildings with metal detectors/ security stations (courts, federal buildings) to have lockers where (bi-|motor-) cyclists (and transit users, for that matter) could lock their tools, tire pumps, and other "dangerous" things for the duration of the visit (car drivers can lock such goodies in their trunks/ boots), but they don't. And the list goes on. Unless/ until TPTB actually get it into their overpaid heads that motorbikes, bicycles, Segways (I know, perish that thought) et cetera be used -- and that their use should be encouraged to decrease congestion, reduce pollution, increase fitness, reduce wear- and- tear on streets, and so on which will ultimately save money in the long run -- that we'll see any enlightenment in this area.

    <-- Flames for mentioning the Segway, right?

  30. Nuffnuff
    Grenade

    Melbourne perspective

    I have been riding here for around 15 years. Footpath parking is free and permissible, provided that the parked vehicle does not impede foot traffic or shop entrances. This liberty is the result of a series of mass protests in the 1980s which were organised by the MRA, where car parks were repeatedly taken by motorcycles. Perhaps the demand should change to footpath parking instead, so free parking could be the easier option? That'll get the Daily Mail opinions flowing I suspect.

  31. Chris Green
    Megaphone

    How about going the other way?

    When in London, do as the Greeks would. Complain noisily and with as much disruption as possible. Well, actually that would be more the French way (and no bad thing), but in the case of the Greeks, it was more just ignoring ALL the parking charges, totally and they won.

    Instead of adding new charges for parking, demand the abolition of car parking charges. Get with the 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more' brigade.

    Too much of our money is spent by our 'representatives' (local and national) on setting up and running additional taxation schemes (did they say £430k? for bike parking? hhmmmph!). It wastes an awful lot of money, some of which no doubt finds it's way to yet another overseas system provider and or call centre, just to rake in some extra cash.

    I want a new law...

    No new Government or Local Government tax/charge without a national referendum.

    Then start killing the laws that are there to back-up each additional tax. Have you read what backs up the 'congestion charge'? Some of it sounds supremely 'police state' to me...pass into a zone...pay within one day or bang, a fine higher than a speeding ticket...miss that letter (no one lost post lately?) and in comes another fine, followed by the bailiffs.

    And all that for a 'congestion change'?

    That's not democratic government of the people by the people. It's lawful bullying.

    Maybe another new law...

    One existing pseudo tax removed every year, with a simple tiny % hike in VAT (or similar) to cover the lost revenue but the increase calculated as original tax gained LESS the cost of running the lost tax for a year AND less all original implementation costs (it should not have been spent in the first place). This law to run until we have just a few basic taxes on the individual.

    After all, an increase in tax percentage like VAT, NI etc. costs nothing in extras. It's just a % on a computer program, so it's massively cheaper to run and it's an open and in your face truth!

  32. Eden

    Also please remember

    That several people have already been fined because the operator typed in the reg number wrong when they phoned up or they made a mistake in SMS and even in cases where the number sent doesn't exist they don't accept any excuses regardless of if it was the biker or the operator that screwed up.

    I don't get the arguments basically saying bikes should pay because they are dangerous idiots..issues much?

    I ride a 600KG tourer thats about the same size as a small car yet I don't sit in traffic and cause congestion pouring pollution into the air, nor do I cut up cars/cyclists, take wing mirrors, block junctions, jump red lights etc,

    Can't say that about the majority of the cage drivers I pass every day though!

    In the last 3 years I've witnessed

    3 motorbikers taken out by cars doing illegal u-turns without looking or exiting/entering a side road without looking.

    I've seen countless bikers have to make emergency manouvers for similar.

    I've seen 2 pedestrians run over by cars running red lights.

    I've seen a cyclist run over by a car pulling into a bus lane to make a phone call.

    I've seen a bike loose control because of ta axi driver pulling into a bus lane to drop off a fare without looking.

    I've been held up by countless car crashes or groups of cars jumping red lights and blocking hashed boxes blocking other roads from moving out when their lights change.

    I've personally lost the back wheel twice because of oil spilt on the road by poorly maintained busses/lorries though not dropped the bike.

    Now how many bikes have I seen damage another vehicle where they were at fault 0

    How many bikes have I seen blocking traffic 0,

    How many bikes have I seen run over pedestrians/cyclists ..well ok none but I've seen about 3 come close but 2 of them stopped and apologised at least.

    The only thing I can say bikers are rightfully given grief for is pulling across to wait in bicycle bays at lights where there are enough to stop actual bicycles getting past but that tends to be one idiot that pulls into the gap the more considerate bikers left for cyclists to get past.

    All in all bikers seem to behave and perform far better than most cagers.

    Yes I'm biased as a biker but that doesn't change statistics =p

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