Saturday, February 02, 2008

Back to bike ranting

I've just had a narrow escape... I think. I parked my bike round the side of Liverpool Street station, away from the crowds. When I went to get my bike later there were some kids hanging about. A couple of them were starting to make their way towards me and gesturing for the others to come too, so I darted off as fast as I could.

"You're an idiot," I hear you cry. "Why didn't you park your bike out front like someone who's not an idiot, you big fat idiot?"

And well might you ask.

Most of the railings around Liverpool Street have signs saying bikes will be removed on them (
Here is another illustrative story:

I pondered earlier in the day who had the authority to remove these bikes? The bike is on the street and, as I read the other day, even the police and other officials don't have the authority to remove bikes on the street, even if they're causing an obstruction (for the moment - it might be changing). And as the bike isn't actually on private property, merely leaning against it, one has to wonder if anyone has the authority to move it, even if there is a written warning there. If the written warning counted for anything then they could also put up signs giving them the right to move anything that passed by on the pavement... even people!

From the tfl website:

Parliament Square and Whitehall security zone

There is one area in London where if you park at street level you won't find your bike where you left it - the security zone around Parliament Square and Whitehall. Here you need to take your bike to an underground car park and leave it there. If you don't it will be removed and taken to Charing Cross Police station.

The question is, would the site security be breaking the law if they moved my bike? I think having a sign like that on the railings outside someone's house is fair enough, and I wouldn't dream of ignoring it. But outside a large office building in the City it seems inappropriate, and I would really like to flout the signs... but the risk is always that security will remove it and the police won't care enough to stop them or help me get it back. In fact, the police seem to condone it even though it would probably be acting illegally:
  • When parking on the street ... Avoid using "street furniture"as these may be removed by Local Authorities ... Ensure you are not ... using fixtures that have signs asking you not to secure your cycle to them (or it may be removed/double locked).
Oh, and we won the rugby... or something.

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