No Wrath In Parking

While new Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy is urgently reviewing a proposed policy of introducing new car parking charges for towns and villages throughout Northern Ireland, the Ulster Section of the BMW (Motorcycle) Club has been looking at motorcycle parking in Belfast City Centre.

Through their industrious hard work, the BMW Club Ulster Section reports that, “Campbell Owens the son of one the club’s esteemed club members, Bill Owens, has managed to get some very interesting information on the legalities of parking your treasured motorcycle in our capital city without incurring the wrath of a traffic warden or pedestrians.”

He shows that writing to your local politician, in this case, Chris Lyttle from the Alliance Party works. A letter was issued from Conor Murphy, Minister for Department for Regional Development (DRD), (pre Northern Ireland Assembly elections) with some informative points regarding where motorcyclists can park, how much it will cost, and some plans for the future.

The DRD’s Roads Service advised that*:

  • Motorcycles can be parked in its kiosk operated car parks at a reduced rate of 50 pence for up to 4 hours parking and £1 over 4 hours.
  • Motorcycles can also be parked free of charge in any Roads Service operated pay and display car parks, as long as they are parked wholly inside a marked bay.

In terms of on-street provision, Roads Service advised that they have, “Not yet provided any dedicated motorcycle parking facilities. However, it has recently produced internal guidance which is intended to facilitate on-street parking provision for motorcycles. Initially, given the growing demand and competition for kerbside parking in towns and cities, the provision will be made on a two year trial basis.”

“These trials will see the conversion of existing standard paid/ticketed parking bays into bays intended solely for motorcycles / scooters.”

“In order to encourage both the use of this type of parking facility and motorcycling as a form of travel, these bays will be provided free of charge. Roads Service is currently making arrangements to survey potential users to inform them of the decision making process, in terms of the numbers and positioning of such bays. It is intended to start this stage of the exercise early in the next financial year.”

Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird says, “We are now into this financial year and with a new Minister at the helm of the DRD which oversees Roads Service, we hope that the provision of the free of charge bays does not lose momentum.”

In London motorcyclists are protesting through the “No To The Bike Parking Tax” Campaign against the introduction of bike parking charges, while here in Northern Ireland we welcome the Roads Service promised trial for free on street-parking provision for motorcycles.

Trevor Baird of Right To Ride adds that riders currently park in “dead spaces” or on “pavements” where pedestrian safety is not affected, or other road users obstructed.

This type of parking should not be seen as detrimental and should be investigated further as a means of utilising space. Roads Service could look at the benefits that motorcycling offer in improving transport options and thus increase confidence for riders so that their journey’s end is parking near their point of arrival.

Original Source –

Further Information

A copy of the full letter from Conor Murphy can be downloaded at –  Click Here pdf 32kb

*A list of car parks can be obtained from the site, Click Here to use the car park search by town.

The list does not state whether the car parks are pay & display or kiosk operated, but the tariff guide should give you some idea which type they could be if motorcycle prices are specified.

The Ulster Section also received a reply in Conor Murphy’s letter regarding motorcycle / scooter lanes.

“With regard to motorcycle / scooter lanes, most of Belfast’s arterial routes have bus lanes which, apart from the motorway bus lanes, are generally accessible to motorcycles and provide significant benefit in terms of increased safety and reduced travelling times. Given these circumstances, I currently have no plans to explore the concept of motorcycle lanes.”

View our information on Motorcycle Parking – Click Here

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