Protesters opposed to proposed parking charges for motorcycles in Hackney have presented councillors with a petition signed 7,800 times as they attempt to have the proposals rejected.
Save London Motorcycling (SLMC) have been campaigning against the proposed charges for much of the year, since the proposals were made in the first half of 2022.
Despite a protest in Hackney itself in October and previous meetings with councillors in the London borough, the proposals remain, and could cost powered two-wheeler (PTW) owners up to £14,000 per year. Along with the ULEZ expansion plans, these proposed parking charges in Hackney can be seen as a way that PTW owners are being priced out of road use in London.
SLMC argues that the parking charges would force more people into using cars for transport more often, which they argue would increase congestion and pollution. They also argue that Hackney Council has based their proposals on flawed research, which the Council denied when Visordown contacted them at the end of October.
At a meeting of the Council which was attended by protesters, SLMC says, a proposal was made by Cllr Binnie-Lubbock of the Green Party to review the evidence on which the parking charge proposals were made. This was reportedly supported by Convervative councillors, but the motion was ultimately voted down by the Labour councillors.
A spokesperson for Save London Motorcycling said: “We were utterly shocked that the Council voted down a motion to review the evidence, despite both opposition parties with one voice urging them to see sense.
“This is clearly indicative of Hackney Council’s disregard for facts and reason. Hackney Council’s “evidence” base for this cruel policy has completely disintegrated. The sooner they recognise that, the sooner they can move on from this mistake and pursue policies which will actually benefit the people of Hackney.”
Addressing councillors, Karen Neill, North London businesswoman and winner of Britain’s Biking Hero, said: “The Council has said that motorcycles will be charged less if they have lower emissions, but their understanding of motorcycle emissions is flawed. The fact that electric motorcycles and cars will pay the same is just one example which proves this.
“Riders care about the environment just as much as anyone. We want to help the council achieve their aims by understanding the benefits of motorcycles and scooters for everyone in Hackney.”
The minutes of the meeting in question, that of 23 November 2022, are not yet available, but its agenda and decisions can be viewed on the Hackney Council website where the SLMC petition is item number six.
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