Motorcycle parking in Belfast relies on “dead space” areas for motorcycles to park and one specific area at the “Black Man” has been used for decades by riders to park, utilising the barriers in place to secure their machines.
In some circumstances, the initiative to include motorcycle parking in towns in NI has come from the motorcycle community itself.
An example has been the inclusion of secure and dedicated motorcycle parking facilities in Newtownards (Mill Street Gasworks South) and in Bangor (Queens Parade – Marina – Seafront).
Motorcycle parking locations should be:
Signposted clearly, especially those who are not aware of the area but this does not appear to be the case.
Be as close to facilities as possible.
Some supermarkets and shopping centres provide parking space for motorcycles, these provisions seem to be haphazard.
There is no central provision of the location of motorcycle parking facilities which can be viewed. Knowledge of these facilities appears to be down to local knowledge or word of mouth. This does not help if a motorcyclist is not from the area and especially for visitors from outside of Northern Ireland.
BMF Parking News8th December 2012
The reason being that they are looking help with the introduction of free motorcycle parking bays in Belfast City Centre.
The BMF say, “They (“Belfast Roads Services”) intend to leave a questionnaire on motorcycles parked in the city and to make sure that we get the bays introduced I would ask that all receiving them make sure they are filled in and returned.”
We don’t know at this stage what the questionnaire is specifically asking but if one of the questions asks, do you think free parking for motorcycles is positive, please answer yes!
However that might depend on the caveat that motorcycle parking in “dead space” areas which is the norm at present is not reduced with enforcement.
Original Source – Rider Magazine – bmf - Click Here
Motorcycle Parking Standards – Northern Ireland
Off-street and on-street parking
Standards for motorcycle parking are specified by the Northern Ireland Planning Service as follows:
Parking provision for motorcycles will be assessed on demand.
The number of motorcycles in use in Northern Ireland is approximately 2% of the total number of cars.
Where provided or required the location of motorcycle bays within a development should take account of the requirements of users and recognise that they are vulnerable in tight or enclosed space.
Motorcycle theft is also a problem that concerns most riders.
The provision of carefully planned, secure parking facilities which provide for natural surveillance can help to reduce this concern.
Additional security can be afforded through the provision of security bollards or inground motorcycle clamps to which motorcycles can be chained.
Purpose built security systems are also available which clamp the front wheel of a motorcycle and include combined storage facilities for clothes and accessories.
Northern Ireland Planning Service – Click Here
Free On Street 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 www.notobikeparkingtax.com 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 – http://bmw-club.org.uk/~ulster/
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 roadsni.gov.uk 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.”
Jackie Hill from “N.I. Bikers & Trikers Riding For Charity” contacted the DRD’s Road Service, Parking Enforcement Unit regarding parking for trikes and recieved a response, which we picked up from their Facebook page. Jackie gave us an, “Absolutely, go for it” when we asked to put the info up.
It is good information and good advice with a Trike being defined as a motorcycle for off street parking.
Excellent stuff and while the advice may seem to be somewhat complicated it is workable and remember to add a pen to your motorcycle gear!
Under current legislation for off-street parking, a motorcycle is defined as “a mechanically propelled vehicle not being an invalid carriage or motor car having fewer than 4 wheels”.
Your trike may therefore also be defined a motorcycle in which case the following applies:
Motorcycles can avail of free parking in pay and display car parks providing they park wholly within a parking bay or in a space designated for motorcycles.
The reply mentions Control Parking Zones (CPZs) – where all permitted vehicles (including trikes) are expected to pay and display (p & d) the same tariff.
But recognising that p & d tickets attached to motorcycles (or similar) in an outdoor environment may get blown away or stolen,
Where you are forced to use a p & d bay, riders are advised to write ‘Motorcycle’ (or Trike in your case) and their registration number (number plate) on their ticket to avoid it being stolen.
Such sites also suggest that riders invest in a weatherproof holder (similar to a tax disc holder) in which to place a valid p & d ticket to be clearly visible for Traffic Attendants on patrol.
It is also generally recommend that you record the unique reference number from the p & d ticket should you need to refer to it as proof of purchase if you are issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for failing to display a valid p & d ticket and you wish to challenge on the grounds that you purchased a p & d ticket.
Full information – Click Here
Draft Policy – Residents’ Parking Schemes
In 2008 following a consultation exercise on proposed residents’ parking schemes in the first five areas in Belfast City Centre the proposals were rejected by the majority of the residents, mainly due to the cost of a residents permit.”
The initial proposal was to charge for parking schemes of £80 per house but the department has now decided to issue residents’ and business permits free of charge. As a result of this and other changes to the proposal the department is now re-consulting with residents and businesses.”
1.9.2 In the case of a motorcycle the ticket must be placed in a conspicuous position in a vehicle-mounted disc holder in front of the rider’s seat.
Considering that a motorcycle requires a Tax Disc and if of a certain age an MOT disc displayed, then this could see a motorcycle having three discs fitted. To keep these secure, as stated regarding a motorcycle parking ticket, these are usually mounted in a “vehicle-mounted disc holder” and bolted securly to the motorcycle. In the case of the parking ticket this must be placed in front of the riders seat, we ponder just where this is expected to be fixed securely?
Roads Service is responsible for – 367 off street car parks with 31,240 spaces – 1 multi-storey car park containing 840 spaces.
In Belfast, there are approximately 1,300 on street metered parking spaces.
Scottish Guidance for Road Authorities on Motorcycles
“Motorcycle users will naturally look for parking opportunities close to their destination because the relatively small-size and flexibility of the motorcycle allows easy progress through traffic and the exploitation of marginal parking opportunities without causing obstruction.”
“Any difficulty in finding a suitable formal parking area will tend to negate the natural advantages of motorcycle use, if riders looking to park for any length of time are to use formal facilities, they need to be able to find them.”
“Physical security need not be difficult or expensive to provide, and inclusion of fixed robust features such as rails, hoops or posts designed to provide a simple locking-point for securing motorcycles is often all that is required.”
European Cities have either provided bays or have a more relaxed attitude to motorcycles parking on pavements.
The Australian motorcycle council offers guidelines on parking motorcycles on pavements.
The UK’s British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) has produced a resource guide for Parking for Motorcycles and Scooters.
The Department for Transport (DfT) in GB has produced a Traffic Advisory Leaflet regarding motorcycle parking.