On 31st March 2009 I was duty solicitor for the organisers of “No to the Bike parking Tax” www.notobikeparkingfees.com and for every motorcycle commuter or biker this is a campaign well worth supporting. Warren Djanogly, the organiser/Chairman, has taken on the bureaucrats of Westminster City Council, armed with his brains and passion. WCC has responded by aggressive press releases, spending tax payer money and hoping London Bikers will just shut up and accept it. I couldn’t even begin to count the amount of bikers and bikes who arrived. All types of bikers were there. From studded jackets to head to toe Goretex, one piece leathers (inclding a couple of lads in one piece leathers on BMX bikes) or commuters on mopeds and even one guy in a city mac with his helmet under his arm. There was a lot of noise, horns and revs, but I am delighted to say that the stewards organised a respectful silence past Westminster Abbey where the Australian War dead were being honoured. Various Police Officers warned us of this and clearly did not want us to score an own goal by appearing disrespectful.
I know I am biased as a biker but it seems stupid to me to discourage the use of two wheelers which are cleaner, greener, take up less road space, don’t sit in jams belching out diesel particulates like cabs and busses by charging them for parking. Maybe the WCC desk jockeys just hate the idea of people having a bit of independence and freedom to choose their own transport instead of being dependent on London’s crowded, sweaty and unreliable public transport system. Or maybe they just cannot see an opportunity to tax the working man or woman go by. This nasty, unenvironmental stealth tax can make the difference between keeping a London workers head above water and going under. Not everyone in London is a City Banker, loads of the people I chatted to do regular jobs, from servicing X ray machines to installing networks, Civil Servants, a couple of firefighters and scrub technicians in London Hospitals. Essential jobs where the pay is just about enough to keep body and soul together.
Most of the people I spoke to cannot afford to cab about on expenses (unlike WCC Councillors) or travel into London by train, but their taxes keep Westminster going.
The police were helpful and friendly and while the Met can never take a policitical view, lets just say the coppers seemed on side. Loads of people (especially cyclists) seemed very supportive and even though I was duty solicitor, I didn’t have to deal with a single arrest or even a confrontation. Thanks also to the old clients who came along to say hello as I was stood about in my White Dalton Hi Viz.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a GSX1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.
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