Updates from MAG Central

The website of the Motorcycle Action Group is at http://www.mag-uk.org/en/index/a6296 and you can click to see the latest updates direct from source!

You can find some of the latest news here:

MAG gets backing over cycle lane issues in London and beyond

This version: 2016 10 07 Embargo: Immediate

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has been backed in its calls for a rethink on London’s dash for more cycle lanes across the city, as anger over congestion, delays and pollution grows.

Over recent days, many media stories have echoed MAG’s concerns regarding the emphasis on the construction of segregated cycle lanes. In a Daily Mail article by Tom Rawstorne (entitled ‘Cycle lanes lunacy! More and more are being built across Britain, causing gridlock and
pollution. But the maddest thing of all? They’re often EMPTY’), he highlights the issues relating to the cycle lane agenda.

‘The trouble is that it is only now, with many of the changes finally being implemented, that other road users are starting to fully feel their impact’ writes Mr Rawstorne. ‘Gridlocked streets bordered by cycle lanes that seem virtually empty outside the rush-hour. Partly as a result, the capital is said to be the world’s most congested city, with the average driver spending 101 hours in traffic last year, according to transport experts INRIX.’ Rawstorne adds that ‘traffic delays are up, while average vehicle speeds in Central London have fallen to 7.4mph — slower than a horse-drawn carriage in the 18th century.’

‘We’ve been raising these issues for years because we saw this crisis coming,’ confirms MAG’s Chair, Selina Lavender. ‘The massive increase in cycle lanes is not based on any objective calculation of danger. The already limited London road space has been squeezed further by
dedicating swathes of it to cycle lanes which are under-used. Cycle lanes that have been built with huge amounts of taxpayers money for the benefit of a very few. Even many cyclists, it seems, never wanted them.’

MAG believes the negative reaction to cycle lanes is set to increase. ‘We’re working with authorities to bring some common sense to the debate. The current approach is based on fashion, not logic or any sense of proportionality regarding bikers and other road users who are
suffering gridlock for the sake of the cycling agenda. That’s bad business, bad environment policy and a terrible way to treat the 97%+ road users who aren’t cyclists.’

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MAG submits autonomous views to House of Lords

This version: 2016 10 04 Embargo: IMMEDIATE

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has submitted its views on the development of autonomous vehicle technology to the House of Lords, which has commenced a major review of the science and operation of self-driving vehicles.

In 2016, MAG has generated the most comprehensive perspective of any riders’ rights organisation in Europe on the question of self-driving vehicles. MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, believes that this technology has the capacity to improve road utilisation, but also to restrict road space and usage for manually controlled machines, including motorcycles. ‘Self-driving technology is already a reality in many sectors, most notably on certain rail systems in the UK. There are also numerous tests of self-driving technology in progress in places such as Greenwich and Milton Keynes. So it’s right for the Lords committee to investigate this field.

‘MAG is very much in favour of technical progress – as long as it IS progress. In this context, any attempt to ring fence parts of the road space for autonomous vehicles would be strongly opposed by the movement. This is in part because MAG has observed a worrying increase in congestion – and therefore quite possibly pollution – as a result of aspects of the segregated cycle schemes in London. We want to work as stakeholders with the Government to make sure autonomous vehicles don’t add further problems to the road network. Calm discussion and the setting or parameters which properly define the relationship between autonomous vehicles and the rest of the traffic community are what’s called for here. These are the points we’ve made in our submission to the committee, and we hope we will be called as witnesses to their inquiry when the time comes.’

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