Motorcyclists meet over A40 concerns

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) held a meeting on Sunday the 15th September in Llandovery after concerns were raised by locals about accident statistics along the A40 between Brecon and Llandeilo.

There were no invitations other than via social networking and word of mouth, but the Owl’s Nest Diner provided a welcome meeting point for members of South, Mid and West Wales MAG groups along with several groups of local riders, including representatives from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. A public consultation on this matter had previously been held in Sennybridge.

There was lively discussion about several recorded offences of dangerous driving, and high speed riding, particularly in the village of Sennybridge. The main point raised was that while a minority are deliberately flouting the highway code, repercussions could affect everyone. Those at the meeting were in agreement that the request for reducing speed limits along the A40 would have no effect on the lawbreaking individuals, but would actually make life more difficult for local residents, and would highly likely reduce tourism in the area.

Retired Police Sergeant Aneurin Max Jones -who is now also a MAG member: “I am very concerned about unrealistic speed limits that both locals and visitors see no reason to obey. It can devalue necessary speed limits and lead to a pattern of behaviour that results in non-compliance with all speed limits, causing danger to all. It matters not whether the speed limit is 60, 50, or 40mph, the ‘problem individual’ will still be a problem and others, driving at perfectly safe speeds, will be unjustly affected, even fined, for doing no more than was previously a lawful speed. “

Thoughts are being sought and collected as to ways this issue can be addressed without draconian measures.

Said local MAG Member Alex Thompson “I drive a car as well, and I know how when even an older bike accelerates past me it seems as if it must be doing a hundred miles an hour -in reality, it’s that the power to weight ratio of two wheels means a bike can rapidly speed up as it passes, while still keeping to the speed limit. Yes it’s great fun, but the manoeuvrability and flexibility also means I can get to where I’m going in a half to two thirds the time a car takes, causing less damage to the environment and the road itself.”

Midwife Sam Lloyd-Jones agreed “When I arrive people see the bike, look at me in my leathers and it’s obvious they think I’m a hooligan. Then I remove my helmet and it’s funny to see their faces change -“you’re the one who caught my baby!”

Gareth Budding, from Pembrey, said “People should think more of others -at least stick to the speed limits in the towns and villages! I always try to imagine what it’s like for the people who live there.”

Asked to describe the group’s aims, Rob Lewis said “We are concerned to address the causes of accidents and would look forward to working alongside other groups to achieve this. To target all motorcyclists as dangerous idiots only serves to cloud the issue and divide responsible motorists”

A further consultation was called for, and invitations to another meeting will be sent to any interested parties.

For further information contact South Wales MAG Regional Rep

Phil McFadden 0844 248 0177,