The extension of the sub-station at Ontario Way has meant the loss of 150 motorcycle parking bays in Canary Wharf.
To compensate, Canary Wharf Estates management (CWE) made a patch of Riverside \'wasteland\' available, but this offer of space was soon withdrawn as the Riverside development proceeded.
CWE then made 150 spaces available underground near Canada Square, effectively forcing us to use monopoly-provider fee-based car parks that are half a mile from where we want to park. The cost is around £800 per year of our pre-tax earnings.
Phil Tweddle is the Director at CWE responsible for parking. He recognises the problem and does not avoid contact with complainants, but he holds the view that CWE is not obliged to provide free parking to motorcyclists (...\'why should motorcyclists have a free commute\'). He also ventures that motorcycles are not as \'green\' as many cars, so why should they be given special treatment
As motorcyclists we typically pay more than £500 for protective clothing, often pay higher insurance premiums than car drivers, have to remain 100% alert against the minefield of oil spillages, black ice, skidding on wet roads, car drivers that do not see us or do not care, ditto for pedestrians. If anything goes wrong, we are almost certainly hospitalised - or worse.
The researchers and policy-makers of the Mayor\'s office acknowledge that special treatment for motorcyclists is justified; we have full exemption from congestion charging in the zones.
They recognise, not only the hazards and personal hardships we face as motorcyclists, but also the cumulative benefits we bring in terms of lower fuel consumption, reduced wear and tear on roads, reduced parking space requirements and of course reduced physical congestion. Motorcyclists are good news for any town planner.
Motorcycle engines may not be as \'green\' as some of the new hybrid, high-tech car engines but we must remember the big picture: the carbon emissions generated by a motorist in any year depend on not only the rate of emissions but the amount of time that engine is running. With the comfort of heated seats and CD Radio\'s, motorists typically do 100% - 200% more miles a year than motorcyclists.
If a given car produces 25% less carbon emissions than a motorcycle, but takes 30% longer to get through London (generous assumption) then the motorcyclist is causing less environmental damage and the car driver is throttling the arteries of inner London with congestion.
So in summary, there is nothing \'free\' about motorcycling. We pay in so many ways for our avoidance of being yet another motorist or an additional burden on public transport.
Add your name to this petition so that we can lobby to CWE and to the major tenants in the Estate (the firms we work for) to give us back our 150 free parking bays. Urge them to see the light and justifiably promote motorcycle usage through the provision of free parking.
Roy Polding has been a motorcyclist for more than 20 years and commutes daily from the West End to Canary Wharf. He, like many others, is fed up with the unjust and diminishing attitude towards motorcyclists.
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