After a recent round of successful meetings with Government officials, the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) has been invited to become a member of the Department for Transport’s Road Safety Delivery Group (RSDG).This influential consultative body works to reduce road casualties and draws its membership from a range of governmental and non governmental organisations.The NMC’s membership significantly increases motorcycle riding group representation as it will sit alongside IAM RoadSmart and the Motorcycle Action Group at Group meetings. The motorcycle industry is also represented on the RSDG.
This development comes as the NMC publishes the key initial areas where members are calling for priority changes to public policy. They provide further detail to already announced NMC policy. Taken together, these will ‘mainstream’ motorcycling in government policy and do much to form the basis for a new Government Motorcycling Strategy.
Each of the priority areas outlines items of importance to different sectors of the motorcycling community and the NMC have adopted existing policy calls of its members. This allows the NMC to offer a rounded‘cross community’ approach to immediate policy needs and adds support to the ongoing work of individual member organisations. In summary these are:
- Changes to headline transport policy to include motorcycling alongside other alternative modes recognised by Government, with a new Government Motorcycling Strategy to include roads infrastructure for motorcyclists, universal access to bus lane access, adequate parking provision and improvement to the condition of the highways.
- Changes to licencing testing and training – seeking changes to make the licensing regime more easy to understand and access.
- Licensing needs incentivisation, via training upgrades and not repeat testing to move between licence categories on the progressive licencing route.
- Each licensing step should also allow access to machines up to the specification for the next category of licence.
- There is also need to commence work that will bring a return to a single event test, rather than the current two part format.
- The NMC emphasises that as part of this ‘evolution’ of testing and training, there should be no dilution of standards, or removal of aspects that work towards safer motorcycling. But instead, best practices need to be applied more intelligently, so that riders are incentivised and encouraged to get a full licence.
- Access to post test training also needs further incentivisation.
- Motorcycles are ‘Covid-Safe’ transport which allows users to maintain full social distancing. Motorcycling must feature as part of the UK’s post Covid recovery.
- Traffic Orders and Regulations. Motorcycling needs to be fully and positively considered on areas of road traffic orders and regulations, ensuring continued access to green roads for responsible motorcycling, so allowing rural areas in particular to continue to benefit economically from this activity.
- Rural and urban motorcycling. The Future of Transport strategy, both the urban and rural strategies, need to take full account of motorcycling as transport policy and vehicle technology evolves. This also must include the positive socio/economic role of recreational motorcycling alongside practical and utility benefits. This will allow a new more holistic approach to transport policy and planning to emerge, taking account of the role of all alternative transport modes, not just some of them.
- Improved regulation of motorcycle sport authorising bodies under the Road Traffic Act. By requiring motor sports bodies under the Act to adhere to the standards of governing bodies such as the ACU, UK motorcycle sport - already internationally important - can enter a new period of sustainable growth.
- Fiscal incentives to encourage motorcycle use, though universal free parking, inclusion in incentivisation schemes to encourage less car use and inclusion in future modal shift subsidy schemes, among other policies in this area.
Neil Greig of IAM RoadSmart said; “The NMC being invited to join the RSDG is very welcome news and marks an acceleration of progress by the NMC. Indeed, the motorcycling lobby now forms almost the biggest single nongovernmental bloc on the RSDG. This is particularly important given that the proportion of motorcycle casualties remain a real concern.
We look forward to working with the DfT and other departments as the NMC’s programme for policy change continues to develop.”
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact Craig Carey-Clinch, on 07979 757484 / firstname.lastname@example.org
National Motorcyclists Council members are: The Auto Cycle Union, the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart, the Motorcycle Action Group and the Trail Riders Fellowship.