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British motorcyclists meet the transport minister

This week BMF representative Anna Zee and other members of the UK National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) met transport minister Richard Holden.

The British motorcyclists’ organisation BMF (a member of FEMA) focussed on the lack of motorcycling in wider transport policies, the need for emerging ‘smart’ roads and vehicle technologies, plus automated systems, to take motorcycles into account in both R&D and in practice. The BMF also raised the issue of motorcycle taxation.

The contribution of motorcycling to transport and society was discussed, and the NMC outlined how motorcycling represents an important area of transport, mainly focussed around commuting and practical purposes, but with a strong leisure and organised sports contribution. The £7billion contribution of overall motorcycling activity to the UK economy was outlined, plus the near £1billion motorcycle sports sector. The benefits of motorcycles as a key step towards decarbonisation was highlighted and the need to not apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach to different road users for phasing out fossil fuelled vehicles, but instead to adopt a multi-technological approach.

NMC’s Craig Carey-Clinch said: “This was a very positive ministerial meeting and Mr Holden was clear about what he does and doesn’t know about motorcycling and was keen to know more. His strong support for motorcycles in bus lanes was very welcome, as was his open mind about many of the issues that the NMC raised. NMC members were able to raise individual issues and received a positive reception to these. But although Mr Holden seems open to developing motorcycling as a transport option, it was very clear that the long-standing view that motorcycling is a safety problem to be solved and not a transport opportunity to be supported, is still firmly embedded in some parts of the Department for Transport.

In the photograph, from left to right; Graeme Collins (Trail Riders Fellowship), Antony Kildare (IAM RoadSmart), Minister Richard Holden MP, Craig Carey-Clinch(NMC) and Anna Zee (BMF).

Source: BMF/NMC

Top photograph courtesy of NMC

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