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Nov 23 2014

Motorcycle Parking in Harrow

motorcyclist-150x1501It’s a little known fact that motorcyclists can park for free in many parts of Harrow. For example, they can park in any of the borough’s 12 motorcycle bays, in any pay and display bay, and even in resident parking bays during the hours of operation. In fact, the only places they can’t park (excluding yellow lines, and other obvious restrictions) are in disabled spaces or spaces reserved for others (such as police, doctor, etc – so long as these are clearly signed or painted, as opposed to a handwritten note stuck in a window).

Some boroughs, such as Watford, have no such free parking rules, and insist that motorcyclists purchase a pay-and-display ticket, something which is clearly not going to work too well if it’s windy, raining or the ticket gets stolen. And if that happens, and you get a Penalty Charge, you’re out of luck: the contravention is a failure to display.

Others, like Westminster, make a token charge of £1 per day – and you can park in any of the City’s motorcycle bays. However, you do need to pay by phone – no cash option is available.

Likewise, some toll roads – like the Dartford Tunnel – are free to motorcyclists; others, such as the M6 Toll Road, require payment. Motorcyclists have taken to pulling up to the payment kiosk, removing their gloves and helmets, hunting through their pockets for the right change, and then going through the whole ‘undressing’ thing in reverse. The whole process, end-to-end, can easily take 4-5 minutes – a fact that the operators of the Toll Road appear to have missed, despite traffic building up in a long queue behind.

Something else which irks car drivers is motorcyclists sneaking along between two lines of traffic when it’s slow moving. The law is quite clear: it’s legal if done safely, and the general guidance is for traffic moving no more than 20mph, a motorcyclist should aim to keep his speed below an additional 20mph. So, for example, if traffic is moving on a motorway at 15mph, the motorcyclist should aim not exceed 35mph.Obviously, a motorcyclist can’t overtake by crossing a solid white line, and nor should he filter on the approach to a zig-zagged crossing.

Motorcycle theft is still rife across the country – it seems locks, chains and alarms do little to deter theft. The advice – which also applies to bicycles – is to chain your bike to something solid – and Harrow has placed metal barriers adjacent to some of it’s newer motorcycle bays. Ensure that the chain can’t touch the ground, as this make it’ easier to cut through if there’s something firm behind it, and if you can, use two, not one, chains.

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