If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Motorcycle Parking

The regular commenter that I am calling Mr X has sent me another newspaper scan. This one concerns motorcycle parking. Read it and see what you think. (Click for enmassivisation.)

I'd like to see a proper reference to that bit of EU legislation, as I had not heard of it before. If anyone knows and can supply a link I would be grateful.

If it's true, then it is scandalous that local authorities are charging bikes for parking and not letting on that what they are doing is actually illegal. What was all that fuss in Westminster about then?

I am going to contact David to find out more. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?

UPDATE: I have heard back from David Russell. He is seeking clarification from his MEP and North Norfolk District Council and will get back to me.


  1. I don't expect I should be able to park for free just because I ride a motorcycle, but on the other hand I shouldn't have to pay full fare either, especially since 4 or 5 bikes are generally jammed into a single parking space.

  2. Fair point, although if we are trying to encourage motorcycle use in cities (for environmental and congestion reasons - and because it's fun) then free parking isn't exactly going to bring the city to bankruptcy.

    Dunno about where you live, but here all land is owned by someone. If it's privately-owned land, then the landowner has the right to charge. No problem with that. But the parking we are talking about is on land owned by the local authority: streets or spaces bought on our behalf with our money. Legally, they have the right to charge for parking on streets and 'their' land, but morally maybe not.

  3. Richard, I'm at work, so can't look in detail but iirc there was a court case against Westminster Council in the High Court on this issue (Westminster introducing charges) and the bikers lost - because the court ruled that the charges were within EU rules.

    I believe, however, a case is being prepared for the European Court of Justice to challenge it.

  4. Thanks, Frog. I've written to David Russell and am awaiting his reply. I suspect that there may be more to it than meets the eye - this is the EU we are talking about after all, where might is right, and if the rules go against them they just change the rules. Or ignore them. But it is an intriguing story, and one I am going to follow. I need to read more about the Westminster issue. I didn't follow it very closely at the time.

  5. I have two thoughts.

    First, why in heaven's name is the correct level of parking fees for motorcycles something that is appropriate to decide in Brussels? What happened to subsidiarity? Or common sense? And if matters ranking the same as or higher than motorcycle parking fees are within the proper remit of the EU, why don't we just send our Westminster MPs home - and free up some more parking in central London in the process?

    Second, "enmassivisation" is obviously not a proper word, Richard. I understand that "click for biggerer" is the correct terminology.

  6. ""click for biggerer" is the correct terminology"

    Yeah, but I used that last time. I was trying for a bit of variety. I quite like 'embiggen'. It sounds ... rude, somehow.

    It's things like this that make you realise just how far the European project has come, and how all the talk of subsidiarity was just lies. If they can control our parking fees, just think how much ownership they think they have over our legal system and economy.

  7. "Biggerification" is the next in the sequence, then.

    As in "The EU's powers have steadily become biggerer since it was created. If they continue to biggerificate at the same rate then it will not be long before national parliaments become completely impotenterified."

  8. "Then it is scandalous that local authorities are charging bikes for parking and not letting on that what they are doing is actually illegal."

    Rather like the illegal activities of council employed bailiffs that Richard North is currently fighting a battle over...

  9. @patently - well said, Sir. There's a career in politics for you yet.

    @microdave - we always knew that local authorities were a law unto themselves. Now it's just becoming clearer to all of us.

  10. I have no ambitions in that direction.

    However, if I were to be called upon to serve… ;-)

  11. I'd vote for you before any of the others. You can think straight.

  12. "As in "The EU's powers have steadily become MORE biggerer" if you please!!

  13. Adjective, comparative, superlative. Ah, memories of Fourth Form English lessons.

  14. Funnily enough, I did know that - I had it explained to me by a Sussex traffic warden a few years back, just as I was about to buy a parking ticket.

    I may be alone in my experience of a helpful traffic warden, but they obviously all know it, since I've not put any money in a parking meter since and never been ticketed.

    Looking forward not at all to the EU's powers becoming most biggerest.

  15. Crikey, a biker-friendly traffic warden! Strange place, Sussex.

    I've never paid for a ticket for a bike either. Most of the time, there are accepted places where bikes are left and no-one seems to mind. If I parked anywhere where there were meters and it looked like I ought to pay, I would argue that there is nowhere on a bike to keep a ticket securely. If they got round that problem, they could start charging people. But so far - I didn't have a ticket? Must have blown away or been nicked, ossifer.

  16. UPDATE: I have heard back from David Russell. He is seeking clarification from his MEP and North Norfolk District Council and will get back to me.


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