Wakefield MAG April 2021 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the April 2021 Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. We countdown to our meetings starting again on Tuesday 18th May but in the meantime, this Newsletter is THE ONLY WAY to keep up to date with what we are up to, in these quite surreal times.


1) Pleasure riding back on the agenda
2) Wakefield MAG Meetings
3) MAG calls on motorcyclists to get 'stuck in' to election debates
4) FYP and YPR
5) MAG and TfL consolidate partnership on London rider safety
6) Forthcoming Events
7) Manchester doubles amount of motorcycle parking ... and it's FREE
8) MAG's position on ICE
9) Bike Nights
10) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

1) Pleasure riding back on the agenda

As of 29th March, it is possible to leave your house and ride your motorbike just for FUN, so long as you comply with the law. You can even do this with five of your friends (so six in total) each on their own motorbike. And you can all stop in one public place and stand outside to have a chat.

To make sure you do comply with the law, have a read of the updated guidance from motorcycle solicitors, White Dalton: www.whitedalton.co.uk/motorbike-blog/2021/03/can-i-go-out-on-my-motorcycle-during-step-1-updated-government-guidance-for-england

If you haven't been out for a while and your bike has been mothballed, do take it steady initially, and do be extra vigilant as car drivers are not used to seeing as many bikes on the roads, so will be looking out for you even less than normal (and that isn't much at the best of times).

Oh, and check your tyre pressures before venturing out too !!!

2) Wakefield MAG Meetings

The countdown is on for when we can finally restart our weekly Wakefield MAG meetings. We did debate whether to hold outdoor meetings from 12th April once pub beer gardens re-open, however, April is not the warmest of months (and it's often wet - not called April Showers for nothing) so we decided instead to wait until indoor hospitality reopens on Monday 17th May. The first meeting is therefore pencilled in for Tuesday 18th May (if there are any changes to the timetable, you'll find out via our Facebook Group and our website).

We will then look to hold an interim AGM in June. This will be a cutdown AGM just for branch officer elections for the rest of 2021, as there are not a lot of activities to review over the past year, everyone's branch heroes points will be sadly depleted, and we can plan for the rest of the year at the weekly meetings themselves. We'll then hold a 'normal' AGM again in January 2022.

It certainly will be great to see everyone again and return to a bit of normality.

3) MAG calls on motorcyclists to get 'stuck in' to election debates

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has called on its members and all motorcyclists to get stuck in to election debates. An updated MAG Elections Handbook has been published with handy tips to help riders influence the outcomes of the May elections.

May 6th, 2021 will be a busy day for democracy across the UK. With the elections originally scheduled for 2020 having been postponed to 6th May this year, there is no shortage of opportunity for riders to exercise their right to vote.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said: "I have a growing sense that motorcycling in the UK is at a crossroads. Recent events and future goals and ambitions for the UK have demonstrated that we are at the centre of some fundamental shifts. Policy decisions made now will be key to creating a better future. This is why it is vital that we as motorcyclists make our voice heard. Motorcycling has a bright future and a critical role to play - now and in that brighter tomorrow we all seek."

The May elections will see hundreds of English local councillors, 13 directly elected mayors in England, and 39 Police & Crime Commissioners in England and Wales chosen by the public. There are also elections in the Parliaments and Assemblies of Scotland, Wales and London, along with the London mayoral election.

Selina Lavender, MAG's Cumbria Rep, Michael Armstrong, and Director of Communications & Public Affairs, former MP Lembit Öpik, have updated the MAG Election Handbook. The Handbook is packed full of advice and tips to enable individuals and groups to get involved in the election process.

Lembit said: "Michael has a wealth of experience in engaging with politicians at all levels, and that, plus my background as a former Member of Parliament, means that the Handbook is based on real insight into what works. Riders should know that they can influence the debate in a positive way. Now is the time to build relationships with the candidates that will carry forward with the successful ones into the corridors of power. Motorcyclists have a right to be heard, and we will not let this opportunity pass us by."

The MAG 2021 Election Handbook can be found at wiki.mag-uk.org/images/7/76/MAG_Election_Handbook_Version_202103A.pdf. As well as using the Handbook, members can contact MAG's Central Office for support and help with anything from wording questions for candidates, to arranging a full election hustings.

4) FYP and YPR

By now you know it's not legally possible for us to hold the Farmyard on the planned date of 18-19-20 of June. We have very carefully considered the option of moving to another date in the season, but this means we could clash with other events or fundraisers on their traditional weekends and feel this is simply not the right thing to do, also the financial risk involved with a possible last-minute cancellation should the release not go as hoped has influenced our decision. With this in mind we have made the difficult decision to cancel The Farmyard Party 2021 and return to full normality in 2022 (17th - 19th June).

We really appreciate your loyalty and understanding in what has been a trying twelve months. We tried desperately to put the Farmyard Party on in 2020 but after the second wave became a reality, we had no choice but to cancel the event on the proposed date at the end of September.

On a much more positive note, if the roadmap goes to plan and there are no significant deviations to the dates laid out, we will be able to hold the Yorkshire Pudding rally, on the weekend of 6-7-8 August, as normal this year. Obviously, we will be keeping a close eye on how things are progressing and notify you of any changes when they arise.

As ever, this is a pre-book only event and demand will be very high, meaning the event will sell out far earlier than normal. Make sure you get your tickets early from the event website: www.mapevents.co.uk

ALL ENQUIRIES: 0800 988 3199 enquiries@mapevents.co.uk

5) MAG and TfL consolidate partnership on London rider safety

Transport for London (TfL) and Greater London MAG met again to formulate a joint initiative to deliver TfL's road safety objectives in regard to motorcyclists. The theme was rider safety and the impact of traffic management schemes on bikers.

In a further sign of the development of an evolving partnership, Cathy Phillpotts, from Greater London MAG, led a delegation including Lembit Öpik and Colin Brown at a roundtable meeting with TfL experts to explore how rider's safety can be improved in the Capital. This event forms part of a regular, quarterly arrangement that seeks to secure joint effort on the comparatively high accident rates in the capital, which both sides believe can be reduced by intelligent and collective attention to the factors influencing the accident statistics.

Bikers experience high injury rates as a user group in the city. Locations of particular concern include Hyde Park Corner; the junction between Liverpool Road and Holloway Road; Farringdon Road; and Old Street - this last one being a particular danger spot for riders.

Cathy, who has professional experience as both a courier and general rider, believes the meeting led to tangible progress. She said "I'm glad TfL are listening to our concerns and committing to work with us to find solutions. Their knowledge of road policy, as well as their understanding of the geographical accident situation across London, especially regarding accident hot spots, combines well with our knowledge of practical riding on those streets. This is a big step forward in relations between London MAG and TfL."

Keith Prince AM, who has been instrumental in the evolution of this relationship, is pleased with the progress made. "We all agree that the safety situation for leisure, commuter and delivery riders in London is a cause for major concern. I think the relationship between TfL and MAG is a case study in how the motorcycle sector can meaningfully work with officers to find solutions that make sense. Many of the locations require exhaustive assessment of many variables, such as traffic lane arrangements, light phasing and lines of sight. It's not easy but it can be done, and I think that working with experienced riders means TfL have a very good chance of making the streets safer for the motorcycling community as well as for third parties. MAG brings mature comment and ideas to this agenda."

MAG is also working with TfL to assist with the planned e-scooter pilots in the capital, given their obvious status as powered two wheelers (PTWs). The next meeting will be in June 2021, with subject-specific meetings covering various topics being held between now and then.

6) Forthcoming Events

Once we get our meetings up and running again and the remaining Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, we will look to schedule some much missed events during 2021. We'll set dates shortly, but here are some cracking events to be looking forward to:

And to supplement our own activities, we'll also be attending as many of the activities of our very good friends in the other Yorkshire MAG groups, as time dictates. One thing is for sure, you wont get bored being a member of Wakefield MAG !!!!

7) Manchester doubles amount of motorcycle parking ... and it's FREE

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has welcomed news that the number of dedicated parking places for motorcycles in Manchester car parks has more than doubled - and they are all free!

A review of motorcycle parking within the city showed that demand for parking exceeded the supply and that, as a result, a considerable number of motorcyclists were parking unofficially, and sometimes illegally.

The Manchester City Council Highways Team has reacted by providing more spaces for motorcyclists. They consulted various motorcycle community groups and organisations including MAG. We said that having spaces in car parks and on the ground or first floors, making sure they were well-lit and having CCTV coverage was important, along with anchor points or rails for chaining bikes to. All of these suggestions have been adopted.

There are now 127 dedicated motorcycle spaces; a mixture of on-street (63 spaces) and covered car parks (64 spaces), and full details are available on the council's website at: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/500346/city_centre_parking/332/motorcycles

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: "It is great to see this increase in parking provision for motorcyclists in Manchester and I would like to thank the MCC Highways Team for listening to our comments on the security aspects of the provision. The bays provided are free to all riders, which is a great way to encourage motorcycle use. This will, in turn, reduce congestion and emissions in Manchester City Centre."

Motorcyclists are urged to use the newly available spaces and to avoid parking illegally as enforcement will follow. A grace period informing motorcyclists of the new provisions will run from 12/03/21 to 06/05/21, when motorcyclists who are parked illegally will receive an information leaflet advising them of the new parking provisions across the city centre. During the grace period motorcyclists will not receive a parking ticket. However, after the grace period ends, MCC will enforce penalties (£70 penalty, discounted to £35 if paid within 14 days of issue) for motorcyclists parking in the wrong place. This includes designated cycle parking spaces and racks. Motorcyclists can park in normal pay and display bays anywhere across the city, provided that they purchase a pay and display ticket. It is advisable to write 'M' for motorbike and the registration number of the bike on the ticket before attaching this to the motorbike, to discourage theft.

A motorcycle parking policy will be produced in order to finalise and formalise the changes.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said: "Any MAG members looking for support due to of a lack of motorcycle parking spaces in their area can contact central office for assistance."

8) MAG's position on ICE

In light of current debate regarding MAG's position in relation to the internal combustion engine (ICE), we wish to reassure our members that The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) exists to secure your right to ride, free from prejudice, conformity, and unreasonable state interference, regardless of the design, size, or motive power of the moped, motorcycle, scooter, sidecar or trike you ride. MAG is about freedom of choice, and that includes what powers your ride.

The UK Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Traditionally powered (diesel & petrol engine) personal transport is first in the firing line to help achieve this ambitious target, with the Government pushing electric power in particular as the alternative.

Whilst the ban on the sale of petrol cars and small vans (from 2030) does not include motorcycles, the car market is swiftly moving away from diesel and petrol power. The debate at MAG's National Committee is about whether to stand with car and van users, or alone as riders.

We welcome the views of all our members and are committed to representing all of those views - not just a consensus - when lobbying policy makers.

Reference: Consulting on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consulting-on-ending-the-sale-of-new-petrol-diesel-and-hybrid-cars-and-vans

Selina Lavender
Motorcycle Action Group

9) Bike Nights

Now restrictions are slowly being lifted and outdoor hospitality can re-open from 12th April, a couple of popular local bike nights are restarting:

10) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

Our events list is still a little on the light side for this time of year, due to the on-going CV19 pandemic restrictions in force. However, as these are slowly being lifted, we do have a number of forthcoming events planned for 2021 - See Above. Watch this space for updates.

#### Cancelled for 2021 #### - Into the Valley (ITV) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Tuesday 18th May - Wakefield MAG First meeting of 2021

See Above. 20:30 in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield.

June (TBA) - Wakefield MAG AGM

See Above. All members are invited to attend the 19th Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch Annual General Meeting. This will be an AGM for the Election of Branch Officers for 2021 only as not much happened in 2020 for us to review. Current MAG Membership Card required to vote. 20:30 in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield.

#### Cancelled for 2021 #### - Farmyard Party (FYP) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Friday 6th - Sunday 8th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

See the events page for further details and more !!!

That's all for this month, hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet (Covid-19 restrictions permitting) at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.