Hundreds of bikers in new parking protest
HUNDREDS of angry bikers gathered outside City Hall in the seventh protest against controversial parking charges. The protest last Tuesday was the latest in a series of demonstrations against the �150 a year (or �1.50 a day) parking charges introduced
HUNDREDS of angry bikers gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday night in the seventh protest against controversial parking charges.
The protest was the latest in a series of demonstrations against the �150 a year (or �1.50 a day) parking charges introduced by Westminster in August.
Parking bosses have been bombarded with emails, written letters and signed petitions from more than 3,000 protesters who say the charges are being used as a money-making exercise.
So far, the �300,000 cost of introducing extra motorbike parking places and security measures has been exceeded seven times over by the �2.2million income received by the council in fees and fines.
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Labour leader Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg said the protest was the biggest Westminster has ever seen.
"For the past month, every Westminster councillor has been bombarded by emails from angry motorbike riders who believe that Westminster is using motorbike parking charges as a money-making exercise," he said.
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"With income running at seven times the expenditure on providing the extra parking spaces, there is now an unanswerable case for scrapping the motorbike parking charges."
But environment and transport chief Cllr Danny Chalkley said: "The number of motorcyclists coming into Westminster has increased considerably in the last few years.
"We believe it's only fair that motorcyclists make a small contribution if we are to provide extra dedicated bays for them.
"We acknowledge that some motorcyclists are unhappy about the recent introduction of motorcycle charging and have met with today's protest group on several occasions to discuss and hopefully alleviate some of their concerns.