Hundreds of motorcyclists demonstrated against Hackney Council's proposed changes to transport tax.

On Saturday, October 8, they protested plans to charge motorcycles the same prices as cars for resident permits and for pay-and-display rates of up to £6 an hour.

More than 7,000 people have also signed a petition opposing the proposed changes.

Hackney Council said: “As a council we are committed to improving local air quality and tackling the climate emergency.

"As part of this commitment, and following a full public consultation in 2020, Cabinet agreed in February 2021 to place motorcycles on the same footing as all other vehicles, with permit prices based solely on the emissions they produce.

"While charges vary depending on how polluting they are, permits for owners of most scooters and motorcycles will typically be seven to ten times lower than the highest permit price, in recognition of the fact that they are relatively low polluting."

Hackney Gazette: SLMC demonstrated that at least six motorcycles could fit into a single car parking spaceSLMC demonstrated that at least six motorcycles could fit into a single car parking space (Image: Save London Motorcycling)

According to campaign group, Save London Motorcycling (SLMC), the changes to parking charges could cost commuting motorcyclists up to £13,800 a year.

A spokesperson for SLMC said: "Hackney Council must urgently reverse their position which will increase car use, congestion and pollution, and price working people out of the borough.

"Right now, the way Hackney Council are planning to impose these crazy charges running into thousands of pounds on some of the lowest paid workers looks a lot like punching down."

According to SLMC, the plans would enforce four-hour maximum stay limits in most parking bays.

Senior GMB Trade Union official, Steve Garelick, said: "We're in a cost of living crisis at the moment... this is hurting everyone, to add an extra cost on individuals who can ill afford it, especially at the moment is very questionable.

"It's an extra ordeal they can do without... the cost of parking, the cost of enforcement, against a minority is wholly inappropriate."

Hackney Council added: "These changes will allow businesses, delivery riders and other organisations that provide valuable services to continue to do so, while also discouraging the use of motorbikes for commuting, which contribute to local emissions and take up valuable kerb space from local residents and businesses."

The council said feedback from the public, from motorcycle groups and other groups will be taken into account ahead of any final decisions.

You can find the petition here: