Cyclists beware the insipid creep of Westminster Council!

The the recent Westminster City Council Cabinet Member Report release (reported on Nutsville) mentioned bicycles in that while they did take up little kerbside space, they were not registered in the same way motorcycles are.

This meant they couldn’t charge them (no way to chase fines or ticket responsibilities) but WCC said exactly the same thing about motorcycles. There wasn’t the technology to charge motorbikes for parking so they didn’t. Now there is, we are getting hit in the wallet – And there’s STILL not enough parking for motorbikes.

Think it won’t happen cyclists? Remember Boris’s Loan a Bike scheme is coming and if they can tag them, they’ll tag you too. What a nice way to punish obstructive cycles too eh? How about jumping a red? Cycling on the pavement?

Cabinet Member Report Quote:

“The City Council does not have the ability to implement charging for cyclists, because bicycles do not have to carry registration numbers and so charging could not be enforced. Even so, as bicycles are a non-motorized mode of transport and do not significantly take up kerbside space, the City Council would not deem such a policy appropriate. However, it should be noted that the Mayor’s imminent Cycle Hire Scheme will result increase the amount of kerbside space being taken by bicycles. “

Just because it isn’t happening now to cyclists it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future in the UK. It’s law in California now (as well as Topeka, Detroit, Alberta and others), there’s no real reason (except money maybe, but they’ll fund that out of the license charges) why it couldn’t happen here. After all, Verrus UK Ltd have botched their system to cope with motorbikes, why not registered cycles?

Think about theft, if your registered bike is stolen you’ll have it returned when the police find it! How good would that be? Your prized Specialized could be back with you as soon as the police find it, that’s worth registering for isn’t it? Datag your bike and you’ll have security… Register the Datatag with DVLA and you have control! It’s just another entry on a database.

This kind of thing coming to London?

This kind of thing coming to London?

If that does happen then why shouldn’t cycles join the great parking and fine gravy train? Leave your bike chained somewhere for a few minutes and a faceless Westminster Council Civil Enforcement Officer deems your bike to be obstructive, then you get a fine. Welcome to the world of the penned in motorcyclists. The freedom you enjoy now (and we once enjoyed) is being taken away and your turn is coming.

The fact is millions more state (and charity) funded pounds are going into cycle friendly design schemes than parking controls so they will end up coming to look for money at some stage. The suggestions by Cambridge Cycling Campaign is asking for all sorts of cycle parking allocations and security devices, beware cyclists, it may come back to haunt your wallet and your freedom. Somehow this all has to be paid for and the user is the most likely source of finance, as with us motorcyclists, you think they won’t come after you next? Are you sure?

Editors notes:

The registration of bicycles is not a new idea. They’ve been doing it for years in Switzerland and older readers may remember when bicycles used to have number plates in the UK and would take the bicycle proficiency test.

Other links:

Mayor mulls bicycle number plates

Velocampus at Leeds University

Topeka Police controlling unlicensed bicycles.

Serco London Cycle Hire Scheme

Nationwide Cycle Register

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4 Comments

MrCOctober 7th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

In Milton Keynes their used to be bike stands against whith you could chain a bike. Now they have cages and if I am not mistaken they charge to use them. All they have to do in London is make it illegal to park your bike anywhere but in such a cage with the threat that it will be inpounded if you don’t comply and pay to to park. So if you are a cyclist now is the time to stop this council. Vote with your moeny while you still have it and donate to NoToBikeParkingFees.com

MrCOctober 7th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Details of the costs of parking a bike in Milton Keynes and not a number plate in site.

http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/transport/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=63533

Gear-Change Cycle Unit: This unit is situated on the corner of Witan Gate and Midsummer Boulevard. The cost of hiring a space at this unit is currently £150 per year. For this, you will have access to your own individual bike cage and locker as well as use of the changing facilities, showers and drying area.

Cycle Lockers: These lockers are available at Central Milton Keynes railway station. The cost of hiring a locker is currently £40 per year.

CMCerOctober 8th, 2009 at 10:40 am

At least the cyclists get something for their money MrC, us bikers are being asked to pay for nothing extra at all!

The other thing MK cyclists get is choice to pay or not on the street, we don’t have that choice. We have to pay!

Cyclists have been left alone recently but registering bikes does sound like it would counter a lot of the problems cyclists get blamed for. Maybe they are waiting to get motorcycles out of the way before they attack cyclists?

MrCOctober 9th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

@CMCer

I think you are right about dealing eith motor cycles first. Howether they may take away cylists choise as they have taken away motor cyclists choise to park on pavements.

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