Monday, 4 October 2010

(motor) Cycle racks?

Ever wondered why alot of bikes are chained to lamposts and railings? it will usually be one of three reasons why.

  1. The railing/lampost/whatever is closest to the cyclist's destination and therefore most convenient
  2. There are no cycle racks provided so the only option is the railing/lampost/whatever
  3. There actually are some cycle racks but all the space is taken up by motorcycles and mopeds
Here's a typical day in Manchester

The Deansgate rack from the first photo but on another day:
So what's going on here?. As annoying as it is, I can't really bring myself to totally begrudge the motorcyclists for doing this. If you look at it objectively all it really proves is a lack of proper motorcycle parking in the city centre. There are a few of spots I know of specially for motorcycle parking (Fountain street & Withy Grove near the Printworks for example) but clearly its nowhere near enough if this is happening. 

Anybody is going to go for free convenient parking if they can get away with it  (which is why the city centre is riddled with blue badge fraudsters) and motorcyclists are no exception, unfortunately it just results in yet another example of cyclists being bullied out of the way.

Update after Ian's question:
Here is the Councils info about motorcycle parking. It's free but there are only 108 defined spaces. From the wording

"Motorbikes found parked in contravention of parking restrictions are liable to receive a parking ticket. All motorbikes are now subject to the same regulations as other vehicles."

it would seem that all these motorbikes should technically be getting ticketed for parking on the pavement, but obviously they are not doing this. Personally I'd prefer them not to get ticketed, but to get more than a paltry 108 spaces. More (motor) bikes = less cars and that can only be a good thing in the long run.

There is also a google map showing each location.

To put these 108 spaces into further perspective: My old primary scool; Down Primary in Gee Cross has as many spaces for their pupil's bicycles as the entire city centre does for motorbikes. And the primary school spaces come with a roof.


  1. Depending on my mood I have been known to bully my way back into the cycle parking stands. I think a few accidental scratches might help them decide to be a bit more considerate in the future.

    1. Hey we're all on two work rides happens to have an engine....the downside of the engine is that your travelling a bit quicker when Mr/Mrs myopia in their tin top doesn't see you.
      I could half the congestion on todays roads - potential car drivers should be made to spend a year on a bicycle then another year on a motorcycle before being allowed to take a test....I suspect this would improve the standard of driving cant stop the same in the wet & mobile phones would be completely out of the question

  2. Many of them aren't actually locked to the stands. Especially at the very busy ones like the Deansgate stand outside RBS. So they are only actually parking there because there are lots of other motorbikes, not because they want to lock it to something solid.

  3. It's a tricky one isn't it? I'd hazard a guess that it's fine with the traffic wardens or else they'd all be ticketed.

    Space wise - there's a big gulf between an ickle scooter & the BMW trialee with its Ammo box panniers either side!

    I like motorcycles and have a bit of sympathy with them from the 'legislated off the roads' point of view - they do get a bit of flack - although on the other hand some of them deserve it too!

    Do they have to pay for the motorcycle parking you mentioned?

  4. @Ian I've updated the post a little. Yes, all the special bays are free, but compared to the sheer number of cars shrewn around Manchester's back streets (not even counting the multistoreys and £3 for 24 hours style car parks) 108 spaces is pathetic.