The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has secured reassurances on motorcycle charging decisions from the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP). In a meeting held on 30th November the GCP assured MAG that the final decision on charges for motorcycles in the proposed Sustainable Travel Zone will be made on the basis of evidence submitted.
MAG met the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Transport Director, Peter Blake, and Director of City Access, Lynne Miles. In a robust exchange MAG Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, asked for the evidence base that justified the proposed charges for motorcycles.
Peter Blake explained that GCP welcomed any evidence-based response to the proposals. When pressed for data on motorcycle safety, Lynne Miles revealed that Department for Transport (DfT) headline statistics were the basis. But she accepted that a more nuanced review of data for urban specific casualties may be more relevant than the headline national statistics. Colin pointed to evidence from the introduction of the London Congestion Charge, where motorcycles became more prevalent whilst motorcycle casualties reduced.
Issues such as the effect of reduced congestion on increased road speeds were discussed, as well as the evidence for reduced congestion and emissions from modal shift from cars to motorcycles.
Peter Blake made it clear that the proposed charges for motorcycles are not set in stone. All evidence submitted by MAG and individual riders in response to the consultation will be evaluated and presented faithfully to the Council members who will make the final decision.
Following the meeting, Colin Brown commented:
“I am content that the meeting will have helped put the final decision on motorcycle charges under much closer scrutiny. The fact that Peter Blake confirmed that the charge for motorcycles is likely to be given much thought is reassuring. I am convinced that if the full evidence that we are putting together in our formal written response is viewed in an unbiased manner there can really only be one outcome. Any charge for motorcycles would be illogical.”
MAG also asked to be involved at a much earlier stage in future decision-making. The fact that motorcycling as a transport mode is not well understood by many policymakers makes engagement with experts more pressing than for other modes.
MAG is calling on riders to make sure that they put forward any evidence that they feel would help the case.
“A consultation is not a referendum, so evidence is key. However, the decision-makers are still politicians. Weight of opinion is relevant here. I would encourage Cambridgeshire riders to also lobby their local Councillors directly in addition to responding to the consultation.”
The consultation remains open until midday on 23 December 2022. Visit https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/making-connections-2022 for details on how to respond.