A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
The UK’s roads are congested and many urban and arterial routes cannot cope with the volume of mostly car-borne traffic. Motorcycles and Scooters can make a significant contribution to addressing the nation’s transport and traffic congestion problems. They clearly have a role to play as part of mainstream transport solutions
The UK Government recognises the importance of a capable and reliable strategic road network which not only meets the needs of day to day users but also addresses wider strategic imperatives of economic growth and improved productivity for the country. It is this synergy that makes the partnership with Highways England a major step forward.
The partners to this strategy all have their own imperatives:
Motorcycle Industry Association
- Inclusion of motorcycles in transport policy
- Investment in motorcycle safety, creating a safer environment
- More people riding motorcycles safely
National Police Chiefs Council
- Safer roads, free from harm
- Secure roads, free from the threat of serious crime and terrorism
- Efficient roads that promote public confidence and satisfaction
- Safety – our aim is that no one should be harmed when travelling or working on the strategic road network. We care about each other, our suppliers, our customers and communities.
- Customer Service – improving how what we do impacts those that use the roads.
- Delivering the Road Investment Strategy – on time and efficiently.
However, motorcycling remains disproportionately represented in overall road user fatalities. It is vital that further safety improvements are made. This can be facilitated not just through important traditional road safety initiatives but also through a positive approach to motorcycle integration within wider transport and social policies. Such an approach would allow the development of initiatives that reduce rider vulnerability and allow the creation of a safer and more ‘visible’ environment for motorcycle and scooter users.
As discussed during the MCIA/NPCC safety conference (DfT November 2013), evidence suggests that it is indeed possible to have a wider integration of increased motorcycle use within the urban environment in particular, while at the same time reducing casualties. Statistics from various European countries also indicate that there is a tendency for casualties to decline at a faster rate during a rising motorcycle market.
The important long term historical progress made on motorcycle safety should not be a reason for complacency. Road fatalities still affect a high number of vulnerable road users, particularly motorcycle and scooter riders. MCIA and NPCC have also become highly concerned about the slowing of progress since 2010 and the 7.7% increase in fatal incidents between 2014 and 2015.