Leaders of the UK motorcycle industry are calling for government, legislators, local authorities and transport planners to start treating motorcycling as a serious and relevant alternative to the use of cars and public transport.
The demand comes from David Taylor, chief executive of the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), just days after news of an 8.6 per cent increase in motorcycle, scooter and moped registrations last year – the biggest annual jump in registrations for seven years.
“There are now over 1.2 million powered two wheelers (PTWs) on UK roads and after several years of flat sales, there are strong indications that people are seeing PTWs as practical and most importantly, relevant forms of personal transport. PTWs are part of the solution to the problems of congestion and pollution and it’s time for motorcyclists to be properly considered and treated seriously.”
“All too often, the needs of car owners, commercial vehicles and public transport seem to take priority with those on two wheels being ignored or treated as an afterthought,” Taylor continued. “We simply want equality and the incentives that come with the recognition that PTWs ease traffic and parking congestion, reduce emissions and provide people with reliable and efficient personal transport.”
In particular, the MCIA wants to see:
- New government transport policies that acknowledge PTWs as a viable transport alternative to tackle congestion and CO2.
- Better roads with an emphasis on protecting vulnerable road users with faster and more efficient road maintenance.
- An end to an often unforgiving road infrastructure that’s clearly not been designed with all road users in mind.
- The promotion of PTWs as a legitimate and relevant congestion-busting means of travel including exemption from road pricing, parking and congestion charges, access to bus lanes and secure parking facilities.
- A lower rate of vehicle excise duty so that no motorcycle costs more to tax than the smallest car
Despite the government announcing a motorcycle strategy in 2005, there has been little progress in implementing it and worryingly, PTWs are almost completely ignored in the government’s latest core transport policy paper Towards a Sustainable Transport Policy. David Taylor says that this is not good enough.
“The industry feels that despite warm words from ministers, the ‘mainstreaming’ of motorcycling in transport policy simply isn’t happening. Government at all levels must stop placing barriers in front of the development of motorcycling, improve safety for PTW users and recognise motorcycling as a legitimate form of transport.”
“We have roughly the same proportion of PTW users as there are cyclists. In some parts of the country, there are more PTW users than cyclists. Yet cyclists enjoy considerable policy support and initiatives while PTWs get almost nothing. For a government that expresses so much concern about PTW safety, it’s bizarre that PTWs are still sidelined in mainstream policy.”
“Recognise that PTW riders represent a significant slice of the tax-paying electorate and deserve to be taken seriously. The industry calls for proper PTW ‘mainstreaming’ in 2008.”
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MCI director of public affairs Craig Carey-Clinch:
07979 757484 or
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