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Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) Challenges Bristol's Decision To Overlook Motorcycles In Transport Campaign - June 2nd 2005

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    The Motor Cycle Industry is concerned by Bristol City council's decision to hold a 'Jam Busting June' which excludes motorcycles without a pillion.

    Jam Busting June aims to encourage people to change the way they travel to work. It runs over a month, so people can get in the habit of using a new method of transport, or they can even try different methods until they find the one that suits them. It is considered an opportunity for people to find a cheaper, greener, healthier and congestion busting way of travelling to work, but has surprisingly discounted motorcycles.

    This action runs contrary to the principles of Local Transport Plans ( LTP) which state that motorcycles should be included to help reduce congestion and help create a sustainable transport environment.

    Bikes and scooters can help to improve the environment, due to lower emissions and more efficient use of energy. They also help to improve mobility for women and young people as they can be cheaper to run and more convenient than other modes of transport such as buses.

    The MCI also supports these principles and actively campaigns to highlight the many benefits associated with riding a bike or scooter which include reducing congestion and journey times.

    In Bristol and surrounding areas covered by the joint-LTP, the number of motorcyclists Killed or Seriously Injured was 15% LOWER in 2003 (the last year for which figures are available), compared to a 47% increase in KSI's among pedal cyclists who are welcomed by the council-backed scheme.

    The City Council also wrongly states that motorcycle emissions are not regulated through EU regulations. They are, and the limits have been progressively tightened overall several years so that the majority of bikes on the road were built to be compliant with EU pollution regulations.

    The government's Motorcycling Strategy released in February states "the total level of urban emissions from motorcycles is minimal compared to other traffic sources... Our priority will be to focus on more significant sources." By claiming Motorcycles are too dirty to be included in 'Jam Busting June' the council is not only wrong, they appear to be running counter to government policy.

    The Government's Motorcycling Strategy also states their intention is "... to facilitate motorcycling as a choice of travel within a safe and sustainable transport framework" and that Local authorities... "have a key part to play."

    Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "Bristol City council is considered a beacon council by many motorcyclists and transport related associations. Bristol is one of the councils who permits the use of bikes in bus lanes and is usually pro-active and supportive of powered -two wheelers.

    "This campaign is a step backwards and is neglecting to include bikes and scooters as a method of transport that can help reduce congestion, require less parking space than a car and is considered by government to be a credible alternative to a single occupancy car."

    Commenting on the Jam Busting June omission of Motorcycles Tony Sharp Vice President of the IHIE whose recent Guidelines for Motorcycling ~ Improving safety through engineering and integration built on the Government's national Motorcycling Strategy said, " The IHIE supports any initiative to reduce the numbers of single occupied cars, especially in such congestion hotspots as Bristol.

    "But to ignore such a significant section as motorcycles and treat them in the same way as motorcars is a nonsense and would seem to fly in the face of Local Transport Plan (LTP) guidance which has identified the significant role that Motorcycles can plan in meeting Key targets of LTP's with regards to Congestion, Access and Integration"

    "Despite this Bristol seem to have convinced themselves that motorcycles have nothing to offer and their use would discourage people from riding bicycles which given the distance that many people travel to get into Bristol is in itself a nonsense".