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No More Free Tickets To Ride

By Sarah Healey on October 8, 2013 in News

Photo: James Hutton

Photo: James Hutton

It seems the free ride is over for motorcycle and scooter riders in Waverley, with Waverley Council rejecting Cr John Wakefield’s motion to investigate the possibility of allowing motorcyclists to park for free in all metered zones in the municipality.

“What was most disappointing were the comments made by Mayor Betts.” Cr Wakefield said.

“She said she would not support the idea of allowing motorcyclists to park for free, going on to say that motorbikes take up the spaces that cars should have, and that motorbikes park in the middle of car spaces.”

According to a Council spokesperson, a decision has been made to “investigate suitable places for more free, dedicated motorbike parking in Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach; and (Council) will prepare a report identifying at least two new motorbike ‘pods’ at Bondi Beach, and three in Bondi Junction, each pod delivering a minimum of four motorbike spaces.”

However, Council chose to reject what many members in the community are vying for: the ability to park in metered zones for free, adhering to the time restrictions, which has been the unwritten practice for over 20 years.

Uri Auerbach, who created a petition requesting free motorcycle parking, has been tirelessly campaigning and corresponding with Council, but his efforts have been to no avail.

“Adding motorcycle-only zones to a few areas at the beaches is not the issue I address in my petition (which has over 600 signatures of support). I am concerned about the unfair and unworkable way in which motorcycle parking is handled,” Mr Auerbach said.

According to the Motorcycle Council of NSW, there has been “a 60% increase of motorcycle registration in the past 5 years, [and] pressure on parking spaces is becoming extreme.” A couple of extra pods placed sporadically around Waverley don’t meet the increasing demand for motorcycle spaces.

Council purports that it has been advised by the Roads and Maritime Services that it is illegal to exempt motorcycle riders from buying tickets, but it seems this is a misleading falsehood, as City of Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Wollongong Councils all adopt policies allowing ticketless parking for motorcycles up to the posted time limit.

Changes to the current rules are achievable, yet it seems too much of a lucrative business to consider alternative, fairer options for all motorists.