A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
This action is heavily linked to Theme 6: Partnership with Cycling, where key actions are discussed in more depth. This area is being developed with both cycling industry/groups and the DfT. It becomes the ‘two-wheel paradigm’ that will help to enrich overall transport policy.
In summary, given that a wide range of safety and infrastructure issues and vulnerabilities are shared with cycling, it is important that techniques used to promote cycling accessibility and safety needs are adapted and implemented, where necessary, for commuter motorcycling. Considerable safety benefits, in terms of reduced two-wheeler vulnerability, are anticipated if this area is approached in an open and collegiate manner by all concerned.
Currently, there is no government agenda or funding to promote motorcycling and only limited sums allocated to motorcycle and scooter safety publicity. However, there is literally hundreds of millions of pounds spent by government and authorities across the UK to promote cycling and cycle safety (currently noted as £5 per head of population). The reasons for this are manifold, with congestion and emissions reduction being key factors. MCIA/NPCC/Highways England supports this investment in cycling, but notes that, compared to the resources put into motorcycling, any kind of level playing field is entirely absent. This is of great concern given that cycling and motorcycling share broadly the same levels of road traffic and that both modes share similar safety and vulnerability issues.
There has also been almost no consideration of where cycle/motorcycle cross-over areas of policy exist. Both are single track vehicles which, aside from motive power source, share many of the same characteristics and vulnerabilities on the highway.
There needs to be a shift in thinking if society as a whole is to benefit from all the opportunities that come from a proper two-wheeled approach (bicycle and motorcycle). More powerful electric bicycles, small motorcycles and even some larger motorcycles can significantly assist in the area of efficient and cleaner mobility. Whilst pedal powered bicycles may be excellent at shorter journeys of only a few miles, longer journeys of up to 20 or 30 miles are a practical proposition by motorcycle on a daily basis. MCIA argues that government should pick the right tool for the job and support motorcycling as part of a properly integrated transport delivery plan for two-wheeled vehicles (bicycle and motorcycle). This would then create a 0-30+ mile integrated personal transport and mobility opportunity.
Cycling is, worldwide, an important mode of transport which shares many common issues with motorcycling when it comes to safety, infrastructure policy and issues arising from other road users. Like cycling, motorcycling is not in itself dangerous. But riders of both modes are subject to certain vulnerabilities on the highways. By recognising the socially positive attributes of cycling, much has been done to improve cycle safety and improve visibility within traffic. The same approach is now needed for motorcycling.
- This area will be developed in partnership with the Bicycle Association, with inputs and partnership sought from the Cyclists Touring Club and British Cycling.
- A package which will represent integrated two wheeled policies and initiatives will be discussed with the DfT. These will focus on areas of vulnerability reduction and related transport policy.
- Areas of discussion will include: road user awareness, shared space developments, other roads infrastructure, parking, e-bike and ePTW policy synergies.
UPDATE – Action 32 – Develop New Integrated Two Wheeled Policies to Consider the Shared Issues Between Cyclists and Motorcyclists
A firm partnership has been formed with the Bicycle Association, with regular dialogue taking place about shared issues of concern and opportunity.
Government has been advised of the partnership and some areas of joint working have already been undertaken with the Department. A joint meeting of the motorcycling and cycling Parliamentary groups is being considered.
We are also seeking positive relationships with cycle user lobby groups.