Where can I park my motorbike?
One of the many perks of riding a motorbike, scooter or moped is the ease of parking compared to a four wheeler.
But despite parking being easy for motorbikes, it’s not always clear or straightforward to know where you can park without getting a parking ticket.
Traffic wardens do not have the best reputation and after the news that a Welsh wheelie bin was ticketed for being left on double yellow lines, you need to make sure you don’t park in the wrong place and run the risk of a ticket.
Things get even more complicated because there are no hard and fast rules that apply to the whole of the UK so we’ve created this guide to iron out the issues and help you avoid the dreaded parking fine.
In a car park
In a car park there will usually be designated motorbike parking bays and quite often they’re free.
As riders account for just three per cent of vehicles on the road, parking spaces in car parks are obviously weighted towards cars, which can mean you might find motorcycle parking bays full.
Within car parks you can leave your bike on hatched areas and between bays as long as it does not cause an obstruction for other users however that is subjective. Check with the car park attendants that where you have left your motorcycle is suitable in their eyes.
You can also park in standard parking bays but there have been occasions of bikes being bumped out of parking spaces and then ticketed for illegal parking so chain it up where possible.
Remember when parking in a bay, whether it’s a car or motorcycle one, to have your entire bike within the lines. If you’re jutting out, you can get penalised.
On the road
Parking on the road is slightly more obvious in terms of where you can and can’t park however there are still some grey areas, which is why we’ve broken it down.
Yellow and red lines – there are no standardised rules when it comes to single red and yellow lines. You can sometimes park on single lines but the times when you’re allowed to changes. You should always check road signs to see when you’re allowed to park.
And if they’re double red or yellow lines, don’t even think about it.
Bank holidays – contrary to popular belief, you can’t park anywhere you want on a bank holiday. You should always check on the relevant council website to see where you can park legally.
Pay and Display – continuing the vague parking theme, you can park in some pay and display spots and not in others, again there’s no hard and fast rule.
If you can park your motorbike in a pay and display zone, it will say so on the pay and display meter. And it may be free for motorcycles as well because pay and display tickets can go missing.
Specialist bays – unless you are with a child (which presumably you are not as you’re on a motorbike) or have a blue disabled badge, you can’t park in disabled or parent and child parking bays.
Similarly, if you’re not a resident you can’t park in a residents’ parking bay.
Another useful parking solution and another confusing motorbike parking issue is the use of bicycle parking bollards and stanchions.
In some local authorities and councils, the use of bicycle bays for motorbike parking is allowed however in many others it isn’t.
This is normally because these bicycle bays are on footpaths and pavements where there are double yellow lines on the nearest road. That means motorbikes are not allowed to be ridden on the pavement and to access the bays you would need to wheel your bike across a prohibited area.
However there is no specific law preventing motorcycle riders from securing their vehicle in bicycle parking areas, unless you prevent cyclists from using these facilities.
It is a massive grey area and one that litters motorbike forums on the internet with stories of disgruntled bike owners ticketed one day and not the next for parking in bicycle bays.
As a general rule, you should avoid parking there if possible and if not, be prepared for a ticket on your return; you’re taking a risk.
On the pavement
Parking your motorbike on the pavement in the UK is one of the most confusing aspects of two wheel ownership.
In some places, parking on the pavement is permitted as long as you are not causing an obstruction (but that’s subjective). In other places, notably London, parking on the pavement is illegal whether you’re creating an obstruction or not.
Caution is advised and if you’re unsure, do not park there.
A parking law to remember
Part 244 of the Highway Code says: “You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.”
If there are no signs telling you that you can park on the pavement, don’t.
One last thing…
And one thing you should definitely do is lock your motorbike no matter where you park.
Not only will it help keep your motorbike safe and secure in the short term, the long term knock on effect is that your motorbike insurance premium won’t increase as a result of your bike being stolen.
We’ve found a few heavy duty chain locks used to keep motorbikes safe, without breaking the bank.
So, as you can see, despite parking being easy for a motorbike and cheap if you can find an appropriate spot, it’s not always easy to know what an appropriate spot looks like.
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