A Private Members Bill requiring that all motorcycles of all types to be registered and display a number plate, even if they are only ever used on the race track or are museum pieces, is a pointless exercise say the BMF.
The Bill tabled by Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Manchester Blackley, has now completed its second reading and is entering the committee stage. Its intention is to address the problem of motorcycles illegally ridden on public roads, footpaths and bridleways and on private land without permission, but say the BMF, such registration is unnecessary and is simply an 'example of an MP seeking to make a name for himself'.
The BMF recognises that 'mini-motos' are the latest embodiment of motorcycles of one type or another being ridden illegally and know that it is a problem which fills many MPs' post bags, but say the BMF, the type of person who illegally rides now with an untaxed, uninsured bike is hardly going to changed his ways and display a registration plate advertising his illegal activities!
What is needed is better more effective policing say the BMF. At present a rider can seemingly ride with impunity in public parks or anywhere he pleases and registration will not change that because either false plates or no plates at all will be shown. On the contrary, the legitimate owners of off-road competition motorcycles will be penalised and be unlikely to be able to register them with DVLA. The system will also:
- Create more bureaucracy without addressing the fundamental problem
- Will be damaging to motorcycle sport in the UK
- Be discriminatory to motorcycling since other classes of vehicles are not included in the Bill
MP Graham Stringer sits on the Commons Select Committee on Transport and was present at the recent oral evidence sessions on the Government's Motorcycling Strategy. The BMF, MAG, MCI, RoSPA, RAC Foundation, ACPO, Bikesafe, DfT and Transport Minister, Dr Stephen Ladyman, all advised the committee that registration of all motorcycles was unnecessary and that there were already enough regulations if anyone had the will to enforce them.
Senior Government Relations Executive, Trevor Magner commented, "This is another example of an MP seeking to make a name for himself by using public concerns about mini-motos to move legislation which is superfluous, will be ineffective in addressing the problem, discriminatory against motorcycling and likely to cause hardship for legitimate off-road users. It should be treated with the contempt it deserves and rejected."
Members of the motorcycling community, i.e., the BMF, MAG, LARA, RAC Foundation and ACU, met on Tuesday 27th March and agreed to set up a working group to address the issue. As well as organising members' letter writing campaigns, the group will seek direct support from MPs in order to defeat the Bill.
In the interim, the BMF is urging motorcyclists write to their MPs (see release on www.bmf.co.uk ) pointing out that the proposals in the Off-Road Registration Bill will not address the problem for which they were drafted but instead create significant problems for UK motorcycle sport.