Greater London MAG is set to meet Islington Council to oppose more motorcycle parking charges. Unannounced charges were rolled out in early February with no prior engagement or consultation with riders.
Islington Borough Council rolled out a new £1 charge for motorcycles parking in the borough’s motorcycle bays in early February.
The council claims that they didn’t need to consult because it was a change to existing charges. This is not true; previously it was free to park in bays in Islington. If you wanted to park outside of the bays you had to buy a resident’s permit. No changes have been made to the residents permit but a new charge of £1 a day for the bays has been introduced.
The council did not publicize their intention to charge: instead, they buried the decision in a 300-page document on the council’s general finances. Motorcycle representative organisations were not contacted about a consultation. When Hackney consulted on their parking charges they received thousands of responses. Islington has confirmed that there were no responses to their process.
GL MAG and Save London Motorcycling have already persuaded the council to rectify one flaw in the policy. Residents with motorcycles couldn’t use their passes in the bays and were unable to make block bookings for more than one day. This meant that a resident would have been paying £365 a year and having to get up before 8am every day to book a new parking session. GL MAG got Islington to back down and allow residents to use their passes, but MAG is arguing that this is a totally unacceptable way to treat their resident motorcyclists and people who ride to work in the borough.
Further issues with the poorly handled roll-out saw MAG asking for the roll-out to be paused, but the council refused, and is delaying dealing with the issues raised.
A GL MAG spokesman said:
“This is a clear attempt by the council to bypass democratic scrutiny. They have seen what happened in Hackney and wanted to avoid the uproar. This is a sign that our campaigning is working, but we need to be on the lookout for other councils doing the same. Cock-up or conspiracy? Either way it’s a totally unacceptable way for a democratic organisation to behave, and it goes against all democratic norms. No other council has taken such an underhand approach”
Local MAG reps are working hard to try and engage with the council to get them to listen. A meeting with the Council is now scheduled for 27th March.