The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) gives a cautious welcome to the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee's report on the Governments Motorcycle Strategy published today, Thursday 29th March 2007.
Although the report endorses various aspects of the Governments Motorcycle Strategy, MAG has severe reservations about the ill informed proposals to review speed limits and power outputs for larger motorcycles in a vain effort to reduce casualties.
MAG says that there is no hard evidence to support the notion that curbing power outputs will impact casualty rates. MAG will continue to engage with reasoned debate, on this issue to ensure motorcyclists are not disadvantaged in having their choice of machine limited by ill informed policy.
David Short, MAGs Campaigns Manager, said, "Overall the report is a positive outcome and is an endorsement of the hard work by MAG over the years in contributing to the strategy and its support for better training for car drivers, educating young riders, use of bus lanes, a better road infrastructure and most of all the recognition that motorcycling should be mainstreamed into transport policies."
He further added, "The committee were clearly swayed by ill informed elements of the more strident road safety lobby on casualty rates, curbing power, motorcycle engine sizes and levels of motorcycle engine emissions. The recommendation by the committee that Government should commission research to, in their words, stimulate a sensible debate, will ensure that we have a proper opportunity to debunk a lot of the myths peddled by some elements of the road safety lobby."
Critical of the levels of emissions from larger motorcycles, the report urges the industry to work with government to reduce levels of pollution. However the committee did not take into account the congestion beating benefits of motorcycles over cars. No matter how economical a car is, when it is stuck or crawling along in a traffic queue it is doing no miles to the gallon with modern motorcycles meeting the latest European standards.
MAG will continue to promote motorcycling and defend the rights of riders to choose motorcycles as their preferred choice of transport. Motorcycles are the answer to social mobility, traffic congestion, and reducing damage to the environment.