Bikers in protest at Rutland Water parking charges

View of Rutland Water taken at Barnsdale.'Photo: MSMP090113-004ow
View of Rutland Water taken at Barnsdale.'Photo: MSMP090113-004ow
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Bikers are staging a protest against parking charges at Rutland Water.

The group of motorcyclists are upset that Anglian Water has introduced set charges for people to park at the reservoir regardless of vehicle size.

They previously enjoyed free parking there but since new barriers were introduced in May they face the same fees as motorists.

Protest organiser Richard Moore said: “It doesn’t seem fair that bikers have to pay the same as a car when we use less space.

“Previously motorbikes were exempt from charges but now pay the same as a four wheeled vehicle despite taking up less room.

“We are not expecting free parking but would like a discounted rate for motorbikes as seen in most car parks.”

Mr Moore, who lives in Bedworth near Coventry, runs a bikers group on Facebook and regularly organises group rides to Rutland Water. He believes the new charges will put people off visiting.

He said: “Rutland Water is a great place for us to visit. The roads to it are brilliant to ride and we can enjoy a walk and a visit to the cafe there, but people have already started to go elsewhere.

“Anglian Water would benefit from more business if it had reduced prices for motorbikes to park.”

On Sunday more than 100 bikers will gather at the Normanton car park to protest against the charges.

They plan to meet at 9.30am and each park in a separate parking space as they are charged for by Anglian Water. After two hours they will then park in a smaller area to demonstrate how little space they would need to take up if the company reviewed its parking policy.

Mr Moore said: “This will show how much disruption it will cause if groups of bikers turn up and use the one space they are each charged for.

“There could be lots of cars, which turn up with nowhere to park.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said the changes were introduced to make parking charges fairer for everyone.

Recreation and access manager, Jake Williams, said: “We are sorry if anyone feels they are being unfairly treated by the new parking charges at Rutland Water.

“Previously there was a flat £3 charge for parking. Under the new system people staying for up to an hour pay much less – just £1.50. Most motorcyclists only tend to stay for a short while and so are actually paying less now than before. There were never different charges for motorbikes and cars. The charge is to make use of the carpark and of course the facilities at Rutland.

“Money raised from parking charges goes to maintain those facilities for everyone to enjoy.”