This weekend while at the MotoGP with my GF, she took the chance to have a free bike training taster session provided by Get On motobike training. The advantages of riding a bike or scooter are clear. They are cheap to buy, with some new scooters costing just £600; their fuel economy is often in excess of 150MPG and they can help you cut your journey times by 30%.
Given all of that it would seem sensible that the Government and local councils, especially in London support the increasing use of scooters and motorbikes. To their credit, the Hackney council where I live does allow motorbikes to park in almost all bays and only asks that they are parked at the end. Good on you Hackney. Unfortunately not all councils are as forward thinking. One example that comes to mind is Camden council - where I was recently given a ticket after parking in a bay visible to where I was staying because the local motorbike parking bay was full. There has been a spate of motorbike theft in the Camden area and the police have attached posters to many of the motorcycle parking bays offering some useful advice on keeping your wheels.
The police advice is:
- Try to park your bike in a well lit, overlooked area.
- Secure your bik to a solid piece of street furniture, for example a post in a motorbike parking bay.
- Use a cover to deter theft.
This all makes sense and will probably make a huge difference in you avoiding an insurance claim. At the same time councils are not making it easier. A recent article reported that councils have collected £635M in parking charges. It's not clear how much of this was from parking fines. Obviously with congestion in London some kind of controls are needed but surely motorbikes are part of the solution not the problem? Let's face it, if most people rode scooters there would be less need for parking control and congestion would be greatly reduced.
Last of all, a call to Camden council and it's constituents to change your policy on motorbike parking! They are green, economical, reduce congestion and reduce parking pressure so those of you with Chelsea tractors have even more room for your house on wheels.