A MOTORBIKE-RIDING Tory councillor is prepared to go to court in a row over a parking ticket.
Clr Mark Hemingway says the dispute has shown up a woeful lack of safe and secure parking spaces for motorbikes in one of Huddersfield's multi-storey car parks.
Clr Hemingway, 43, who represents Kirkburton, received a £30 fine on Saturday morning, rising to £50 if not paid within seven days, for not parking in the space designated to motorbikes in the multi-storey car park in Huddersfield.
"I would go to court over this, it is not a problem," he said.
"I am being penalised because I choose to use a motorcycle, but it is a shame I have to do this to make my point."
Clr Hemingway, who owns Harley Davidson and BMW bikes, parked in the car park next to the Queensgate Market, while he undertook a surgery at Huddersfield Town Hall.
An area is provided specifically for motorbikes in the car park.
But Clr Hemingway, who has had £18,000 worth of motorbikes stolen in the past, did not feel comfortable leaving his bike there as he felt it was too dark and isolated.
Instead, he parked the Harley in a space he considered safer by the security guard's hut and which is too narrow for a car.
But he was issued with a parking ticket - although he has a councillor's free parking permit.
Clr Hemingway said: "At Wednesday's council meeting I was parked from noon until after 9pm.
"I am not prepared to park any of my motorcycles in the out-of-the-way, badly-lit, so-called secure parking area of the multi-storey car park for that length of time.
"The bike that got the parking ticket is worth around £15,000, so I do not see why I should be treated like a poor relation."
Clr Hemingway said that motorbikes could be a more environmentally friendly solution to traffic congestion and pollution.
But he claimed Kirklees Council has done nothing to encourage people to use two-wheeled motor vehicles instead of four in spite of him offering to help give advice.
Clr Hemingway pointed out that if he used a car or an un-environmentally- friendly van he could park where he liked.
A council spokesman said new more-secure parking facilities for motorcycles were being introduced with specially-designed barriers to chain motorbikes to on the first floor of Queensgate multi-storey car park, Huddersfield Sports Centre, the Civic Centre car park and other locations.