The London Borough of Hackney have issued a final statutory consultation on their plans to impose huge new motorcycle parking charges on motorcyclists. The NMC is supporting the Save London Motorcycling campaign against these charges. Riders and others are urged to respond to the consultation by August 4th, with further information and a direct response link now available on Save London Motorcycling’s website.
Recently Hackney Council Scrutiny heard a call-in of Hackney Council’s decision to subject Hackney residents, workers and carers to motorcycle parking charges which could run into thousands of pounds for many riders. The call-in was a cross party endeavour brought forward by a coalition of Green and Conservative councillors.
The committee heard from the councillors and campaigners that the charges were not proportionate and that there was no suitable monitoring of the impact of the charges on those with protected characteristics including disabled residents and members of the BAME community who are overrepresented among delivery workers. Despite hearing all this the Labour majority Councillors on the scrutiny committee voted to take no further action. They chose not to explain why the decision was sound in their view, waving it through without regard for the plight of thousands of people, many of whom could be plunged into transport poverty by the proposed charges, with additional negative knock on effects set to be felt by the motorcycle trade.
A Save London Motorcycling spokesperson said: “We, alongside thousands of others, do not accept this result. The council has a responsibility to make policy that is evidence-based and to monitor the impact of their policies on those who will be affected most. In this some of the lowest paid workers and most vulnerable Hackney residents will suffer hardship as a direct result. The panel's questions clearly revealed fundamental flaws in the policy, but still Councillors voted to press ahead. Councillors dismissed their £50 a week charges for motorcycle and scooter riders as being affordable and insignificant. We urge everyone concerned with fairness and the lives and livelihoods of Hackney workers, residents, and carers to join our campaign and stand up against this injustice, and all Hackney residents to carefully consider whether this Council displays the standards they want from their representatives."
NMC Executive Director Craig Carey-Clinch added: "The NMC urges Hackney Council to rethink their attack on motorcycle commuting. Riders are a significant body of voters and the recent result in the Uxbridge by-election should give Hackney and other administrations pause for thought when it comes to policies which are designed to restrict freedom of movement for legitimate two-wheeled transport users in the way which Hackney proposes.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Source: Save London Motorcycling.
2. For further comment from the NMC please contact Craig Carey-Clinch, on 07979 757484 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. According to their own calculations, Hackney Council expects seven in ten motorcycle commuters to be unable to afford the new charge and fall into transport poverty.
4. Charges would even apply to electric motorcycles despite those vehicles being zero emission.
5. The Council contend that charges are intended to free up kerbside space but have failed to consider that motorcycles take up much less space than cars use. The new charges would see residents and business permits for electric mopeds priced the same as an electric car, discouraging any switch to smaller less impactful vehicles.
6. In the consultation on the plans, 4 in 5 respondents opposed the proposals. 97% of motorcycle riders opposed the plans, and respondents who own neither a car nor motorcycle opposed the plans by a ratio of 3 to 2. Of those respondents who supported the change, 79% were car owners.
7. The Council ignored comments from riders who said that motorcycles were better for the environment than cars, consistent with official Defra and GLA data, plus up to date research from a range of sources, choosing instead to rely on a single study from more than 20 years ago.
8. National Motorcyclists Council members are: The Auto Cycle Union, BikeSocial, BikeTrac, the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart, the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, the Trail Riders Fellowship and the Vintage Motor Cycle Club.