Category Archives: News

18-01-2019 Help us catch a potential road killer

MAG is offering up to £1,000 to catch a potential road killer.
MAG has announced a £1,000 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of the individual responsible for a ‘hit & run’ incident near the Squires Café Bar in North Yorkshire, where a car driver left a seriously injured motorcyclist, Matthew Ramsden, lying on the road with his damaged motorcycle.

The incident occurred in Sherburn-in-Elmet. Police say that Matthew was travelling along the B1222, near Peckfield, on Sunday 6 January at around 4.40pm, when he collided with a car at the junction with the A63. The driver did not stop at the scene.
Castleford-based firm, West Riding Personal Financial Solutions, has also put up £1,000 for information leading to a prosecution. Police believe the car to be a silver saloon – possibly a VW or a Skoda – and it suffered severe rear bumper damage as a result of the collision.
Yorkshire MAG Representative Richard ‘Manny’ Manton describes this latest incident as a ‘line in the sand.’ He says: ‘the guilty driver showed no respect for the biker’s life or property – and also decided to evade the law instead of fulfilling a basic moral and legal responsibility as a road user.’

Manny continues: ‘we’re offering up to one thousand pounds for information leading to a successful prosecution because MAG isn’t going to stand by and tolerate blatant criminality on the highways of Yorkshire – or any other part of Britain. If you know who did this, and you don’t speak up, you’re protecting someone who can’t be trusted by you or anyone else. Help us get justice – and potentially pick up a thousand pounds for yourself. This offender isn’t fit to be on the roads. If they are not found, they can do it again – to you or someone you love.’

Please contact MAG on 01926 844 064 with any information. You can speak to us in confidence. We won’t reveal your identity – we just want the identity of a law-breaker too cowardly to stay at the scene of a serious accident where someone could have died.

You can visit this site to get further police information about the incident:

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

17-01-2019 MAG to work with the United Nations on transport policy

MAG will be working in partnership with the United Nations on motorcycling’s role in global transport policy.
MAG has received communication from the United Nations Environment Department, expressing their eagerness to work with the Motorcycle Action Group on promoting modal shift towards powered two and three wheelers.

This landmark development was announced in a reply to MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik: ‘As our understanding of the environmental agenda has deepened, we have inevitably found ourselves having to contact higher authorities,’ explains Lembit. ‘Our constant aim has been to ensure that motorcycles are being treated as part of the solution to reducing congestion and pollution – as well as cost – for private journeys.  I approached the United Nations because they are so influential in terms of environmental strategies. We have made a real breakthrough – and we’re clearly speaking to the right people there. This development is of global importance for motorcycling and its role in transport planning.’

The letter, received from the UN, states: ‘As you accurately stated in your letter, motorcycles could provide a short-term and immediate way to reduce emissions now.’ It adds: ‘We are delighted to hear of your interest in working with the United Nations on this important initiative and look forward to working with you as well.’

MAG’s next step is to engage with the UN Air Quality and Mobility Unit, to establish terms of reference for the collaboration. ‘I believe this is the most significant development for motorcycles in relation to environmental policies in recent history,’ adds Lembit. ‘What we do now will have implications for motorcycling across the planet.

‘It shows that diligent activity can lead to internationally significant partnerships. It is an exciting prospect to be working with the UN. It’s a win for them, the environment and all road users the world over. I’m pleased to be able to share such good news so early in 2019.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

10-01-2019 MAG praises MP’s hard line against dangerous drivers

MAG has welcomed the tough position expressed by Conservative MP Peter Heaton-Jones regarding the sentencing of dangerous drivers.
MAG’s Regional Representative in the South West, Tracy Smith, has received a welcome boost to the campaign for justice against potential killer drivers, whose actions risk the safety of other road users – including motorcyclists.

Mr Peter Heaton-Jones, the Conservative Member of Parliament for North Devon, has confirmed that he backs changes which increase the possible sentences for causing death. Mr Heaton-Jones stated: ‘The maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs will both be increased from fourteen years to life.’ Mr Heaton-Jones added; ‘these tougher sentences come after an overwhelming response to a consultation, which revealed substantial backing for the plans from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.’ He confirmed that that a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will also be created.

Tracy is pleased to see this development: ‘having to discuss all this is only necessary because of the actions of a small number of irresponsible killer drivers who aren’t fit to share the road space with anyone. They deserve the prospect of life imprisonment for killing bikers and other road users through their criminal behaviour. MAG welcomes Mr Heaton-Jones’s support for those who face the tragedy of stolen lives, as a result of these dangerous drivers. Nobody wants to suffer this horrible situation, and I hope that these stiffer sentences act as a deterrent to chancing such wilfully irresponsible behaviour in the first place.‘

The response Tracy has received proves the value of contacting your MP for support for bikers who suffer harm from bad driving by others. Public opinion got the law changed in the first place, and will continue to help get justice for the victims of such reckless driving.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

08-01-2019 How ‘NICE’ is advice on road planning?

MAG questions why a health group is venturing into the complex world of road planning – and perhaps missing the point of our roads.
MAG has expressed surprise that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued guidance on road planning, even though it has no publicly known experience in highways design and operation. This follows advice from NICE that to keep Britain healthy the roads should be reprioritised for fitness activity.

Lembit Öpik, MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, says: ‘NICE says road planning should explicitly prioritise cycling and walking, in preference to private vehicles with engines. They say this will make us healthier by reducing obesity, diabetes and other conditions. Deprioritising powered vehicles in deference to economically insignificant methods of travel, namely unpowered methods, seems unwise. What proportion of us will walk many miles to work, cycle to hospital appointments or pedal to official engagements? It’s just not realistic to think anything more than a small proportion of journeys will be made on foot or by bicycle. This otherwise respected body seems to be offering policy far outside its area of expertise.’

MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, highlights a further confusion: ‘my analysis indicates that in London, where the policy they propose has been partly implemented with hundreds of millions of Pounds invested in cycle road space, motorcycle accidents have gone up. We predicted this would happen – a direct result of restricted road space for powered vehicles caused by the prioritisation to protect cyclists, even at the cost of other road users’ welfare. How can NICE defend steps which damage the health of other road users to favour cyclists? Considerably more bikers die in London than cyclists. Why is the possible link between these deaths and infrastructure changes to favour cycling being ignored?

‘There’s a principle too,’ continues Colin. ‘Transport’s key mission is to move people and freight, not to improve public health.  As a secondary benefit, that’s fine, but we can’t let it undermine the primary purpose of the road network. There are many ways to get healthy, but without powered road transport we can’t effectively convey people and goods around the country. Anyone is free to cycle or go jogging in a park. But we utilise motorcycles, cars and HGVs – in other words, we use roads – for a main purpose that’s nothing to do with health. Push bikes as a mode of transport deserve consideration; but as ‘get fit’ devices they deserve no particular priority on the highway because that’s not what we built roads for. It’s not right to redeploy highways for health at the cost of mainstream traffic.’

MAG asks NICE to show why they want to compromise the transport system, with health harms to other road users which the pro-cycling policy causes, or to rethink this policy.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

04-01-2019 MAG, ULEZ and exemption of older motorcycles

Update on: Honda, BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Harley Davidson, KTM, Lexmoto, Aprilia, Husqvarna, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Royal Enfield, Triumph, Norton, Gilera, Vespa.

MAG has been working to exempt as many motorcycles as possible from the high Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charges being introduced in London in April 2019. In a series of releases, MAG is outlining the progress made with manufacturers in helping you to avoid charges, by proving your motorcycle is compliant with the emissions levels that have been set.
Following a productive meeting with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, regarding motorcycles in the Capital, MAG is engaged in seeking information from manufacturers which will help you secure an exemption for your motorcycle.  MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, explains: ‘we have agreed with the Mayor that those motorcycles which achieve the emissions standards set for the ULEZ charge should be exempt. It’s common sense and eminently fair to do this.

‘There are two ways to achieve that exemption: a Certificate of Conformity, showing that your machine produces less NOx than the upper permissible limit; or a specific test of your machine providing evidence that this is the case. We’re working with manufacturers to see what needs to be done to get a Certificate of Conformity (COC) and we’ll share that information as we get it.

MAG is also working to seek a simple, long-term solution that avoids any punitive toxic tax for motorbikes and scooters. The current proposal, which MAG is opposing, would add £12.50 to a daily commute for many, increasing the cost of the journey by over 1,000%.

We’ll keep you posted on manufacturers as we get more information from them.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or


How to get Certificate of ULEZ exemption link:

02-01-2019 MAG starts the New Year determined to build on successes

MAG is looking forward to continuing to build on the good work achieved during 2018. MAG is ready to continue defending riders’ rights and to contribute to the decision-making processes at national and local government levels.

Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, noted that the organisation is ready to build on the achievements of 2018: “Everyone – from our Political Unit to our grassroots members – has played their part during the past year and I am confident that they will continue to do so during the year ahead.

“We will – as always – be meeting with various high-level authorities to push the motorcycling agenda forward and to get the best deals possible for motorcyclists in respect to legislation and best practice.

MAG has achieved some success with issues like CAZs and moped-enabled crime but there is still a great deal of work to do and we will rise to the challenge.”

MAG will continue to engage with Government and Local Authorities wherever a need to protect riders’ rights is identified and will continue to build the relationships already forged as well as generate new ones.

MAG invites riders, dealers, mechanics and manufacturers to join MAG and help create a united voice for the common good of the riding community.

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

30-11-2018 MAG meets Mayor Khan: and it’s good news

MAG has held a long-awaited meeting with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The result of the exchange gives room for optimism amongst the motorcycling community.


‘It’s been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,’ said MAG’s London Regional Rep, Tim Fawthrop, following MAG’s visit to Mayor Khan at the Greater London Authority’s headquarters in City Hall, on 27th November 2018.  The meeting was the result of months of lobbying, and the hugely helpful intervention of Greater London Authority Assembly Member Keith Prince AM, who secured and attended the meeting. Lembit Öpik and Colin Brown from MAG’s Political Unit were also present.

‘We covered two items,’ continues Tim. ‘One was bus lanes and the other was the threat to charge bikers in the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ Charge) if their motorbikes are beyond a certain age. MAG argues that this is unfair because bikes reduce congestion and pollution and make no measurable contribution to London’s emissions. I suggested that we should find a way to exempt those bikes that can be shown to have very low emissions, and the Mayor agreed to allow us to explore this further with his staff, which is a good outcome.’

The discussion on bus lanes was even more encouraging.  Mr Prince, who organised the meeting, said: ‘Mr Khan agreed that motorcycles should be allowed into bus lanes.  He assured us that all the so-called Red Routes in London, which are directly under TfL’s control, would remain open to bikes. He also said he’ll work with MAG to encourage the London Boroughs to open their routes up too. I’m glad to see the Mayor honour the promise he made on this matter.’

Next, MAG will meet the relevant officers to explore the best way to progress both matters. Lembit adds ‘It’s a credit to the Mayor that the meeting was not just a box-ticking exercise, but a real chance to talk about our ideas and suggestions. It leaves me optimistic about Mr Khan’s attitude towards biking now, and I’m happy to say so.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

28-07-2018 MAG demands action on ‘Pothole Britain’

MAG has added its voice to demands that the appalling state of our roads is addressed. Road faults are damaging motorcycles and causing injury and death

MAG has backed the RAC’s criticisms of the state of the roads in the UK.  The damage to the road surfaces has been caused by limited repair budgets and extreme weather – both hot and cold – which the UK has recently experienced.

David Bizley, RAC Chief Engineer, said: ‘From a driver’s point of view, our roads are still in a poor state of repair after the damage caused by ‘The Beast from the East’ and the generally harsh late winter conditions the country experienced.’ The RAC recorded 4,091 pothole-related breakdowns between April and June – the highest figure for this three-month period since 2015.

The figure includes breakdowns for the category ‘likely to be attributed to damage caused by potholes and poor-quality road surfaces’ – such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels.

The RAC also says its Pothole Index – which is based on a quarterly rolling analysis of pothole-related breakdowns – shows a worsening picture in the second quarter of 2018.

The index, which began at a base of 1.00 in 2006 when the RAC started recording data, moved upwards from 2.63 across the three-month measuring period to 2.67, marking five successive quarters of deterioration.

A spokesman for the Motorcycle Action Group, Ian Churchlow, said:
‘potholes are not a theoretical problem for bikers. They cause real accidents and real injuries – and even fatalities. We read and hear endless calls for reduced death and injury on the road from the road safety groups. We would invite them to join us to take a common-sense attitude towards something which would make a far bigger difference than reduced speed limits – better road surfaces. Specifically, that means devoting time and effort to getting local authorities to fix the roads, which may not be glamorous but it’s very important. Our question is:
will the road safety lobby work with us to achieve that? This is the litmus test about whether or not they are serious about road safety.
Pothole Britain is killing riders and this has to end.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or

21-06-2018 ‘Billboards Outside City Hall’ secure a meeting with the Mayor

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is looking forward to a meeting with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to discuss questions regarding environmental fairness, crime and road safety regarding motorcyclists in the city.

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has thanked Greater London Authority Assembly Member Keith Prince AM for securing a landmark meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, to discuss motorcycle safety, environmental charging and crime issues. Bikers held up signs outside London’s City Hall on Thursday 21st June with words echoing the film ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ The billboards said:







Tim Fawthrop, the Motorcycle Action Group’s London Representative, says: ‘compared to cyclists, four times more bikers died on London’s highways in 2016   with 9 cycling fatalities versus 36 fatally injured motorcyclists. But, while the authorities invest £154 million per year on cycling, there’s almost nothing being invested to make roads safer for riders. They’ve even narrowed the lanes to prevent or deter ‘filtering’ between lines of stationary traffic by riders – though this is a perfectly legal riding activity, reducing congestion and pollution for everyone by keeping motorbikes out of queues.

‘On top of this, they threaten us with new charges on older bikes which, by TfL’s own figures, produce almost no pollution at all, and are essential transport for the least wealthy who depend on them to get to low-paid jobs, maybe including at City Hall to clean the Mayor’s bins. So we’re truly grateful to Keith Prince for getting a meeting for the riding community with the Mayor – and we thank Sadiq Khan for agreeing.’

Keith Prince highlighted the issues facing riders in his contributions at Mayor’s Question Time. Afterwards he said, ‘I’ve now spoken with the Mayor and his staff and this meeting will go ahead. We just need to approach it with logic and evidence and seek to ensure the Mayor can see the benefits of a positive approach towards riding. I think he’ll do that if we ourselves show a cooperative attitude.’

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or