Times are changing and the powers that be are finally starting to take us two wheeled users seriously, so expect to see some pro two wheeled support from Government over the next few years (about time too).
Key figures from the motorcycle industry are joining MPs and peers from all parties today to hear how motorcycling benefits society. A reception has been organised by the Associate Parliamentary Motorcycle Group to be held inside the Houses of Parliament. It will highlight how alternative powered motorcycles and the Wheels to Work programme contribute to wider societal goals regarding the environment, social inclusion and the economy Wheels to Work schemes provide the loan of a motorcycle, moped, bicycle or scooter to those who otherwise have no access to work transport.
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) will take this opportunity to launch an update to its ‘Policy Framework’; a range of factsheets which illustrate how motorcycling addresses key areas of social concern, including: Congestion, economic growth, employment, equal opportunity and crime prevention.
In addition to MPs and peers, guests at the reception will include senior industry figures and representatives from a range of motorcycling and other organisations. There will also be a display of electric motorcycles outside the Houses of Parliament, in Old Palace Yard. This will provide an opportunity for parliamentarians and the public to view the latest developments in alternative powered transport technologies.
The parliamentary reception follows a safety and transport policy conference, jointly organised last month (11th November) by the MCI and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), in conjunction with the Department of Transport, which hosted the event at its offices in London. The conference explored compelling evidence from other EU countries where there is a link between greater use of powered two wheelers and lower casualty rates, as well as a study which showed congestion could be cut by 40% for all road users, if just 10% of car drivers swapped to a motorcycle, scooter or moped.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, who has a motorcycle licence himself and has a son who recently passed his bike test, is particularly positive towards Wheels to Work, which he described as “A value for money way of bringing people and jobs together.” He added that there were safety benefits to starting a motoring career on a small powered two wheeler, which he said “Can improve awareness of safety on the roads, knowledge of the highway code and road signs, which can in turn make it easier to learn to drive a car,” which would result in helping former moped riders to “Be aware of other vulnerable road users, such as cyclists. We will certainly continue to encourage inclusion of these schemes in the transport planning process.”