News

13-07-2007 Off Road Registration Bill Withdrawn

Issued 13th July 2007

I am delighted to advise that Graham Stringer's Private Members Bill, the Off Road (Vehicles) Registration Bill will be withdrawn later today.

Mr Stringer MP, made the announcement at this morning's session of the Bill's Standing Committee in Parliament.

Opposition to the Bill from Government and Opposition parties survived the recent reshuffles in all political parties and with the 'anti' lobby intact, the Standing Committee was due to consider 30 amendments to the Bill from both Government and Opposition, with approximately another 50 amendments waiting to be tabled in further Committee sessions. Many of these amendments were prepared by the MCI and the NFU on behalf of the Coalition.

An extended number of Standing Committee hearings would have been followed by Report and Third Reading stages in the Commons, where Government and Opposition were expected to attempt to 'Talk Out' the Bill. The House of Lords would have also been required to have considered the Bill, where further amendments were contemplated.

In the face of such opposition and our lobbying, Mr Stringer has accepted a deal which was originally offered to him by former Minister of Transport Dr Stephen Ladyman MP at the Bill's Second Reading.

This deal involves the establishment of an Interdepartmental Task Force which will include the DfT, Home Office, Business Enterprise Department, DEFRA and the DCMS to consider the current options available for enforcement, what diversionary schemes can be put in place, the mechanisms for these, the role of sporting facilities and other arrangements relating to the effective enforcement of current laws, including those relating to construction standards. Further legislation may (if there is any at all) only be contemplated against a backdrop of creating a more effective strategy for tackling illegal and anti social behaviour.

Members of the Coalition will play a role in this, though the arrangements will need to be determined at a later date.

The Task Force will provide an interim report in Spring 2008.

We will advise how things will be taken forward in due course.

MCI, MAG, ACU and the NFU, on behalf of the Coalition have worked extensively with and provided assistance to both Ministerial teams and Opposition spokespeople throughout the progress of the Bill. I am also aware that everyone else has done a great deal to support the lobby. The Coalition also created a direct and ultimately decisive lobby among MPs, which mobilised support from key players and members of the wider motorcycle community. This served to raise awareness of the ramifications of the Bill among MPs, many of whom expressed support for our lobby.

Although we have worked to successfully defeat the Bill, it must be remembered that Mr Stringer's Bill was tabled with noble intentions against a backdrop of rising public concern about illegal off road motorcycling. The Bill may not have been the appropriate mechanism for dealing with the issue, but the issue remains and MPs still expect action to be taken. Therefore it is important that we do not 'gloat' about our victory, there is still a great deal more work to do. We should welcome the announcement of the Task Force and look forward to assisting its work in creating a proper framework for tackling illegal 'off road' motorcycling on private land and in public places.

I am grateful for all that everyone has done to support the lobby.

WELL DONE EVERYONE. A FANTASTIC EFFORT!

David Short
MAG Campaigns Manager 

Ends 

Notes To Editors

Issued by

David Short
MAG Campaigns Manager

The UK's Leading Riders' Rights Organisation

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