Motorcycles and Parking

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Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Sun Nov 05, 2006 7:17 pm

Hi all,

First of all I am not looking for legal advice, although if any lawyers have any suggestions I wouldn't say no ;)

The whole story is here but to sum it up;

I recently moved house, and we now live in an area dominated by a residents parking scheme. however it turns out (they told us after we moved in, though I probably should have checked before we moved) that they issue one permit per household for £30 a year. My partner and I both own motorcycles, currently we are unable to park one of them (The house opens onto the street and the back garden isn't feasible) so I have been in contact with the council about it numerous times. As you may expect they take quite a while to respond, my last response was quite informative saying that the council has an initiative planned for early next year allowing residents to purchase a second permit. Great! I thought, until I found the relevant document on their site, they are going to charge £60 a year for the second permit!

I have checked, and I can park both our bikes with room for another in the space absorbed by a Ford Focus (Pretty much the smallest car I have seen in the zones, there are a lot of Volvo Estates) so I am buggered if I am paying £60 to park a second bike in less space than a car would use with one £30 permit.

In other words they want £90 quid a year for us to park 2 bikes in less space than a single car uses.

Anyone got any suggestions/support about this? it seems the local authority has decriminalised parking so its them I have to deal with, there is no higher authority at this point.

Any suggestions of persuasive arguments will be gratefully accepted, I'd love to give you a copy of the Parking Policy to trawl over but I requested it and never got it (Freedom of info act?). The reason I ask is I do not want to wind up repeating myself too much, I have already told them that if I need to write a letter a day to get their attention, then I will.

Oh and in case anyones interested I did think up a rather humorous protest (may get me linched by the other residents though) I know someone who runs a haulier company, and permits are transferrable so I was thinking of parking an articulated lorry in the zones, and capturing some media attention whilst I am at it.

Cheers

Ben
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RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby towy71 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:15 pm

Until these "jobsworths" are publicly shown to be idiots there is little chance of winning against their stupidest policies. Look at Hereford and the Asda on the main roundabout into town from two directions fiasco, or the Councilors of Carmarthen who were surprised how large a building Tesco was and they had had no idea, doh!doh!doh!
So in answer to your query Ben, bring on the articulated vehicle ;-)
Last edited by towy71 on Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby Nigel » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:21 pm

Ben - what happens if you just park on the pavement outside your house ? Technically you're then blocking the public footpath rather than parking without a permit...

One ex-colleague of mine used to keep his Fireblade in the kitchen (yes, he rode it through the front door !) because if he thought that if he kept it outside it would be stolen in seconds.

One other possibe solution - how close are you to a multi-storey or other car park ? Often they have places where you can park bikes for free, and if you find a multi-storey that still has an attendant, you might even persuade them to keep an eye on the bikes for you (Christmas is coming, and parking attendants often feel under-appreciated - a Christmas box might work wonders ;))
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RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:34 pm

One ex-colleague of mine used to keep his Fireblade in the kitchen (yes, he rode it through the front door !) because if he thought that if he kept it outside it would be stolen in seconds.


Very wise, they are rather nickable. Problem is we have steps up to the door, and our apartment is on the third floor.
The council maintains a list of Car parks in the town that gives free parking to bikes, and sadly there isn't one within wlaking distance with the exception of an unmanned one, problem is you can see the towncentre from the car park so the bike would dissapear quite quickly I fear.

Towy you just said everything I was thinking ;) You have no idea how tempted I was to do it the day I thought of it, and I still might. I have family in the media so at least one reporter would be there :D

One thing I did think of doing:
Buy a van, Tax and MOT it, park it on the edge of the zone, load the bikes in and out of that when we need to park. But I can't afford to do it, and there is probably a clause against that in the yet-to-receive parking policy.

Might stop in on the council at some point to have a wee chat. Mind you with hair like mine they may not take me seriously. (which, completely OT, reminds me, need to find a newer photo for my avatar)

Who knows what the future holds

Ben

Edit: Blocking the pavement carries the same fine as parking without a permit, so prob best not to antangonise them too much
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Re: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby MartyBartfast » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:37 pm

shifty_ben wrote:
I know someone who runs a haulier company, and permits are transferrable so I was thinking of parking an articulated lorry in the zones, and capturing some media attention whilst I am at it.

Cheers

Ben


Transfer your ticket to your mate & get him to park a flatbed outside your house, then park the bikes ON the flatbed, you could then recover your costs by flogging your own parking permits for others to park their bikes on the flatbed.
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RE: Re: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:46 pm

Now theres an idea, would rub the councils noses in it a bit ;)
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Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby nelz » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:16 pm

Nigel wrote:Ben - what happens if you just park on the pavement outside your house ? Technically you're then blocking the public footpath rather than parking without a permit...


Technically, you're parking and blocking the footpath :(

Part of the problem is that the law requires vehicles to be parked parallel to the kerb unless in a bay marked otherwise, so parking two bikes in the space needed by one car is technically illegal anyway. The council could give you £60 in tickets every time they felt like it.

The flatbed idea gets my vote, and would probably get you on the local TV news :)
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Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby Nigel » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:50 pm

nelz wrote:Technically, you're parking and blocking the footpath


Yeah, guess you're right. Back in my bike-riding days nobody seemed to object to bikes parked on the pavement, but then they didn't make you pay to park outside your own house either.

The ideal solution, of course, is to find a lock-up garage for rent in walking distance... probably a forlorn hope, but could be worth an ad in the local newsagent's window.
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:33 am

There don't seem to be any garages in the area, not hireable anyway. Good news is I got a reply to the email I sent yesterday.

I have had no reply to my last letter because the Principal Parking Officer has set up a special meeting with the operations department in order to discuss this case. That meeting takes place tomorrow afternoon so should hear something soon :D
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby Nigel » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:58 am

Well, at least they are discussing it...
That has to be good news; it means they realise your case doesn't fit very well with their current scheme. Just hope that the people involved aren't rabid anti-bikers (aka Daily Mail readers :))
Hope this helps,

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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:44 pm

I'm hoping it signals good news, though it could be a tactic so they can say we believe your case is very isolated, and the policy fits the larger percentage of the population quite well.

Who knows?
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby nordle » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:26 pm

The problem is, where do you draw the line? People who own the old mini's / robin relient will complain " I can fit two of my cars in the space of a mondeo, I dont want to pay"

So they issue the permits allowing a fixed space, people will complain as its 5cm too small for their family mondeo.

Having spent some time working with these "jobsworths" I can say that most of the decisions are made my local Councillors and the guys on the ground are there to enforce policy, which is not easy if there are variations.

Having said that, maybe a solution would be to sell the spaces in half sizes instead.

A few suggestions,
1. Double check the power your authority has, if you park on the pavement they may NOT be able to ticket you as this may fall under public highways and is a criminal procedure through the police, and you may not have many proper traffic wardens in your area.

2. If a vehicle is broken down, Im not convinced they can ticket you, producing a reciept for a new fuse should be enough.

3. Its possible that if the warden is not wearing full uniform, including hat, the ticket is void due to not being issued in accordance with licence.

These are crappy suggestions, a slightly less crappy one would be to point out the environmental credentials of the bikes. Due to percentage targets being dished out, it makes the authority _look good_ to have designated bike areas and to encourage low emission, low environmental footprint transport.

As a last resort, just point out your example with the flatbed, the size of the thing.
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby shifty_ben » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:10 am

I've already mentioned the environmental point to them, and emphasised how it would support the councils 'green' policy to support bikes.

and you may not have many proper traffic wardens in your area.

Sadly I see about three different ones a day, and thats just in our area.

If a vehicle is broken down, Im not convinced they can ticket you, producing a reciept for a new fuse should be enough.


The thought had occurred to me, but if I do it too regularly they may a) decide that my bike is not roadworthy or b) issue a rectification or even a prohibition notice.

I will keep number 3 in mind, hadn't thought of that one.
Hopefully I will get a letter with the results of this meeeting within the next few days.

The problem is, where do you draw the line? People who own the old mini's / robin relient will complain " I can fit two of my cars in the space of a mondeo, I dont want to pay"


How about number of wheels? £30 for 3 wheels, £15 for 2 and £22.50 for 3. The reliant robin can have a unicycle parked next to them under the same permit if they are willing to pay the extra £7.50 :D
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby towy71 » Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:55 am

Don't think the unicycle would last long :roll:
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RE: Re: RE: Motorcycles and Parking

Postby nelz » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:25 pm

Longer than the Reliant Robin...
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