BIKERS have won a victory in the battle over parking spaces after staging a peaceful protest outside Asda Walmart.
At the end of their tether with cars parking in motorcycle bays at the north Swindon store, around 20 bikers turned up at the car park last Sunday and took up as many spaces as they could to turn the tables on inconsiderate drivers.
After conversations with Asda, bollards will now be installed to prevent cars using the designated spaces.
Vince Bowers, 42, of Swindon Bikers, said: “We get a lot of cars that park in the motorcycle bays, which is very annoying. If we park our bikes in the car parking spaces we soon get barked at by motorists.
“We were there for about two and a half hours before anybody from the store came out to talk to us. We had a couple of lads coming up and chatting to us, but no real problems. What we have heard now is they are going to get some bollards put in place so the cars cannot fit in there any more. It has worked out quite well.”
Vince said the reaction from shoppers had been mixed, but the bikers had gained a positive result.
“There was quite a bit of confusion because people did not really know what was going on,” he said. “Some who stopped and asked gave us quite a good response. One young lady did try to stage a protest to the protest by driving into the bays and knocking a couple of bikes over, but that got resolved quite quickly.
“It just proved the mentality of the motorists – we had two cars trying to park in there while we were there. A lot of it is laziness and arrogance on the part of a few motorists who cannot be bothered to walk a few extra metres.
“The manager did say that if we had just gone in and seen him we could have resolved it, but we wanted to prove a point. If there are cars parking there we can’t park elsewhere.”
Car drivers are given a taste of their own medicine
Nicky Howard, a new member of Swindon Bikers, called the protest.
“This problem has been going on for many months,” she said. “When I joined Swindon Bikers I noticed a lot of people were posting photos of cars parking in the motorcycle bays. It made me cross and I posted an invite for anyone to join me in a protest.
“We had an excellent response on the day. Most people do not know motorcycles cannot park on hard standing. They would sink into the tarmac and fall over, often causing holes in the car park.
“I am very pleased with the result because generally we have such a bad reputation, but this was quite a pleasant, cheerful protest.”
The duty manager at Asda Walmart said: “We always look to support anyone who comes into our stores and provide the right opportunities for them. We will be working to get this problem fixed.
“We will be putting in between five to eight bollards in the area once the construction engineer has visited the site. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome in our store.”