Belfast Parking Friendly “Revolution”

parking-map-250 Belfast City Centre is in the middle of a small motorcycle friendly “revolution”. Motorcycles were allowed access to Bus Lanes over a decade ago and TransportNI are now moving forward with proposals to open free solo motorcycle, scooter and moped on-street motorcycle parking bays.

Two of the planned bays are already in operation at Linenhall Street and Bankmore Street with a further five parking sites planned for Adelaide Street (outside Harvester House), Brunswick Street (outside the Travelodge Hotel), College Square East (two sites – at the entrance to RBAI and outside Electronic Centre) and May Street at the junction with Oxford Street on the Law Library side.

These site locations would appear to have been based on responses from a rider questionnaire – Proposed Provision of Free On-Street Parking Facilities For Motorcycles – that took place in 2013.

The five further planned sites will be open to a public consultation and if there are no objections, TransportNI would hope to implement them this summer.

At Right To Ride we did not specifically push for this free parking, neither do we know of anyone who did. So somewhere somebody has recognised the advantages of motorcycle (Powered Two Wheeler – PTW) commuting that requires a safe place to park at journeys end and return journey. TransportNI (or as they were then Roads Service) have in our opinion played a bit of a blinder on this.

Each site will have between five and eight motorbike bays and will eventually have a pedestrian guardrail installed which will run the entire length of the bay, with intermittent gaps to allow riders to gain access to the footpath, without having to walk to the ends of the bay. The guard rail is positioned behind the kerb line enough so as to avoid contact with wing mirrors or other overhanging parts of your bike. Riders will be able to lock their bikes to the rail.

The bay at Linenhall Street is waiting to have this rail installed.

Bike Theft

bankmoreparking1-250Bike theft and lack of secure parking in public places is not a new phenomenon in Belfast or in any location where motorcycles are parked.

For example we have received a message from a rider that when parking up at the “Black Man” area in Belfast that a passer-by stopped to tell him to make sure that his motorbike was secured as apparently a bike was stolen yesterday by two male youths.

This something to highlight yet again as it’s the same every summer in Belfast, said the rider.

The sites have been chosen due their proximity to CCTV cameras and some will share sites with the new Belfast City Council hire bicycles, which would be seen as a precious commodity to protect.

As one rider said, security is key!

It is up to riders to Lock It or Lose It.

Dead Spaces – Private Estates

parking2-250 At this point we would like to thank the folks at TransportNI for their help in giving us the information we asked regarding the motorcycle parking plans and also for further questions we asked on parking in dead spaces, against buildings and general motorcycle parking.

As we know historically motorcycle parking locations in Belfast has relied on dead spaces including that at the Black Man at College Square East. Although there are thoughts from the annals of time that this space was actually designed for motorcycle parking when the roads were upgraded in that area – very forward thinking as the Black Man motorcycle parking has been there for decades!

So we follow with a review of replies from the TransportNI – folk!

  • Other spots such as Oxford Street and Brunswick Street have been accepted (tolerated). However, where there are parking restrictions at other locations, uncontrolled motorcycle parking on footways is not permitted and where this occurs Traffic Attendants should taking enforcement action.
  • Where it is brought to the attention of TransportNI that motorcycles are regularly parking at such locations, their policy is to issue a Parking Enforcement Advisory Notice. This notice details that they are parked in contravention of a restriction and if detected again at the same location Penalty Charge Notice would be issued.
  • Regarding parking in dead spaces an answer could not be given by TransportNI but an explanation was forwarded.
  •  Firstly, some of these dead spaces are on private ground over which TransportNI have no authority or responsibility, for example the area around Lanyon Place in Belfast.

bankmoreparking6-250As one rider explained, “Problem is a lot of these new pedestrian walkways around the new office blocks – Lanyon Plaza – BT and the Hilton – are privately owned so the bikes may also be lifted and impounded. There is no signage up saying that the footpaths are private so folk are risking parking on the path against the buildings hoping there will be no hassle when they get back. With the better weather coming in more guys are using bikes more often creating a lack of legal parking space.”

TransportNI would say that, in these cases motorcycle riders should seek the permission of the owner of the ground or whoever has responsibility for it. Secondly, when parking motorcycles on the footway or back of a footway, cognisance must be given to the needs of other users, such as, the visually impaired, disabled etc. Thirdly, and naturally TransportNI, would have to discourage anyone from parking in contravention of restrictions.

However as has been noted by riders, there seems to be no issues with dozens of push bikes securing to the newly planted trees and railings in the same area.

There seems to be one policy for going green, riding a pushbike into town and another for a motorbike.


parking1a-250 The Department for Regional Development’s (DRD) TransportNI takes responsibility for the enforcement of most parking restrictions. On-the-ground enforcement is provided by TransportNI’s contractor, currently NSL Services Group, who employ the Traffic Attendants.

A “little hint” is that where parking restrictions are marked on the road, for example yellow lines, those restrictions also apply to the footway (pavement).

For the private land around the previously mentioned Lanyon Place then parking enforcement is in the control of private management by PEA – Parking & Enforcement Agency – based in Belfast – part of the NCPS Group – Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems – based in Dublin.

Car Parks

TransportNI also kindly responded with an overview of parking provision for motorcycles in Belfast.

Motorcycles have been, up to the 1st April 2015, permitted to park free of charge in all TransportNI (formerly Roads Service) car parks.

Responsibility for car parks was transferred to local Councils on 1st April 2015 and to the best of their knowledge the provision for motorcycles has not changed.

Motorcycles are also permitted to park on-street in Pay & Display (P&D) bays, however, they must clearly display a P&D ticket or use the more practical option of using cashless parking using the cashless parking service ‘Park Mobile’.

Motorcycle Parking Map

This is the latest of what we know (there is some further information on the main motorcycle parking page as regards trikes) and we hope that you will find our on-line parking map useful, with the motorcycle specific parking locations, not just in Belfast, but in other places that we are aware of, mainly around County Down.

Although we wait to see if the motorcycle parking bays will be signposted for out of town visitors – Tourists – or those that just need to come into Belfast and don’t often venture in.

If there any motorcycle parking spaces that you are aware of let us know and we can get these up on the map!

Links & Information & Original Sources

Right To Right – Motorcycle Parking – Click Here
NI Direct Government Services – Off-street and on-street parking – Click Here
NI Direct Governement Services – Parking Enforcement – Click Here

Motorcycle Parking Map

Zoom out the map to see other locations – If you know of any specific motorcycle parking in Northern Ireland drop us an email of the location (a picture would also be good) –  email
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