Influential MP calls for Government strategy on motorcycling

Bill Wiggin MP, chair of the Parliamentary Motorcycle Group, calls for a Government strategy for motorcycling, while the NMC is concerned about potential ‘anti-tampering’ legislation.

The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) says the Parliamentary debate on 26 October was a result of it lobbying Government ‘to support motorcycling as part of its plans for transport’.

The NMC is also ‘deeply concerned’ about ‘anti tampering’ proposals mentioned during the debate, saying that ‘modifications are often done to enhance safety and rideability’.

Bill Wiggin MP raised the debate under the motion that ‘This House considers Government support for motorcycling’.

Mr Wiggin pointed out that there are 1.4 million people who use motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in the UK – and that there has been a 131% increase in the number of motorcycles registered since 2000.

Mr Wiggin said: “Government can and should do more to promote this efficient, low polluting and very practical mode of transport. It is vital that safety is improved, but this will not be achieved unless motorcycling is accepted and supported as part of UK transport networks.”

Mr Wiggin described a number of areas where Government should be recognising and supporting motorcycling as part of overall transport policy, including infrastructure, safety, roads investment and rural transport.

He also outlined how motorcycling should sit alongside walking, cycling and public transport as an alternative to the car.

Mr Wiggin concluded: “Motorcycling offers a desirable, low congesting or polluting alternative that is already well developed and regulated.

“Now is the time for motorcycling to experience proper policy support. This will only be possible with a clear Government strategy for motorcycling.”

Several other MPs contributed to the debate including Ian Paisley, Steve Baker, Kerry McCarthy and Stuart Hosie.

Responding for the Government, Trudy Harrison MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the DfT, outlined several areas where the Government has worked on motorcycle safety, and plans to do more under a new road safety framework.

Ms Harrison also underlined the Government’s commitment to end production of petrol-powered motorcycles by 2035 and said a ‘road map’ to zero emission motorcycling will be announced at the motorcycle show at the NEC in December.

The minister also said new regulations will be created to react to “sub-standard replacement parts and to tackle tampering of safety or environmentally critical motorcycle components”.

Craig Carey-Clinch, executive director of the NMC, said: “This debate threw a spotlight on several issues and it was good to hear from Trudy Harrison about the Government’s current thinking.

“Although the NMC appreciated her thoughts about safety, she missed the point raised by Mr Wiggin and other MPs about the need for proper recognition and investment for motorcycling as a fully supported mode of transport – which will be needed to make these safety ambitions come to life.

“The NMC is deeply concerned about the Government’s anti-tampering proposals and seeks fast clarification about the planned scope of these.

“Modifications are often done to enhance safety and rideability. The ability for riders to be able to continue to modify their machines must be protected.”

NMC members include the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart, the Motorcycle Action Group and the National Motorcycle Dealers Association.

04 November 2021

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