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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007, 14:10 GMT
New parking costs for motorbikes
Westminster wants to increase the number of parking bays
Motorcycle users will face new charges to park in central London under a draft proposal from Westminster Council.

The fees are needed to expand parking for the increase in motorcycles following the introduction of the congestion charge, the council said.

Under the proposal, riders will be charged between 1 and 1.50 a day. There is currently no charge.

About 16,000 motorcyclists ride into central London everyday, up 40% from 10 years ago.

The fees will go towards new bays and providing secure motorbike stands.

Cost of changes

Westminster Council said that the increase in motorbikes coming into the city had led to riders damaging other peoples' bikes, as they try to cram into too few spaces.

There are currently enough spaces for 4,500 motorbikes to park at any one time. The new proposal aims to increase this by up to 500.

The council is also proposing a new by-law which will allow traffic wardens to penalise car drivers for parking in the motorbike-only spaces.

According to a Westminster Council spokesman, the cost of the scheme will be more than 80,000.

'Bitter pill'

But Will Beeley of motorcycleparking.com said the council had not properly considered other means of funding the bays.

He suggested sponsorship through advertising by local businesses.

"Whilst I understand why bikers will be annoyed that they are going to have to start to pay, I realise that the funding has to come from somewhere," Mr Beeley said.

"If motorcyclists see that they are getting something for their money, then I'm sure that it will be a less bitter pill to take."

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