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London Bikers bring protest to Brussels as UK councils face refunding parking ticket charges
Date 29/10/2010 10:24  Author webmaster  Hits 3056  Language Global
"It is clearly not right that local authorities can get away with simply ignoring EU legislation while small businesses and individuals are being increasingly crippled by it. It is government which is so keen on Europe, so let them abide by its rules." - Gerard Batten MEP

London bikers belonging to the "No to Bike Parking Tax" campaign brought their protests to Brussels yesterday with the aid of London MEP Gerard Batten
 
Over 100 bikers rode from London to present a complaint against Westminster City Council to two Directorates of the European Commission. The campaign began when Westminster City Council started charging for motorcycle parking, and campaigners have since discovered a raft of irregularities in the awarding of the parking contracts which could result in the cancellation of tens of thousands of parking tickets in upwards of 40 local authority areas. 


Gerard Batten (left) with Warren Djanogly and the DG Internal Market senior investigatorWarren Djanogly, spokesman for the campaign, said that the change of parking services provision following the sale of National Car Parks, who were originally awarded the contract, amounted to a breach of European public procurement legislation, meaning that between 2007 and 2010 the new provider had no legal authority to issue parking tickets. 
 
At DG Competition, BrusselsMr Batten said that while he opposed all EU legislation, it was important that public bodies which are so keen on it should also abide by it. 
 
"It is clearly not right that local authorities can get away with simply ignoring EU legislation while small businesses and individuals are being increasingly crippled by it. It is government which is so keen on Europe, so let them abide by its rules."
 
In a series of meetings thoughout the day, Mr Batten and Mr Djanogly visited the Directorate General for Internal Markets, where they met investigators who would look into the awarding of contracts, and the Directorate General of Competition, where they met with the Deputy Director General and members of his staff to present their case.  
 
After the meetings, the pair met up with over 100 bikers who had made the trip from London outside the DG Internal Markets on the Rue Spa, before heading to the European Parliament on the Place Luxembourg, bringing much of the European quarter of the city to a standstill with their good natured protest. 
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