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7/9/2020 Huddersfield MAG to Resume Meetings & Socials This Week

Great news, we can re-start our socials and meetings at The Field Head as of 8.30 pm on Wednesday 9 September 2020.

Wednesdays 9, 16, 23 and 30 September are socials; first meeting will be Wednesday 7 October.

Same deal as before:

  • We can only go into the pub in small groups, ie no en masses arrivals into the building … This gives us time to catch up in the car park if a bunch of folk turn up at the same time
  • There is hand sanitiser straight ahead as you go through the front door which you need to use
  • There are 2 ordering/drinks pick up points, one at each side of the bar, with screens up. You wait for your drinks at the bar but otherwise there is no standing and no drinking at the bar
  • We can have the lounge area we normally do socials in, and we can have the conservatory or the lounge for meetings
  • We can sit within our bubbles (if we have any) whilst maintaining social distancing (1 metre)
  • We can have no more than 30 folk inside (shouldn’t be an issue). We can have more people outside – and there are more picnic tables now, but we can’t move them. Each seat 6. So start praying for good weather of a Wednesday!
  • Unfortunately, we can’t have raffles as we can’t be passing things around, so we will be looking at how other ways we can fundraise for MAG, but one thing at a time, eh
  • There is a standing/waiting area and a Give Way sign by the loos: there are 3 allowed in the ladies loos and 2 in the gents at any time
  • The Field Head has my contact details for the group for test and trace purposes. If anyone turns up who we don’t know, they need to give their details to the pub or to me so if the NHS contact me I can contact them.

Hope to see folks over the coming weeks and months as you feel able to join us.

Thank you all for your patience and continued support

Ride safe

Linz

Linz Foody

Huddersfield MAG Rep

7/9/2020 Farmyard Party Cancelled!!

MESSAGE FROM YORKSHIRE MAG EVENTS AND RALLIES
*** IT IS WITH THE GREATEST OF REGRETS THAT WE HAVE TO  INFORM YOU THAT FARMYARD PARTY 2020 IS CANCELLED FOR REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL ***
Late this afternoon (Monday 7th Sept) we received a telephone call from Ryedale District Council Licencing Dept. informing us that due to the recent increase in the R (infection) rate in the Ryedale area, their SAG (Safety Advisory Group) in conjunction with the Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, have regrettably withdrawn support for this year’s Farmyard Party. Whilst they are only there in an advisory role we fully respect their decision and it would be wholly irresponsible of us to proceed without their full support. As a result of this decision our Event Liability Insurance is no longer valid which automatically puts an immediate halt to the event.
We realise this will come as a huge disappointment to many of you, it certainly has to us, but our hands are tied, we need to preserve the longer-term future of our events and we hope that you support us in this decision, and will continue to support us in the years to come.
A huge thanks again from all of us and we look forward to seeing you in a field in 2021, till then stay safe.
Please allow us a few days to respond to any questions, as we have a lot of traders, caterers, bands, marshals etc. to communicate with in the meantime.
We will make a full statement over the next few days when the written notification has come through from Ryedale District Council.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY FARMYARD PARTY 2020 TICKET(S)…
1. Simply keep your existing ticket(s) (including upgraded tickets) and use them for Farmyard Party 2021 (Provisional dates 18th – 20th June 2021) – new ticket(s) will not be issued, your 2020 ones will be valid
2. Donate the ticket cost to MAG – please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box*below with DONATED written on the back
3. If tickets were purchased from a MAG REP or one of our OUTLETS/SHOPS:
Return them to the PO Box*below for a refund** – Please enclose a note or write on the back of one of the tickets your name, sort code, bank account number and a contact phone number
4. If tickets were purchased ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE with a debit or credit card or with a cheque via the PO Box:
Return them to the PO Box*below for a refund** (excludes booking fee(s), these are retained by our 3rd party booking agent)
* MAP EVENTS, PO Box 247, Beverley, HU17 6BB, please write your contact number on the back of one of the tickets.
**REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED FOR ANY TICKETS RETURNED TO THE PO BOX BEFORE 31st OCTOBER 2020.
For all enquiries call 0800 988 3199
This notice will also be sent to all email addresses that we have on file from this year’s online purchases, please check your junk mail folder if you do not receive it in the next 24 hours. *** IT IS WITH THE GREATEST OF REGRETS THAT WE HAVE TO INFORM YOU THAT FARMYARD PARTY 2020 IS CANCELLED FOR REASONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL ***
Late this afternoon (Monday 7th Sept) we received a telephone call from Ryedale District Council Licencing Dept. informing us that due to the recent increase in the R (infection) rate in the Ryedale area, their SAG (Safety Advisory Group) in conjunction with the Regional Director of Public Health, have regrettably withdrawn support for this year’s Farmyard Party. Whilst they are only there in an advisory role we fully respect their decision and it would be wholly irresponsible of us to proceed without their full support. As a result of this decision our Event Liability Insurance is no longer valid which automatically puts an immediate halt to the event.
We realise this will come as a huge disappointment to many of you, it certainly has to us, but our hands are tied, we need to preserve the longer-term future of our events and we hope that you support us in this decision, and will continue to support us in the years to come.
A huge thanks again from all of us and we look forward to seeing you in a field in 2021, till then stay safe.
Please allow us a few days to respond to any questions as we have a lot of traders, caterers, bands etc. to notify in the meantime.
We will make a full statement over the next few days when the written notification has come through from Ryedale District Council.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY FARMYARD PARTY 2020 TICKET(S)…
1. Simply keep your existing ticket(s) (including upgraded tickets) and use them for Farmyard Party 2021 (Provisional dates 18th – 20th June 2021) – new ticket(s) will not be issued, your 2020 ones will be valid
2. Donate the ticket cost to MAG – please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box*below with DONATED written on the back
3. If tickets were purchased from a MAG REP or one of our OUTLETS/SHOPS:
Return them to the PO Box*below for a refund** – Please enclose a note or write on the back of one of the tickets your name, sort code, bank account number and a contact phone number
4. If tickets were purchased ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE with a debit or credit card or with a cheque via the PO Box:
Return them to the PO Box*below for a refund** (excludes booking fee(s), these are retained by our 3rd party booking agent)
* MAP EVENTS, PO Box 247, Beverley, HU17 6BB, please write your contact number on the back of one of the tickets.
**REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED FOR ANY TICKETS RETURNED TO THE PO BOX BEFORE 31st OCTOBER 2020.
For all enquiries call 0800 988 3199
This notice will also be sent to all email addresses that we have on file from this year’s online purchases, please check your junk mail folder if you do not receive it in the next 24 hours.

7/9/2020 Yorkshire Pudding Rally: ‘What a great weekend, thank you!’

Despite current concerns over Coronavirus and appalling August weather, August Bank Holiday weekend saw the Yorkshire Pudding Rally go ahead without incident.

Yorkshire Pudding Rally
Photo credit Richard Glynn

The Yorkshire Pudding Rally, held at Escrick Estate near Selby, traditionally takes place on the first weekend in August but, due to Covid-19 restrictions, which have decimated this year’s biking calendar, the event had to be rescheduled to August Bank Holiday weekend.

Before organisers could confirm the new dates, they worked closely with all relevant authorities to ensure that they had a plan to make sure riders would have a rally to attend this summer.

Authorities satisfied and risk assessments inspected with a fine-tooth comb, the weather then did its best to scupper proceedings! Weather reports predicted the lowest August Bank Holiday temperatures on record, and throughout build-up and rider arrival, there was heavy rain and strong winds.

Over a thousand riders attended this weekend event and managed to enjoy themselves under the unusual circumstances. Everyone arriving had their temperature checked before being allowed entry, there was a winding path to the bar, and rally-goers were reminded to stick to groups of no more than six and within social ‘bubbles’. None of these measures phased those in attendance, who regularly stopped marshals to express thanks to everyone involved for putting a rally on and brightening their lives. As was expected, there was a visit from local officials, who left satisfied that all measures were in place and being followed.

Yorkshire Pudding Rally
Photo credit Richard Glynn

MAG is truly grateful to the organisers for their untold hours and patience dealing with the authorities and getting the go-ahead for the event, the marshals for their dedication, the traders and bands, and the riders who attended and gave so much positive feedback on the event.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said

‘It’s taken the dedication and hard work of many people to put this event on and there’s no underestimating the amount of joy this has brought to those attending the event. Those present attended because they’ve missed meeting in a field, and they were all fantastic, following the guidelines and showing respect to everyone else on site.’

Yorkshire Pudding Rally
Photo credit Richard Glynn

2020-06-17 MAG demands immediate three-point Government action

MAG demand immediate Government action

The Motorcycle Action Group are demanding immediate action by Government to include motorcycles in the COVID lockdown exit plan.  Amid press reports of rocketing demand for motorcycles and scooters, MAG is demanding that Government support this common-sense approach to commuting challenges.  MAG claims that three demands will cost not one penny of additional spending to implement yet will have a significant impact.

The demands are as follows:

  1. Specifically recognise and encourage the role of motorcycles and scooters as a socially distanced, congestion busting and sustainable transport mode for post-COVID transport in all Government transport messaging.
  2. Mandate all local authorities to immediately allow motorcycle and scooter access in all combined bus and cycle routes.
  3. Mandate all local authorities to immediately provide emergency secure two-wheeler parking facilities that can be used by both motorcyclists and cyclists.

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:

“The time has come to forget about asking politely, and start demanding.  None of these proposed measures will cost Government a penny more than they have already committed to spending, yet could provide a meaningful level of support for those who recognise the benefits of commuting by motorcycle.  I would defy any Government Minister to come up with a logical reason not to support these proposals to spend public money more wisely.  The time for procrastination is over.  We have an economy to rebuild and a transport solution whose time has come.”

MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender, said

“We have waited for engagement and polite debate for far too long.  These three simple proposals must be acted on now.”

2020-06-03 Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations to publish updated COVID Safe guidance

Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations

Members of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations have expressed their deep disappointment at the lack of engagement from Government, but continue to update their guidance to riders.  The guidance is tailored to motorcyclists wishing to enjoy the many pleasures and benefits of riding whilst complying with the Government guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.  An updated version taking into account the recent relaxation of the guidelines will be published next week.

Mario Costa-Sa, Chair TRF said:

“It was good to see that the Secretary of State has been able to respond to the needs of horse riders and cyclists during COVID.  It would be great to see the riders of motorcycles treated with similar levels of care and help demonstrate that the safety of motorcyclists is important to his department.”

Selina Lavender, Chair of the Motorcycle Action Group commented:

“It is sad to say that this kind of delay and reticence to engage in dialogue with the organisations representing well over two million motorcycle licence holders appears to be institutional.  We are undaunted and will continue to assert the need for riders to be taken seriously.”

The Coalition are drafting an updated set of guidelines which are expected to be published early next week.  The Coalition notes that the updated guidelines could have been readied to coincide immediately with the changes to Government guidance had there been engagement with relevant officials.

Bob Clark, Chair of the VMCC said:

“The need to play catch up, and the consequent delay in publishing the new Ride COVID Safe guidelines is a clear demonstration of the need for Government to engage with us.”

Jim Freeman, BMF Chair said:

“As the Chair of an organisation representing around 60,000 voters, I will be reminding our members of this government’s failure to engage with it’s citizens, on this issue, come election time.”

The Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations consists of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) and IAM RoadSmart.

 

 

Issued on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations by the Motorcycle Action Group

Press and other enquiries c/o MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org


The original White Paper “Riding COVID safe: a discussion paper” submitted to the Secretary of State on 14th May can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2LqZSrt

2020-06-03 New paper shows the Carbon cost of anti-motorcycle transport policy

The Motorcycle Action Group has published a new paper examining the Carbon cost of poor motorcycle transport policy.  As pressure increases on the Government to properly address the role of motorcycles in the future of transport, MAG demonstrates the huge own-goal scored by transport policy makers over recent years.

anti-motorcycle policy carbon cost

The paper “Motorcycle Carbon Emissions” examines the tailpipe emissions from motorcycle commuter trips.  Noting that embedded emissions savings from manufacture of vehicles will be highly relevant, and again favour motorcycles over cars, the paper covers direct tailpipe emissions.  The paper analyses statistics from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory and The Department for Transport.

The conclusion of the analysis is that had policies been put in place to halt the decline of motorcycle commuters, and to mildly promote the mode as an effective commuter choice, the nation could have reduced its Carbon emissions by a staggering 294.3 Kilotonnes over the 15-year period from 2002 to 2017.

Based on a modest 1% modal shift of commuters from cars to motorcycles over 15 years, the estimate is far from exaggerated.

MAG often quotes the findings of the TM Leuven study of 2011, which showed that a 10% modal shift from cars to motorcycles would reduce congestion by 40% and reduce transport Carbon emissions by 7.5%.  A modal shift of this magnitude would have equated to a saving of 8.85 million tonnes of Carbon in 2017 alone.

Author of the report, MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:

“The numbers shocked even me.  Bear in mind that my analysis only covers the emissions savings from commuter trips.  The savings if the same analysis is applied across the whole range of trip purposes, would be colossal.  MAG has long promoted motorcycling as an environmentally friendly transport mode.  This analysis shows that our claims are not fantasy.  We urge Government and local transport authorities to wake up to the idea that motorcycles are a valid part of future transport solutions.  This answer has been under their noses for long enough: now is the time to act.”

The Motorcycle Action Group is working with other motorcycling organisations on the “Ride COVID Safe” initiative and is promoting International Ride To Work Day, which falls on 15th June this year.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said:

“Government may not yet actively promote motorcycles, but MAG will continue to rigorously and enthusiastically do so.  We can only do what we do with the support of the riding public.  There are over one and a quarter million regular riders in the UK, so it would really help for all those riders to join MAG and help us to help them.  Together we can protect our passion and save the planet too.”

Key findings of the analysis are:

  • The average motorcycle on the road emits around 30% less CO2 than the average car on the road.
  • Emissions from both cars and motorcycles have reduced at a broadly comparable rate over the last 20 years.
  • Numbers of motorcycle commuters have reduced by around 35% in the 15-year period   2002 – 2017, whilst car commuters increased by over 11%.
  • The emissions cost of motorcycle commuters taking up the car as an alternative mode resulted in an excess of 130.2 Kilotonnes of Carbon emitted to the atmosphere purely as a result of commuter trips made by car that would have otherwise been completed by motorcycle.
  • A 1% total modal shift from cars to motorcycles over a period of 15 years would have resulted in a cumulative saving of 294.3 Kilotonnes of Carbon emissions over the period.
  • Potential for Carbon emission savings from even modest levels of modal shift to motorcycles is indisputable.

2020-06-01 MAG launches Ride To Work Day 2020 campaign

The Motorcycle Action Group has launched its Ride To Work Day campaign website with the strong message that commuting by motorcycle or scooter is a perfect transport solution.  With the current social distancing issues on public transport, MAG says that Ride To Work Day has never been more relevant.

Ride To Work Day 2020

With the current concerns over gridlock on the roads, as displaced rail, bus and tube commuters search for alternative ways to get to work, motorcycling is the perfect complimentary travel solution for those who live too far from their workplace to walk or cycle.

Many existing motorcyclists currently use their bikes for leisure, but not for their daily commute.  The campaign aims to encourage more of those individuals to ride into work, as well as opening the possibility of motorcycling to a new audience.  The Government accepts the important role of motorcycling but is not actively encouraging the transport mode.  MAG hopes to change all that and to kick-start a wider conversation about the benefits of two wheels and a motor with this year’s Ride To Work Day campaign.

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said,

“Ride To Work Day is an international awareness day observed on the third Monday of June every year.  We are delighted to be taking on the role of UK promoters of this international campaign from this year.  The benefits of motorcycles as a commuter transport option are critically important at this time, with the effects of this terrible virus and the social distancing measures needed to prevent transmission of the disease.  Riding a motorcycle, scooter or moped is the perfect option for many to solve the immediate transport dilemma.  We are not competing with active travel, but do provide a sensible choice for anyone wishing to avoid gridlocked roads, but unable to turn to cycling and walking for their daily commute.  Conventional motorcycles already help reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and congestion.  With the option to go electric, motorcycles really have no downside if we embrace them in transport policy, encourage responsible riding, and give equivalent priority to the safety for their riders as we do for cyclists.”

MAG points out that an added benefit to all riders of more bikes on the road is that drivers become more aware of riders.

MAG will be creating a buzz with the Ride To Work Day Blog posts and social media interaction.  There is an allied safety campaign, Filter Friendly, which asks drivers to look out for motorcyclists and points out that every motorcycle that filters past them is one less car in the queue in front of them.  MAG will be looking to reach new audiences of commuters that have never considered two wheels as a transport solution.

Take a look at the website at http://ride-to-work-day.mag-uk.org/ and help us spread the message as we prepare for the big day on Monday 15th June.

2020-05-21 Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations reports progress and growing support

Following the submission of its Ride COVID Safe White Paper to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, last week, progress has been made and support is growing.

Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Motorcycling Group, Chris Law MP, said:

“I very much welcome this initiative and the partnership between the organisations which created it. Motorcycling does have an enormous role to play in any transport policy if we are to see a long term reduction in congestion and pollution, and the Parliamentary Motorcycle Group has long advocated this. The riders’ code announced last week provides invaluable advice to those using motorcycles during the Covid19 crisis, and I urge all motorcyclists to take it into account and ride safe during these extraordinary times. As Chair of the APMG I strongly urge Ministers and the DfT to fully recognise motorcycles as a transport mode”

In a written response to a Parliamentary Question raised by Christopher Chope MP, Rachel Maclean, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) and MP for Redditch stated:

“The Department’s guidance issued on 12 May refers to ‘Private cars and other vehicles’ as an alternative to using public transport, and encourages the public to ‘consider all other forms of transport before using public transport’. This would include private vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds where the journey to be made is appropriate.

Motorcycles are an important way of getting around, and we are working on a number of projects, including sorting out potholes, which are a problem for people on motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. I encourage people to adopt the electric motorbike.”

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s leading road safety charity and advocate, have endorsed the White Paper.  Neil Greig, Policy & Research Director for IAM RoadSmart said:

“IAM RoadSmart strongly support the key role of motorcycling in helping to get everyone around safely and in kick starting the economy as the Covid19 crisis reduces.  It offers a winning combination of instant social distancing and cheap and efficient travel.  We can’t wait to get back out on the road to deliver our mission to produce safer riders, but for now we have to agree with this report that only essential travel for work or responsible recreation is allowed. “

The Coalition still awaits a formal response from the Department of Transport.  They have also sought but still await feedback from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and the National Police Chiefs Council.

The Coalition has noted much media interest in reporting complaints about motorcyclists’ behaviour, particularly during the first weekend since lockdown restrictions were eased in England.  Less widespread is reporting of the ongoing valuable work of motorcycle riding volunteers such as the Bike Shed Community Response initiative and of long established organisations like the Blood Bikers.  The positives far outweigh the few bad stories making the headlines.

The joint position of the Coalition’s members is that responsible, safe use of motorcycles should be encouraged within the framework of Government guidelines and related legislation.  A uniform approach to policing the regulations will be assisted by clear communication of unambiguous advice.  That is the most urgent element of our proposed guidelines.  Of equal and more lasting importance is recognition of the role of motorcycling in our nation’s transport system. As a transport mode offering social distancing benefits acknowledged by the Department for Transport, motorcycling is, as Grant Shapps has commented, “an enormously important way of getting around”.

The Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations consists of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF).

Issued on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations by the Motorcycle Action Group

Press and other enquiries c/o MAG at 01926 844 064 or
central-office@mag-uk.org

2020-05-14 The UK’s leading motorcycle rider groups call on the Government to recognise the role of motorcycling during the COVID-19 crisis

The country’s largest motorcycling organisations have today jointly submitted a White Paper to the Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, and to each of the three devolved administrations.

The coalition of organisations is calling for the Government to fully take the role of motorcycling into account as the UK continues to deal with the Covid19 crisis and its aftermath. The coalition also sets out the case for a Government-supported code of guidance for maintaining social distancing for motorcycling in the present situation.

The coalition of organisations consists of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF).  The groups jointly commissioned a White Paper which was submitted to the Secretary of State earlier today.

The white paper:

  • Reviews ways the crisis is affecting motorcycle riding.
  • Discusses the conditions under which motorcyclists can continue to ride safely during the various COVID 19 Alert Level phases.
  • Sets out the case for a Government-supported code of guidance for maintaining social distancing for riding in the present phase.
  • Sets the scene for review and discussion with the Government about how restrictions affecting motorcycling can gradually be lifted as the Country enters future lockdown phases.
  • Makes the case for encouraging the use of motorcycles as well as walking and cycling, during the crisis exit strategy and beyond.
  • Opens the discussion on policy proposals that could help encourage greater take-up of motorcycling by commuters, avoiding public transport in line with Government guidance.

In a debate in the House of Commons on 12th May, Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, commented that “Motorcycles are an enormously important way of getting around”.  With Mr Shapps recognising the role of motorcycling, it seems clear that it is time to take discussions further with the Department for Transport (DfT).  This paper is designed to create a starting point for that detailed debate.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said: “A new transport normal can only be achieved by consensus of all road user groups.  We look forward to consulting with the Government to ensure that motorcycles are given their rightful position in that new normal.”

VMCC Chair, Bob Clark, said: “The VMCC is the UK’s largest motorcycle club, although the average age of our membership is nearly seventy. Our members are thus perhaps more concerned with adherence to the guidelines than may be the case with other segments of the population. However, for us, motorcycling is more than transport, and is often the physical and mental exercise essential for our members’ wellbeing. The VMCC seeks confirmation that those of our members who are fit and healthy can both remain within the law and enjoy the motorcycling that is their chosen form of exercise.”

TRF Chair, Mario Costa-Sa, commented: “The TRF Code of Conduct provides a key role in training trail and adventure riders, and compliance with COVID guidance is no exception.  Trail Riders want clarity; they look to us as leaders of the largest motorcycle groups to interpret and communicate the Government’s public message.”

BMF Chair, Jim Freeman, commented, “The time has come for the motorcycle to shine as a serious urban alternative to public transport, cycling and walking. For many, the typical public transport journey is too far to be walked or cycled. The car takes up far too much road and parking space.”

Issued on behalf of the Coalition of motorcycling organisations by the Motorcycle Action Group

Press and other enquiries C/O MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org

13-05-2020 MAG welcomes a statement by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, in support of using motorcycles

Grant ShappsMAG has praised the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, for recognising motorcycles in the UK transport mix. In response to a question by Julian Lewis – MP for New Forest East and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motorcycling – Mr Shapps agreed that motorbikes play a key role in delivering billions of commuting miles in the country.

In a House of Commons debate about Covid-19 on Tuesday, 12th May 2020, Mr Lewis asked: ‘As an alternative to using public transport during the crisis, what assessment has my Right Hon. Friend made of the desirability of ageing bikers like me once again using motorcycles for travelling to work, and will he be taking any steps to incentivise motorcycle usage as the lockdown is gradually eased?’

 

Rt_Hon_Dr_Julian_Lewis_MP

Mr Shapps replied: ‘Motorcycles are an enormously important way of getting around— 2.7 billion miles were travelled by motorcycle in 2018, the last year for which we have data. We are working on a number of projects, including sorting out potholes, which are a huge problem for people on motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. I also encourage him—at whatever age—to adopt the electric motorbike.’

 

Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, praised Mr Lewis and Mr Shapps: ‘MAG is very encouraged by this mature debate about the importance of motorcycles in the UK. We’ve repeatedly pointed out their value as a commuting mode of transport. Now Ministers advise the use of private instead of public transport, motorbikes are more important than ever. By law, bikers must wear a form of personal protective equipment, and riding keeps you at least two metres away from others almost all the time, in line with Covid-19 guidance. Having made these points to Parliament repeatedly, we’re delighted to see an MP share our view, and the Secretary of State for Transport recognising motorbikes in the transport mix.’ MAG continues to work with the authorities on clear guidance to the riding community.

The Parliamentary question and answer are available here:

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org