Event Reports

National Demo (EU Hands Off Biking !!) Report - Sunday 25th September 2011

Over 250 bikes, scooters and trikes met at Woolley Edge Services (M1 Southbound) on Sunday 25th September for the Wakefield MAG organised start point of the MAG National Demo against the proposed EU legislation, that will have such a massive detrimental impact on the whole future of motorcycling across Europe.

The attendees started arriving well before 12:00 and by 12:30, the car park in the services was absolutely packed with bikes and demo supporters. Great to welcome along some old Wakefield MAG faces we hadn't seen for a while (Duncan, Leo, Martin and a good number of others).

Team Wakefield MAG Group Photo

The demo assembled at 12:45 in the truck parking section of the services so we were all together

Assembling at the start point
Assembling at the start point

At 13:00 on the dot, we all rolled, with the police very kindly arranging for us to be shepherded safely onto the motorway as one complete group.

We rode for 20 minutes in the inside lanes at 45 MPH, passing the Sheffield MAG demo, heading Northbound in the opposite direction.

Slowing down the traffic
Slowing down the traffic

Our lead bikes turned round at J33 to head back, with others already having dispersed, having rode for their allotted 20 minutes. The result of the demos was a 15 mile tailback of M1 traffic, on the West / South Yorkshire border in both directions, at 20MPH at the very most. Everyone we met throughout the demo, be it car, bus and truck drivers, together with fellow motorcyclists, were fully supportive of the actions.

The Wakefield MAG demo was part of a huge national co-ordinated demo, with 40,000 motorcyclists UK wide, all starting at exactly the same time from 105 separate start points throughout the UK (not including the many simultaneous demos in the Republic of Ireland also).

The guys from Full Chatter, the internet bikers news service joined the Wakefield MAG Demo run, and their report, photos and videos are at this link:

The demo was also widely covered on the local TV news, and newspapers, together with national coverage. The news reports weren't always fully accurate, for instance, reporting that 400 bikers had joined the demos across Yorkshire (whereas there were thousands). However, it's the politicians who have the critical votes, not the press.

The objective of the demo wasn't to make a nuisance of ourselves in any way, but to raise awareness of crippling and discriminatory legislation being forced upon motorcyclists. The EU outline that the draft proposals had been drawn up to improve safety and limit emissions. The UK Department for Transport agree with MAG's viewpoint that the proposals are not necessary and current legislation is both fair and adequate. Bikes are part of the urban transport solution, not the problem.