If you ride a motorcycle in the UK, you need to know that we live in a country that has active transport and policing policies that are gradually eroding our ability to ride by making it more dangerous for motorcycles on the road, pricing us off the streets through unfair tolls and rising insurance premiums, and removing our protection from crime and its knock-on effects. It’s already well underway in London, and is coming to a city or town near you soon.
If we don’t act now, collectively, as a wider mainstream group of riders, we can say goodbye to the average person riding bikes in the near and foreseeable future.
This may sound a bit alarmist, and I’ve never been one for conspiracy theories or exaggeration, but when you look at what is really happening in London right now, it all becomes very clear – we have a bleak future if we don’t act. So, what’s the problem?
The Mayor, his deputy Val Shawcross, and Transport for London (Tf) do not like privately-owned motorcycles, and have policies designed to take us off London’s streets. And this is all coming to light now that the mayor has published his Transport Strategy for London; bikes are not just being ignored, they are being hammered.
Before Sadiq Khan was elected as Mayor he wrote the to the MCIA with a promise to make biking in London safer and better. He acknowledged that ‘powered two wheelers’ played a role in reducing congestion and pollution, and that we needed help. Even before his election, independent studies commissioned by TfL showed that biking was good for our city, so we all had high hopes for positive change, like use of all bus lanes in all boroughs. There are around 55,000 registered motorcycles in London, making around 100,000 journeys a day, so you’d think we’d have some form of representation and credibility. But despite groups like MAG and a newly supercharged MCIA leadership, we are not making enough noise to be heard.