The British Motorcyclists Federation has welcomed measures in the Queen's Speech designed to tackle road congestion by recognising the role that the motorcycle can play.
This could come in to play in road pricing schemes by discriminating between cars and motorcycles in commuter traffic and giving the motorcycle exemption say the BMF.
Welcoming this enlightened stance, the BMF say that for too long the motorcycle or scooter has been virtually ignored as an alternative to the car, whereas in mainland Europe powered two wheeler travel is an accepted norm.
The Draft Road Transport Bill would allow councils to implement local road pricing schemes in a consistent way, allowing different projects to link up with one another. Councils would be given greater powers to improve bus travel and Passenger Transport Authorities and Executives would be reformed to make transport planning more coherent. To aid this, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman has released draft guidance on appraisal and modelling for local road pricing schemes and it in this that the motorcycle is recognised as having a part to play.
The guidance says that 'the class of vehicle will determine, in part, the impact on congestion and the environment' and goes on to say 'discriminating between commuter traffic using cars and motorcycles may be justified by the lower congestion impact of motorcycles'.
It also reinforces the message by stating that 'in an idealised road pricing scheme, prices should vary between classes of vehicle with those causing more congestion or environmental costs paying more', and as the BMF has always maintained, motorcycles, irrespective of engine size, are inherently a more efficient mode of personal transport due to their manoeuvrability and better use of the roads infrastructure (five medium sized motorcycles can be fitted within the space occupied by a family-sized car).
Speaking after the announcement, BMF spokesman Jeff Stone said: "This is a vindication of all the hard work we have put in over the past six years as a member of the 'Government Advisory Group on Motorcycling'. We have also seen a 45% increase in motorcycle use in London over the past ten years so people have already recognised the benefits for themselves, the Queen's Speech now endorses this trend and we will be monitoring the Bill's progress to ensure it delivers."