Europe

Anger as Paris brings in parking charges for motorbikes and scooters

Motorbike and scooter drivers in Paris are up in arms over a move to make them pay for parking. 

Authorities in the French capital will introduce the fees for motorised two-wheel vehicles from Thursday, 1 September. 

The city says the change is necessary to respond to “climate and public health issues”.

It will charge €3 per hour for motorcycles in central Paris and €2 in the outer districts. Residents can pay €22.50 for an annual card that entitles them to a €0.75-a-day tariff. 

“It’s a disaster,” said Sébastien Mazelier, who is employed in the security sector and travels around Paris on his moped for work appointments. 

“We work 8- to 12-hour days, at €3 per hour parking, it will cost us on average €500 per month.”

Motorcycle shops say the introduction of parking charges has pushed consumers to switch to electric motorbikes and scooters, which are exempt from paying. 

Yoni Lugassy, manager of a Paris motorbike shop, says sales of motorised two-wheelers have dropped 20% since the start of the year.

He said increased working from home since COVID had reduced the use of motorbikes and that parking charges would only add to that trend.

“People buy [electric] not to pollute less but just to avoid paying for parking,” he said. “Last week, we sold around sixty electric two-wheelers.”

Romain Lagrost, who lives 45 kilometres from the centre of Paris, said he would like to afford to buy an electric motorbike but cannot afford it. 

“I bought my new motorcycle for €8,000, a new electric one is €20,000,” complained Romain, who is not against paying for parking but only at a reasonable level. 

“It’s half the price of parking a car and we put four motorcycles in a parking space. That’s theft!”

David Belliard, Paris’ assistant mayor, said the measure was about encouraging commuters to use other forms of transport. 

“It’s a controversial measure, a lot of people are not happy,” he said. “But there are also a lot of people who are waiting for this measure. We are in an exemption regime for machines that take up space in space public, which make noise, and which pollute.

“The vast majority of people who come to work today do so by public transport. It is estimated that 100,000 scooters and motorcycles pass through Paris. 

“We want to encourage migration to other forms of mobility.”

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