Edinburgh & District Motorcycle Action Group

Edinburgh & District Motorcycle Action Group - Parking Bays

Edinburgh & District and West Lothian MAG are delighted to annouce that as a result of campaigning, lobbying and a well-attended demo run, a u-turn was made on amalgamating dedicated bike parking bays with cars and vans sharing the same space

The Edinburgh MAG Parking Demo to object to the threat of abolition of Dedicated Motorcycle Parking Bays was held on Saturday 24th July 2010 and had a good turn out. Thanks to all who volunteered their services as marshalls and to Saltire Suzuki for their hospitality after the run. And for helping to get a certain green Triumph started again... See the Gallery for more pics.

If you think that in general sharing a parking space with other vehicles is a good idea, the photo shows an example of just how 'careful' drivers can be (note from webmistress: there have been occasions where the offending vehicle was parked so close she couldn't get her bike upright). 'Touch parking' is common, where you roll your car back until you 'touch' the bumper of another car, where space is tight (i.e. everywhere in Edinburgh). Do you really want anyone doing this with your bike? We can't stop muppets from parking in bike spaces, but at least we have a fighting chance if dedicated bays exist. We are grateful for the council's show of common sense.

The background...

Dedicated Motorcycle Parking Bays in Edinburgh Under Threat

Dedicated motorcycle bays in Edinburgh are under threat, if Council proposals detailed in Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO/09/76 - link removed, as a 404 Page Not Found error is of no use to man or beast) are not modified drastically.
Under these proposals over 100 of the 150 dedicated bike bays in Edinburgh’s central Controlled Parking Zones would be reassigned as Permit Holder Parking, Shared Use bays or Pay and Display Bays. Bikes will be able to use shared use bays free of charge, but these bays are open to other categories of vehicle such as cars and vans who would pay to use the bay as well as permit holders.

While appreciating that planners have to do a delicate balancing act trying to satisfy heavily oversubscribed parking demand in central Edinburgh, simplification and clarification of parking regulations is long overdue. MAG is greatly concerned that the measures proposed will have a very detrimental effect on motorcyclists ability to park safely and securely in central Edinburgh.

Consequently if you ride a motorcycle, moped or scooter and live or work in Edinburgh or use these bike parking bays as a visitor NOW is the time to let the Council know what you think of their proposals if you do not want to lose dedicated motorcycle bays in Edinburgh. Objections need to be made to the planning department before 5th March 2010.





In order for these proposals to be amended so that motorcyclists are not unfairly penalised by these changes we need you to consider how the changes affect you as a motorcyclist. If you consider that these changes will adversely affect your ability to park your bike in Edinburgh, advise the council how and why this will adversely affect you. We have listed some general objections to the scheme, though individual reasons for saving particular bike bays would also be worthwhile.

Our aim is to save as many dedicated bike bays as possible so that motorcyclists can continue to enjoy safe free motorcycle parking in Edinburgh, but to do this we do need your help in objecting to the Council Plans, helping us to get as accurate a picture of bike bay provision and security features in the central Controlled Parking Zones and helping spread the word to as many riders as you can contact who visit, live or work in the city.


While being advised that the zone plans are not set in stone and are known to contain errors and omissions, the order as drafted does not appear to be favourable to the needs of motorcyclists, never mind offering encouragement for this more environmentally friendly mode of transport. In addition to being unfair this seems at odds with the local transport strategy, which seeks to reduce car use.

The assurance that the plans are working plans and that city centre bays and those with security features (railings etc.) will be retained does not provide adequate reassurance.

Specifically the draft order :

    Fails to indicate that motorcycles can continue to park in residents parking bays if a residents parking permit is displayed. And that these permits are available free to motorcyclists subject to the general permit restrictions of two permits per household.
    There is scope for the requirements and design of permits to be addressed and we will be seeking to get bike residents permits to be designed to fit lockable tax disc holders.
    Permits free of charge parking in all shared use parking spaces, but abolishes the vast majority of marked Solo Motorcycle bays. A full analysis of the maps for zones 1 to 8 is required to determine the precise numbers involved and is ongoing at present, but is extremely unlikely to adhere to current guidelines of one bike parking space per 20 car bays.

Immediate concerns with this aspect of the proposal are that:

    Those motorcyclists who have habitually been able to park in specific locations with additional security (either being able to secure their bikes to installed security devices or using mutual security through schemes such as lock to lock with fellow motorcyclists) will no longer be able to.
    The risk of damage to motorcycles from carelessness of other road users nudging or knocking bikes over in non-segregated parking places is greatly increased. Anecdotal evidence indicates that a motorcycle is likely to be knocked over once every two to three years in such a space, often causing many hundreds of pounds to repair. Conversely damage in dedicated bays is extremely rare.
    Each Solo Motorcycle bay lost to shared use permits one additional car to be parked at the expense of up to six motorcycles.
    The Solo Motorcycle parking areas in the City are extensively used by residents, commuters and visitors because they offer a secure and obviously signed area for parking of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles. They are recognised by car users as a resource specifically for motorcycles and therefore the possibility of machines being damaged by inconsiderate car parking is minimised.
    Signage advising motorcycle riders that free parking is available in shared-use parking places and public parking places has not been adequately addressed, effectively slashing of the number of visible parking spaces for motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in the City.
    In a tourist destination such as Edinburgh, inadequate signage will serve to discourage motorcyclists who will not be familiar with the intricacies of what is and is not permitted.

For full details of the Council proposal see (link to CPZ TRO)


In accordance with the terms of the Local Authorities’ (Procedure) Scotland Regulations 1999, I am writing to inform you that The City of Edinburgh Council proposes to promote a new Order.
The main effects of the Order are:

    to simplify the structure and wording of the 1973 Controlled Parking Zone Order which regulates waiting and parking etc in the city centre;
    to amalgamate the nine Orders which regulate waiting and parking in CPZ zones N1 to N5 and S1 to S4 into the 1973 Controlled Parking Zone Order; and
    to provide a framework to allow other Traffic Orders to be amalgamated at later dates; and
    to change a proportion of public parking bays and permit parking bays in zones 1 to 8 to shared use parking bays; and
    to remove lengths of waiting restrictions in zones 1 to 8 in order to create additional parking spaces; and
    to extend to zones 1 to 8 the arrangements which apply already in zones N1 to N5 and S1 to S4 for residents to buy permits to allow visitors to park; and
    to extend to zones 1 to 8 the arrangements which apply already in zones N1 to N5 and S1 to S4 to limit the issue of residents’ permits to a maximum of two per household; and
    to introduce the revised scheme approved by Committee in February 2009 for residents’ permits charges to relate to vehicle emissions/ engine sizes, with a surcharge for the second permit in a household: and
    to introduce a number of other changes, as summarised in the attached table.

Plans showing the on-street changes proposed in zones 1 to 8 inclusive can be found by following the links below. (There are no on-street changes in zones N1 to N5 and S1 to S4.)

Zone 1 Zone 1A Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 5A Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8

Formal objections are not invited at this stage, since a further period will be allowed for the submission of any objections when the proposals are formally advertised. However I will be pleased to consider any comments which reach me before 22 January 2010.

If you have any queries, please contact Andrew MacKay on 0131 469 3577 or a.mackay@edinburgh.gov.uk


Additional Proposals

Proposed Action

    Loading/unloading allowed in Permit and Shared-Use bays: allow loading and unloading in permit and shared use bays for a maximum of 30 minutes, to offset the reductions in lengths of single yellow lines to create extra parking
    Permit/Season Ticket: remove all references to season tickets in relation to resident permits
    Motorcycle parking: allow motorcycles to park free of charge:
      (a) in all shared use parking places
      (b) in all public parking places in zones 5 to 8 (where parking places are individually marked
    Solo motor cycle parking places: reduce incidence of allocated solo m/c parking spaces to improve flexibility (some provision to be retained)
    List or roads/properties where permits will be issued: include a schedule of locations for which permits may be issued
    List of roads/properties where permits will not be issued: include a list of locations for which permits will not be issued
    Replacement permits: introduce an administration charge of 10% (minimum £10) to replace a lost or damaged permit
    3 and 6 month permits: introduce a £5 administration charge on all 3 or 6 month resident permits
    Healthcare workers permits: include the operational changes to the issue of Healthcare Workers’ Permits agreed by Committee on 29 July and 25 November 2008
    Definitions: update definitions to reflect changes to primary legislation
    Exemptions for loading/unloading etc.: require vehicles claiming certain exemptions (e.g. vehicles engaged in postal deliveries, road works etc.) to be liveried
    Taxi stances: require taxis waiting on stances to be occupied by the driver at all times and to be available for immediate hire