The Motor Cycle Industry Association said today that the re-election of Tony Blair's government should reward the motorcycle world if the Government's previously made commitments are adhered to.
The launch of the National Motorcycle Strategy, in the run up to the election, outlined a broad range of actions and objectives from ensuring motorcycles continue to receive attention in planning guidance to investigating current training courses to identify good practice. At the time of the launch the government proposed to work in partnership with the industry to achieve these aims.
In the run up to the election, the MCI issued its own 'Manifesto for Motorcycling' and now expects to see positive steps forward to make roads safer for motorcycling as it plays an increasingly important role in the UK's transport system.
The MCI has outlined nine areas for development and improvement.
- 1. The National Motorcycle Strategy - Government needs to provide the support and resources to ensure the strategy is implemented within a clear timetable.
- 2. Improve Road Traffic Education in Schools - Government to implement a core programme of education and introduce the road user GCSE.
- 3. Preserve the Current Motorcycle Licence Scheme
- 4. Fund BikeSafe - Use safety camera partnership money to fund the rider safety scheme.
- 5. Allow Bikes in Bus Lanes
- 6. Improve Motorcycle Parking Facilities
- 7. Improve Training Standards for Novices
- 8. Introduce a National Rider Improvement/Speed Awareness Scheme
- 9. Motorcycle Provision in Local Transport Plans
A tenth demand; a change in farming subsidy rules under the Single Payment Scheme, to allow off-road motor sports to continue on farmland, was met by Government within days of the appointment of Ministers at DEFRA.
In the UK, around 3.5 million people hold licences with motorcycle or moped entitlement and approximately 1.5 million people regularly ride. New motorcycle sales have risen from 93,289 in 1997 to 133,938 at the end of 2004 demonstrating a clear demand for the convenience, reduced journey times and freedom offered by powered-two wheelers.
Craig Carey-Clinch MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "On average there are 7,600 motorcycle licence holders in each parliamentary constituency and an estimated UK motorcycle industry worth £3 billion per year which directly employs more than 15,000 people.
"Government needs to act in the interests of this growing industry and the MCI's manifesto calls on the new government to commit to the National Motorcycle Strategy and create an environment in which motorcycling can grow and flourish"
MCI has also written to all MPs to outline the industry's views on these issues, calling for their support during the course of this Parliament.