Gatwick Angers Motorcyclists

By: Derek Both

New Gatwick parking changes that came into effect on the 1st August angered many motorcyclists around the country. For many years the airport has offered free parking to cyclists in the short stay car park but following the number of bikes that had been parked in car bays they made the decision to start charging them as they charge for cars.

The British Motorcyclists Foundation and Motorcycle parking fought hard to try and get the airport to revert back to their old ways. They have had a semi - victory as motorcyclists can enjoy Gatwick parking for free once again. However, this is only a temporary measure for the summer months and when the situation will be reviewed again.

The car park in question that has caused such uproar is the NCP short stay car park at the airport. They have been keen to stress that they have never felt that motorcycles have been a problem and had nothing to do with the decision. They will continue to provide Gatwick parking as normal now that the problem has been temporarily rectified.

There was a lot of controversy after there was confusion as to exactly why there were changes to Gatwick parking facilities. The parking manager said that they were bringing their parking charges in line with what other airports around the country are charging but this was found to be untrue and was in fact a unilateral decision by the Gatwick parking manager.

There were several different reasons why the British Motorcyclists Federation and Motorcycle parking were so upset with the Gatwick parking changes. Firstly, they felt that given the current debate surrounding the environment and airports around the United Kingdom at the moment, that Gatwick should be supporting more environmentally friendly ways of travelling. They say that a motorcycle is more green than a car and by charging for cyclists to park this is going to put them off using this method to travel to and from airports.

Secondly, they didn't feel that the situation was handled very well and claim that they first anyone knew about it was when motorcyclists were told to pay on exit. Again, everyone feels that the situation could have been handled better and that some notice had been given.

The airport have confirmed that Gatwick parking for cyclists will be free until the situation has been reviewed after the busy summer period.

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