Southgate Motorcycle Parking Restrictions [SEC=OFFICIAL:MEMBERS]- MEQ

Original Email:


I hope this email finds you both well.

I would like to bring to your attention an issue that Southgate has been grappling with for a few years now- particularly the issue of motorcycle parking in the town centre along Chase Side.

On a typical day it is common to see 20 motorcycles parked up outside the McDonalds waiting for their next delivery slot, and this is perfectly sensible given that they are working people trying to get a job done.

However the recent congestion and increase in delivery especially around Southgate has made residents and businesses frustrated how they now dominate the high street and have made parking for ordinary shoppers and visitors with vehicles difficult.

The legislation around parking for motorcycles in our borough seems extremely generous and I do question how it is so favourable for them, and rather ordinary motorists are left out.

On a more concerning note I would like to enquire why other town centres in the borough have designated parking for motorbikes and Southgate does not?

I would like to bring your attention to the council website which mentions the below. Now correct me but legally motorbikes cannot park inside the bay, hut rather can only park in Southgate’s instance next to the bay. Hence clearly enforcement teams in Southagte are blind to the obvious that the bays are being extensively used by motorbikes. This is typically 4/5 parking bays for cars gone from our high street for motorbikes who are clearly in contravention of the guidelines set by the council. On another note I invite the council officers responsible to visit Southgate and see also motorbikes mounted onto the pavement.

Motorcycle parking restrictions

You can park your motorcycle for free for an unlimited time in:

  • Enfield Town motorcycle bay (outside The George restaurant)
  • Genotin Road motorcycle bay
  • Little Park Gardens motorcycle bay
  • Lodge Drive motorcycle bay
  • hatched areas in any car park as long as the area is kept clear
  • next to the kerb or at the end of pay and display parking spaces as long as the area is kept clear for paying residents

You will need to have a valid parking permit to park your motorcycle in a resident or business only parking space.

I would like help in requesting the following:

  1. Is Enfield council looking to introduce designated and specific parking bays for motorbikes in Southgate? This will give parity for us like other parts of our borough
  2. Where can I be directed to see the exact legislation for parking of motorbikes in our borough? Is there also London wide legislation on this
  3. I am happy to meet with parking officers to demonstrate the issue and try find a solution


Classification: OFFICIAL – MEMBERS

Dear Cllr Ioannou

Thank you for your message below, which was timely as I received some encouraging news on the matter only last week.

You will see by the attached that I have passed this on to you and your fellow ward councillors representing Southgate, as the McDonald’s on Chase Side continues to be a notable location for complaints about moped riders monopolising spaces.

I would favour responding to your points below with reference more to the ‘de facto’ reality of enforcing against nuisance behaviour by moped riders, rather than with a more detailed look at matters ‘de jure’, for which I would need to seek input from various other colleagues to collate the information only to find, I suspect, it would have little practical application.

You recommend introducing dedicated motorcycle bays at Southgate, and this is very much the kind of idea my attached is referring to. The recent development means that, with the input of the key operators within the sector, we might enjoy some confidence that the facilities will actually be used.

Although Enfield Town has a sizeable bay dedicated to motorcycle use, the same is not true at other problem sites like Fore Street, Edmonton and Green Lanes, Palmers Green. The Enfield Town provision is likely to date from the extensive reconfiguration of the town centre’s streets around 15 years ago. Hence it is Enfield Town that is the exception in that it happened to have dedicated motorcycle bays, rather than Southgate being the exception in having been left under-served. In any case, the provision at Enfield Town does not buffer it from generating complaints, as many of the moped riders still favour parking up directly outside the key outlets, rather than using the bays. Discuss the issue with counterparts representing Town, Upper Edmonton and Palmers Green wards and I am sure they would share your frustration at passing on the reports but not hearing back from the department with any definitive solutions.

The problem is not so much with the category of vehicle but with the nature of the activity. It is not dissimilar to complaints from previous times about minicab drivers occupying space and idling engines when tending to congregate near minicab offices. Consider a world where there were no mopeds and all the take-away delivery drivers undertook their work in cars instead. Would this be better? To my mind it would be worse as they would continue to loiter at the same locations in unwanted numbers, but now with vehicles that took up more space and emitted more fumes.

The parking enforcement team advise that the problem is not with a lack of controls specific to mopeds, but with the practicalities they face in providing a deterrent within the enforcement powers they have at their disposal. I am told that enforcement officers must wait and observe a vehicle parked on yellow lines for a 5 minute period before issuing a PCN for contravening the parking restriction. This is in order to correctly ascertain that the vehicle is committing a parking offence, and not being used for a loading event, which is not prohibited by the single or double yellow line marking, but only by a loading prohibition. But due to the type of activity in question, the moped riders typically remain with their vehicles, leaving them unattended only briefly when an order is collected. Hence – when falling under scrutiny by an enforcement officer – they will tend to move on long before an officer is able to correctly issue a PCN, only to immediately return when the officer has departed.

Parking on a footway is an offence against which a PCN can be issued immediately, but again a rider remaining with their vehicle will tend to move it before enforcement activity can commence. Protracted attempts to enforce either restriction within this framework is likely to prove a waste of the officer’s time and risks putting them in more direct conflict with unhappy road users than would apply within their general duties, where often they are issuing PCNs against vehicles in the absence of their owners. I imagine our parking team would advise on this issue with words similar to these: The officers do not enjoy the same powers as a police officer nor the same access to emergency support and the Council has a duty of care to ensure they are not placed at unnecessary risk. We receive numerous requests for greater enforcement activity against poor parking outside schools, within parking zones, overnight on estate roads, and so forth; it would not be in the interest of the wider public if employees left these roles and could not be replaced.

Moreover, it could be argued that the moped riders are – at the point they leave their vehicles – then actively engaged in a loading event, for which parking controls impose no restriction. I believe the amendment to the controls that would offer the surest method of enforcing against occupation by mopeds would be to mark the space as a loading bay for goods vehicles only, or introduce a complete prohibition on parking or loading. However, both of these methods would sterilise the same space in terms of use by shoppers, and hence offer minimal benefit, even if they proved effective at clearing mopeds.

It is for all the reasons above that London boroughs have previously convened a forum in the hope of being able to share any useful ideas and experiences and, more recently, government has sought input into a DfT-lead forum to see what new powers could be introduced to help matters. Had there been an easy solution, I imagine someone would have come up with it by now.

With that in mind, I feel the news that we have established contact with some of the key operators in the sector, and that they seem willing to help, should be viewed more optimistically. It is the best news I have been able to share on this topic for a long time.

I hope this satisfies for now. Should it not, I would suggest submitting the enquiry formally as a MEQ. I understand that, on occasions, councillors also escalate matters of particular concern to department directors.


Principal Engineer – Traffic Team

Place Department

Enfield Council

0208 132 0988

4 thoughts on “Southgate Motorcycle Parking Restrictions [SEC=OFFICIAL:MEMBERS]- MEQ

  1. I have been a trader in Southgate for 43 years, and we have been told by women customers they feel intimidated by the moped riders parked in the bays and on the pavements out side McDonalds and will not come down to southgate station end. McDonalds have a loading bay in crown lane that is empty all day why cant they use it. How much revenue do you lose on the bay above as cars cannot park there ?

    Route 66 Menswear

  2. Cannot see why you can’t have camers on the spaces outside Mcdonald and get tge bikes registration and send them a fine in the post just like you do with your road restrictions that have popped up all over enfield, this way you will get another 3 millon in fines from them .I have to walk past them every day and it is really intimidating when you have over 20 bikes at one time and the drivers all standing on the pavements chatting and then other drivers driving on the payments . Not only is it dangerous but it is costing the council because they are damaging all the paving slabs.

    1. Hi Tracey
      It is annoying
      But legislation states that camera fines for parking have been made illegal since 2010. Motorbikes are also allowed to drop off and pick up for a maximum of ten minutes

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