Belfast Motorcycle Parking

pakingsurvey2013If you have been parking in Belfast last week, you may have had a questionnaire placed on your bike from Roads Service – Proposed Provision of Free On-Street Parking Facilities For Motorcycles.

The survey is intended to access the parking needs of riders in Belfast with the hope to improve motorcycle parking facilities in Belfast city centre.

The intention then is to carry out a pilot project by converting some existing on-street Pay and Display parking bays, at a number of locations throughout Belfast City centre, to allow motorcycles and scooters to park free of charge and without time limit.

The questionnaire, which comes with an enclosed pre-paid envelope, asks riders to help Roads Service to identify the most suitable locations by asking the following questions.

1. Where do you normally park your motorcycle?

(i) Roads Service Off-Street Car Parks

(ii) Roads Service On-Street Pay and Display bays

(iii) Brunswick Street (former College of Business Studies)

(iv) May Street (at Law Courts)

(v) College Square East (at Belfast Metropolitan College)

(vi) Victoria Street (at Bittles Bar)

(vii) Other

Further questions include asking about your journey on that day – how long you intend to or have parked that day – how long do you usually park at the location – how often you park at the location you are at.

The questionnaire goes on to ask, that if dedicated parking on-street motorcycle parking bays were provided free of charge would you use them and which streets would be your preferred location for this type of motorcycle parking.

There is space provided for any additional comments/suggestions that you feel may of assistance and a section to fill in about your – name  – address – postcode – tel no – email, which is protected under the departments policy statement on Confidentiality and (FOIA) the Freedom Of Information Act.

The BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) originally reported on the planned survey back in December 2012 and at Right To Ride we subsequently reported on the survey, when contacted by Traffic Management Roads Service in June this year so it is good to see the survey going ahead.

However there have been some concerns voiced by riders that proposed free On-Street parking would have a time limit on parking time, however as confirmed by Roads Service and the statement on the questionnaire there would be no time limit on parking.

Another concern has been that this as a plan to start parking enforcement on bikes parked in Belfast, if you don’t use the designated bike parking places riders will be fined. Although the responsibility for enforcement lies with the Parking Enforcement Unit we have been told that there are no plans to change enforcement policy at present.

A Great Concept! – Don’t Despair!

parking3At present we can only take the purpose and the aim of the survey at face value as a positive move for riders, as one rider commented on the Right To Ride website:

“This is a very welcomed proposal and I applaud Roads Service for considering it at least.

Dedicated FREE motorcycle parking without time limits is a great concept considering the limited spaces that motorcyclists currently are able to occupy in Belfast and riders would be able to park without any worries of receiving a parking ticket.

The recent changes made to the Met College traffic island used by bikers have made it more awkward for riders who use it, with more limited access and space for parking. It appears that riders were not considered when they planned the changes in any case so alternative areas would be great.

Anyway I would encourage anyone who received the questionnaire to complete and return it so they receive some feedback at least and show we have a presence and an interest that they meet riders needs for parking in Belfast.”

This is especially positive if the right spots are provided in the right positions for rider convenience for their needs and enough space is allocated for these free bike parking bays.

Thus bikes would not be “crammed” in, as they are in some spots already and there would be no risk of enforcement of parking in the “wrong” place – pavement parking.

It would be nice if there was the provision of some sort of locking facility, not necessarily individual ground anchors but the likes of a locking rail.

If you missed the survey don’t despair as Roads Service will be carrying out more on–street surveys in the near future, to obtain as representative a response as possible from the most frequent motorcycle parkers in Belfast city centre.

We have been promised some hard copies of the questionnaire which we will make available and an electronic copy which can be printed out!

Links Information

Right To Ride – Motorcycle Parking – Click Here
United Kingdom
Weston-super-Mare Seafront Bike Park – Weston & North Somerset Motorcycle Action Group pdf – 2.66mb
Department for Transport – Motorcycle Parking Leaflet pdf 806kb
Parking for Motorcycles and Scooters – A Resource Guide – BMF pdf 1.71mb
Vehicle Parking Standards – Essex Planning Officers Association – August 2001 pdf 319kb
Provision For On Road Motorcycle Parking – Vic Roads – April 2001 pdf 92kb
Guidelines for Parking Motorcycles on Footpaths – Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council (VMAC) – June 2001 pdf 231kb

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