MAG finds silver lining to bike ban dark cloud in Brent

MAG has made great progress in getting two types of bans on motorcycling lifted in the London borough of Brent. Productive action and discussions between MAG and Brent Council has led to the council changing its original plan to make a one-off ban of motorcycling on Rainsford Road, a permanent measure.

Following input from MAG, the Council has now agreed that the ban will be kept as a temporary ‘experimental’ measure until it is no longer needed. Removing the ban is expected in due course, now that a key aspect of the situation that led to the problems ­ namely the absence of traffic on a brand new road ­ is set to change. (Please see editor’s notes below)

Action and input by MAG has also started proceedings that will pave the way to lift the bans that currently exist, on motorcycle access to non TfL bus lanes in the borough.

The Council introduced a one-off ban in Rainsford Road on August 12 as an ‘Experimental Scheme’, in response to an unprecedented level of problems caused by the anti-social behaviour of a handful of irresponsible motorcyclists. They had turned a new but rarely used road into a race track and stunt arena. Despite huge efforts by the local police and in the face of police vehicles being attacked, the problems continued to upset and endanger residents and users of the nearby Middlesex Hospital.

Now, after productive discussions with MAG, the Council has agreed that the need for the ban will go and it can be lifted in due course. A detailed examination of the situation showed that the road will no longer be left devoid of traffic, as the developer who built it is starting work on the site, as he now has permission to build housing as well as offices.

Speaking for MAG, National Chairman John Mitchell says: “The Rainsford Road situation was more complex than it seemed at face value. MAG deplores any move to restrict motorcycling on any section of public roads, however, we are led to believe that all realistic alternatives had been tried to tackle a huge range of problems caused by an irresponsible few. Now though, after productive engagement with the council, we are confident that a way has been found to lift the Rainsford Road ban in due course, and others that currently apply to the Borough’s network of bus lanes.”

Editor’s notes
Thorough investigation by MAG of Brent Council’s decision to ban motorcycles from a backstreet in the London Borough revealed that the situation and the level of problems is unique. Problems included 174 reported bike crashes in a year and a death looked inevitable with bikes doing 80+mph past a hospital into the night. The full list of problems was huge and included attacks on police vehicles. No fatalities so far ruled out the use of automated speed cameras, and traffic calming was out for other reasons. All policing options were considered or tried which left one way to go. CCTV was already there but prosecutions with that evidence required a court case each ­ whereas enforcing traffic signs for an experimental bike ban could be automated.

Further information:
Ian Mutch – 07799 764 161