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.
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?
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.
Velocampus at Leeds University
Topeka Police controlling unlicensed bicycles.
Serco London Cycle Hire Scheme
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