Hackney Council is set to consult with residents next year on whether to introduce motorcycle parking permits, in a bid to improve air quality across the borough.
If introduced, charging for motorcycle parking would be brought in line with those of other vehicles, which are based on how polluting they are, with the sale of the new permits estimated to generate £105,000 for the council.
The Town Hall expects the policy to act as a “significant disincentive to commuters”, with the cost of a daily commute and paying and displaying for eight hours estimated by Parking Services to increase to £2,900 per year.
If purchasing a permit, motorcyclists will usually be paying the lowest chargeable rate of £61 for the year, due to the generally low carbon emissions of their vehicles.
Cllr Jon Burke (Lab, Woodberry Down), Hackney’s cabinet member for transport, has described the plans, which would also include measures to provide more secure parking for bikers, as “the most comprehensive approach towards motorcycle parking in London.”
Burke added: “At present, motorcyclists are not required to purchase parking permits, which is largely due to the problems of where to display a permit securely on a motorbike.
“This means that they can park in much of the borough free of charge, with no incentive for their riders to consider the impact of their journey on the local environment.
“As a result, large numbers of motorcycles commute into Hackney each day, with a particularly high demand for parking in the south of the borough.
“Developments in technology has led to the introduction of cashless parking and e-permits and now presents a practical solution to motorcycle permits.
“This will bring motorcycle parking in line with cars and, in so doing, will further influence a reduction in vehicle emissions which contribute heavily to unacceptable levels of poor air quality in Hackney.”
According to the Town Hall, motorcycle commuting is “largely concentrated” in areas near the City of London.
Under the changes, motorcycles would need a permit or, if visiting the borough, would have to purchase an e-voucher to park in any permit holder bay. Existing solo motorcycle bays would be converted into lockable pay and display bays for short stay parking.
Burke’s report, on which councillors will vote next week, accepts that the impact of the changes cannot be accurately modelled, as no other local authority has introduced such charges at the same level as Hackney is proposing to.
The plans, which will go out to consultation in January of next year, accept that rules limiting businesses to five parking permits per premises could restrict those that rely on motorbikes, coming as an “additional cost” for businesses, in particular courier or delivery companies in Hoxton and Shoreditch.
The report adds that will be balanced by the roll-out of solo parking bays for motorcyclists, with “businesses [able to] park securely and safely close to their business premise.”
Bikers on estates, for which some have a waiting list to purchase a permit, will be “instantly” placed on the list until spaces came available.
For health workers using motorbikes, health and social care permits are available for those in which a member of staff is “spend[ing] at least 30 per cent of their time on the road visiting the community, working in medical or social care and … employed by a pre-approved organisation.”