A major advantage of riding a motorcycle instead of driving a car is that parking is less of a headache. But that’s not always true.
Rules about motorcycle parking can be confusing and change from one place to another. It’s easy to get ticketed for parking in the wrong place. Many people thus keep asking – where can I park my motorcycle?
So here’s a helpful explainer about where you can park your motorcycle in the UK.
Where You Can Park
1. Motorcycle Parking Bays
These are the best places to park your motorcycle. You can be sure you are parking in the right place and don’t have to worry about a ticket.
There are plenty of motorcycle parking bays around the UK. Some are dedicated specifically to motorcycles while others are combined car and motorcycle parking bays.
Make sure you check the rules and prices of a specific parking bay before using it. Either call ahead or have a quick chat with the attendant to know whether you can park there.
Most parking bays will have a daily fee as well as monthly, quarterly and yearly parking passes.
Tip: Use this Android app to quickly find parking spaces and bays for motorcycles in major UK cities.
2. Pay and Display Parking
Some pay and display parking areas allow motorcycles while others don’t. Before you park in one, check whether they prohibit motorcycles. Most will have a notice displayed indicating whether motorcycles can park there.
Pay and display parking is usually free for motorcycles.
Because this type of parking is usually in an unsecured area, make sure you protect your motorcycle using a security chain and disc locks.
Tip: If you are in London or are planning to visit, use this handy map by the City of London Corporation to find free pay and display parking for motorcycles.
3. Car Parking Bays
Do not automatically park in a car bay assuming that it’s okay. You could get fined for parking a motorcycle in a car space. Make sure that motorcycle parking is allowed before you do it.
Some car parking bays provide limited spots for motorcycles while other allow motorcycle parking between certain hours.
4. On Single Red and Yellow Lines
Single red and yellow lines mean that parking is allowed during certain times. Time restrictions will usually be displayed on a sign.
But first check whether motorcycle parking is allowed. That parking may be for cars only.
Where You Cannot Park
1. Double Yellow and Red Lines
If you see double yellow and red lines, never park there. They mean that parking is prohibited at all times.
2. Special Parking Bays
There are special parking spaces reserved for motorists with children and others specifically for disabled drivers.
Unless you are riding with a child (unlikely) or have a Blue Badge, don’t even think about parking in any of these areas. Not only can you get a ticket, you will also be inconveniencing other people who need that parking space.
3. On the Pavement
Whether you can park on pavement can be confusing. In some places, it is a fairly serious offence since it creates an obstruction. In others, you can do it as long as you are not obstructing pedestrian traffic.
But I would err on the side of caution. Unless you’ve been advised by a traffic warden that you can park there or there is a sign allowing it, find someplace else.
4. Bicycle Parking Bays
Some places allow motorcycles to park in bicycle parking bays. But most do not. As with the pavement issue, I would err on the side of caution.
You may also find it impossible to park in most bicycle spaces. They’ll either be too narrow or located in a place where you’d have to ride on the pavement to access them.
Unless there is a sign expressly allowing motorcycle parking there, don’t risk it.
5. Resident and Private Parking Bays
Some car and motorcycle parking bays may only allow parking by office workers or residents of that area or building.
If in doubt about whether you should use a certain bay, ask.
6. Don’t Forget to Secure Your Bike
No matter where you park, it is important to make sure your bike is properly secured. Most parking bays are not responsible for your bike’s security.
Always use a heavy duty security chain to secure your motorcycle.