The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is determined to overturn the Government’s snub of the bus lane petition. Colin Brown describes the petition response as predictably blinkered. Consequently, campaigning will continue to exceed 100,000 signatures in order to trigger a Parliamentary debate.
On 30th June, the Government published a response to the ‘Bikes in Bus Lanes’ petition. MAG views the response as a snub which fails to address the substance of the petition. Campaigners are seeking a change to current policy but the response merely repeats the existing Government position that the issue is “entirely a matter for each traffic authority to decide.”
The Government has failed to address the central issue of the petition. That position is that there should be a default national policy to permit motorcycles in bus lanes. The goal is to remove the patchwork of regulation put in place by local councils.
Dr Mirza Ahmad, the Birmingham based barrister who originally raised the petition, said:
“The Government response is not only disappointing but potentially quite damaging to biker safety as it fails, totally, to address the central issue of the petition. The national default position is a must for biker safety and the Government appears not to be interested in saving lives, improving traffic congestion or lessening environmental pollution. The time to act is now and the Government has failed to take leadership on this central issue. We will continue to ask Parliament and MPs to push the Government into action.”
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented:
“I was disappointed by the Government response. It was as predictable as it was blinkered. They have shown that they are willing to demand action from local authorities on, say, cycling infrastructure. On the other hand, they say they can’t make similar demands in support of motorcyclists. I asked to discuss the detail with the DfT before the response was drafted, but was ignored. They chose to repeat the boilerplate response. This is particularly saddening when a Government Minister has promised to look at the issue. Our members voted it as the top priority action they want the DfT to take. Baroness Vere promised to look into it, but there is nothing to suggest that any meaningful work has taken place.”
MAG is renewing calls for everyone to sign the petition. A target of 100,000 signatures should trigger a Parliamentary Debate. In addition, Colin Brown is stepping up pressure behind the scenes.
Please sign the petition, which currently exceeds 13,000 signatures, at : https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614294