Wakefield MAG January 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year from Wakefield MAG

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and has a fantastic and biking filled New Year. In addition to getting some Christmas pressies that you really wanted, hopefully you also got some that you gladly want to give away !!!! WHY ? ....... because the Wakefield MAG Post Christmas Auction is rapidly approaching (See below for details).


1) Christmas Do Report
2) New Years Resolutions
3) Bikers in Wakefield Bus Lanes
4) Record Year for MAG
5) Post Christmas Auction
6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting
7) MAG acts on Bike Theft
8) Driving & Dialling Stickers
9) Failed Injunction Schemes
10) Yorkshire MAG Rallies Q&A Session (Wednesday 4th January)
11) Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip
12) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

1) Christmas Do Report Report

Check out the event report Here

2) New Years Resolutions

Hands up how many people have made a New Years Resolution or two? Give up the fags .. drink less .. exercise more .. lose weight .. get out on the bike more, whatever the weather? How many can honestly say that they will be able to keep it up for the whole year .... probably not many.

Want a New Years Resolution that is easy to keep, will make you feel better about yourself, and your contribution to others, will save you money & make the world a better place? Sounds too good to be true? Almost, but not quite ....

One of the best NY resolutions you can possibly make is to join a non-member to MAG this year (or join yourself if you are not a member, rejoin if you have recently lapsed, or ensure you maintain your own membership throughout the year if you are already a member !!!).

This resolution is dead easy to keep (just £27 will guarantee that), you will be positively contributing to the on-going maintenance of your chosen lifestyle, both for you and everyone who rides a bike, you are joining a union of 10,000 like minded souls, and best of all, you will be able to save money by taking advantage of the many benefits and deals only available to MAG members.

You can join MAG at:

Join (or renew) by Direct Debit, then you'll never again have to remember to renew as it will be done automatically for you: http://www.mag-uk.org/files/Renewal_DD-1_page.pdf.

Membership fees are: Single Membership - £27.00; Joint Membership (two adults) - £40.50; Family Membership - either single or joint adult membership with children added to the membership at £5.00 per child. New members between the ages of 16 and 25 years old receive a £5 discount on first year of MAG membership.

Make this one New Years Resolution you will honestly say you have been able to keep ... Don't put it off ... Join (or rejoin) MAG now !!!

3) Bikers in Wakefield Bus Lanes

A huge Thank You to all riders who responded to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority consultation recently. A whopping 11% of respondants were motorcyclists, which given we represent a mere 1% of road traffic, is hugely impressive. Your input and the hard work of the Three Amigos (Ian Whittaker from Wakefield MAG, Steve Bolton from huddersfield MAG and Richard Manton from Leeds MAG) is already paying dividends. The first council in West Yorkshire to announce bikes in bus lanes is Wakefield !!!! The newly extended bus lane from Morrisons on Dewsbury Road into Wakefield city centre will permit powered two wheel (PTW) vehicles, in addition to taxis, pedal cycles and buses (obviously). The signs are in the process of being erected (they may well already be in place), so check them on your way into the city centre as you could well be permitted to use those bus lanes on your bikes very soon. We also understand that this is not a trial, it's a permanent arrangement. A big thanks to Wakefield Council for recognising the value of PTW's in tackling traffic congestion and for being the first of the four West Yorkshire councils to open up the bus lanes to bikes. This is a fantastic result for all the areas motorcyclists and shows the hugely effective lobbying power of MAG in action !!!

4) Record Year for MAG

2016 has been a mixed bag for most, and has been positively awful considering the loss of so many music, film and entertainment idols throughout the year. MAG has had a year characterised by results and all in all, has had a cracking 2016. The biking world is in much better shape at the end of the year than it was at the beginning. MAG's December 2016 Press Release on the successes achieved during the year:

MAG was founded at a time when civil liberties were being compromised and the international situation looked very unstable. While history may be repeating itself in some respects on the world stage, the Motorcycle Action Group has had one of the most productive periods in its 43-year existence.

MAG's Chair, Selina Lavender, is impressed with the level of output: "2016 has seen MAG change gear to become the clear voice of riders in a hugely credible way. We've established lasting relationships with decision-makers at local and national level. Our work with the motorcycle industry has become strategic. We're helping to spearhead the campaign to deal with motorcycle-related crime. We've challenged insane cycle-lane schemes which have harmed all powered traffic for little benefit to the economy, environment or society. We've submitted a significant number of responses to local and national Government consultations; possibly more than at any time in our history. And we're being taken seriously in debates about the future of transport, in terms of autonomous vehicles, the strategic roads network and the environmental agenda. I'd say we've had a pretty good year."

MAG's focus for 2017 is more of the same. Selina adds: "a lot of the work we do is not glamorous, dramatic or newsworthy. Meeting local authority officers is very much a desk job, as is the submission of serious comments to Government consultations. That's how we make progress. It's hardly surprising we now have a growing network, with new groups in London, Northern Ireland and elsewhere. We can take nothing for granted; these achievements have been earned and the more we do the more we are taken seriously. It's high-octane stuff - and the results prove that riders are now being taken seriously in a way which was desperately needed. I want to thank everyone - activists and professional staff alike - for a tremendous year of progress. While the world has had its fair share of shocks and disappointments, most of what's happened in MAG's world has been enormously positive. Let's keep that momentum going - and let's keep delivering results in the interests of liberty and riding."

MAG the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, ends 2016 by offering a huge 'thank you' to all of its members for their support during the year and wishing them many miles of happy riding in the year ahead.

Lembit Öpik, MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, added "MAG members are amazing; without them we would only be achieving a fraction of what we are doing. I'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to you all because you make MAG what it is: the country's leading riders' rights organisation and every MAG member should be proud of their contribution."

5) Post Christmas Auction

Our 13th Post Christmas Auction will be held on Wednesday 1st February 2017, at 20:00, at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, and if previous years events are anything to go by, an event not to be missed. The idea is that you bring along all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, donate them to the branch, and we auction them off to the highest bidder.

The 2016 auction raised (with a little help from the raffle) £490. This allowed us to split the proceeds nicely into 1/3's, with 2/3 (£330) being donated to the MAG Fighting Fund, with the remaining 1/3 charity donation being split between the following 3 worthy causes:

That was pretty staggering, especially as the bidding on a lot of items started at 50p. Of course, we want to try to beat that for 2017 !!. We know times are hard at the moment, but that's all the more reason to come down to the auction, grab a top bargain, and save yourselves considerable amounts of money. We are already accumulating auction items and we still have 2 months to collect even more !!!!.

The auctions are always hugely entertaining and there are always some real quality items donated, and hence, some real bargains to be had.

Proceeds from the auction will again be split (2/3 to the MAG Fighting Fund, 1/3 to a charitable cause(s).

I hope to see you there. Be there early, with viewing from 07:00 onwards, and the auction starting at 08:00 prompt (and don't forget to bring your unwanted Christmas pressies !!!).

6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting

The Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held in the Grey Horse, on Wednesday 11th January 2017, starting at 8:00pm (prompt). All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes. As this meeting is effectively a MAG political meeting, it carries with it a whopping 75 branch points for everyone who attends (a normal branch meeting only carries 5 points). As all the points are tallied at year end and go towards the branch heroes presentation, points really do mean prizes !!!! What better boost to your branch heroes tally for the new year !!!

In order to save costs (given the huge hike in postal charges), the Annual Wakefield MAG mailshot was emailed to all eligible Members, i.e. current or recently expired MAG members with a WF postcode, to formally place notice for the meeting. Those members for whom we don't have valid email addresses, were posted the letter. The meeting is also advertised in the events section on the main MAG website (http://www.mag-uk.org), on our own website, and in the latest edition of The Road magazine.

Last years AGM minutes are available Here.

N.B. Motions for the AGM should be submitted the week before the AGM (Wednesday 4th January 2017).

7) MAG acts on Bike Theft

MAG has become a very active participant of the UK's Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group, in the light of dangerous developments in bike crime, with one murder in London and repeated assaults on riders by would-be bike thieves.

MAG has joined forces with the motorcycle industry, the police and insurance firms to tackle the crime wave that is affecting motorcyclists and scooter riders, especially in urban areas. Lembit Öpik is MAG's representative on the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group (MCRG): "I've been instructed to take an active part in seeking solutions. With allies it becomes easier. We've agreed to create a joint approach involving riders, manufacturers and the authorities. The London Metropolitan Police found remains of 14 stole Honda 125s in a single raid. Liverpool police recovered a bike with frame number and engine number chiselled off - one of hundreds of similar cases. Riders have bought machines in good faith only to discover they had purchased stolen goods and a man in London was murdered by thugs who wanted to steal his bike from outside his own house." Violence has now become commonplace, with riders literally being pushed off their motorcycles in petrol stations by yobs trying to snatch their machines. "What are we supposed to do? Padlock our bikes at traffic lights?" asks Lembit.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association's Chief Executive Officer Steve Kenwood summed it up: "we've got to privatise the problem, and then present the solution to the State." Part of that solution is the Master Scheme, which tags bikes in a way which makes them instantly identifiable with the right equipment. This has measurably reduced theft of tagged bikes and increased recovery rates, though that might also explain the increase in thefts of older bikes.

Lembit adds "the Chair of the MCRG is, I hope, going to address MAG's National Committee in 2017. With organised crime heavily involved with these problems, this is a messy situation. Scooter-enabled crime is also up. It's a battle we'll have to fight as long as there are elements in our country who don't give a damn about other people or their property."

8) Driving & Dialling Stickers

As was covered in the December Newsletter, we now have a stock of 'Anti Driving and Dialling' stickers, to highlight the dangers of using mobile phones whilst driving. Despite this being against the law, it's a everyday occurrance seeing drivers continuing to use mobiles whilst driving, and every year, a large number of motorcyclists are killed or serious injured by drivers who are distracted by their mobile phones. These stickers are part of the campaign to highlight the risks and encourage motorists to focus on their driving rather than their phone.

No phoning whilst driving stickers

These are exterior quality stickers and can go on all types of vehicles, bike luggage or helmets.

These stickers can be purchased through Wakefield MAG (at any of the weekly meetings) as we have a stock for sale (20 of each).

The cost of the stickers is £3 each for the long ones (200mm long) and £1 each for the round ones (48mm across).

9) Failed Injunction Schemes

MAG is approaching the National Police Chiefs' Council to request a review of the rowdy events which were widely reported on Halloween night. MAG challenges the claim that order can be restored through restrictions on the liberties of law-abiding citizens.

MAG is seeking a summit with representatives of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) to gauge their willingness to find more effective ways of addressing the crime which caused fear and inconvenience to the public during Halloween 2016.

Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, said "the police rightly pointed out that the yobbish behaviour which took place in various cities on 31st October was nothing to do with legitimate motorcycling. This same message was shared by MAG on social media and also on the national news. However, the problem still persists, despite the introduction of some very harsh injunctions in many of the areas where the lawless behaviour took place.

MAG has long argued that the introduction of such restrictive rules makes a mockery of existing laws. What's the benefit of banning two or more motorbikes from riding together, or of outlawing the use of a vehicle horn? It's not logical and could even compromise safety. Nor did it prevent the anti-social behaviour in any measurable way."

Selina hopes the discussions with the police will lead to a serious review of these poorly-worded injunctions, with advice from the NPCC to replace the injunctions with more sensible measures. "We're on-side with the authorities regarding tackling the anti-social behaviour. We just think it's better to approach the whole matter with enforceable, reasonable measures; not ones which turn vast numbers of law-abiding riders into criminals, whilst doing nothing to prevent the small number of idiots from doing what they like."

Meanwhile, in typical 'Knee Jerk Reaction' fashion, Leeds City Council has obtained an injunction following the events on Kirkstall Road and in the City Centre on Halloween night (see article in the November newsletter). Even more bizarely (or call it sinister), they have not disclosed the wording of the injunction, so we have no way of knowing what motorcycle type gathering and/or activity they are 'banning' .... Leeds MAG Rep Richard Manton has made a Freedom of Information request so we can all find out (and challenge if the wording is detrimental to our law abiding activities) .... watch this space for updates !!!

10) Yorkshire MAG Rallies Q&A Session (Wednesday 4th January)

For our first event of the new year, we welcome along Ali Preston (MAP MD), Andy Foody (MAP Director) & Pete Walker (MAP Events Manager), who are hosting a Q&A session about the Yorkshire MAG rallies for 2017 (and beyond). One of the topics on the agenda is the 'slightly contraversial' issue of cars at MAG 'bike' rallies (No cars, No pedestrians, No excuses ;-) Everyone welcome and lets have a big turnout please.

The session is being held at 20:30, at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ on Wednesday 4th January 2017.

11) Wakefield MAG Sea Fishing Trip

The details of our sea fishing trip are all now confirmed and we are currently taking bookings and deposits. We have two spare places at present and we also intend to offer a reserve list in case of any drop-outs.

The date is Saturday 15th July 2017, and the boat booked is the Sapphire, based out of Sunderland Marina. The boat takes 10 people at a cost of £55 each, which includes hire of all the gear and the bait. It's an 8 hour trip from 8am to 4pm. No previous experience required - warm waterproof clothing and footwear is recommended, also sunglasses, sun cream and a hat are advisable (we have deliberately booked it for the middle of summer so hopefully the weather will be red hot and the North Sea as calm as a duck pond). Travel sickness and headache pills may be a worthwhile addition but you'll also need some food and plenty to drink (but nothing alcoholic). Lastly, you'll also need a towel to dry your hands.

For anyone who wants to go, you'll need to reserve your place with a non-refundable deposit (which we are taking now) of £15, and you can pay the balance up front or in 8 monthly instalments of £5.

As it will be an early start on the Saturday morning (the boat leaves at 8am), we are planning to head up on the Friday evening and stay overnight in a bed and breakfast recommended by the Sapphire's skipper, which is a 5 minute walk from Sunderland Marina (www.thechaiseguesthouse.com. There are plenty of rooms to accommodate all 10 of us if needed (Single Room from £27.00; Double Room from £40.00 and Family Room from £60.00). We intend booking these very early in the new year whilst they are still available. Please let us know ASAP if you want to take advantage of the Friday night stay - we'll then make the booking and let you know what the cost is upfront

And if you are still undecided about going and whether sea fishing is for you ..... check out the report of our last Sea Fishing Trip Here.

12) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

Wednesday 4th January 2017 - Yorkshire MAG Rallies Q&A Session

See Above.

Wednesday 11th January 2017 - Wakefield MAG AGM

See Above.

Review of 2016, Officers Reports, Election of Branch Officers for 2017, plans for the forthcoming year & Presentation to our Branch Heroes of 2016. Current MAG Membership Card required to vote. 19:30 for a prompt 20:00 start in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ.

Wednesday 1st February 2017 - Wakefield MAG 13th Post Christmas Auction

See Above.

Our 13th Post Christmas Auction will be held on Wednesday 1st February 2017, at 20:00, at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, and if previous years events are anything to go by, an event not to be missed. The idea is that you bring along all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, donate them to the branch, and we auction them off to the highest bidder. The auctions are always hugely entertaining and there are always some real quality items donated, and hence, some real bargains to be had. Proceeds from the auction will again be split (2/3 to the MAG Fighting Fund, 1/3 to a charitable cause(s). Be there early, with viewing from 19:00 onwards, and the auction starting at 20:00 prompt (and don't forget to bring your unwanted Christmas pressies !!!).

February 2017 (Exact Date TBC) - Fred Hill Memorial Run

If you don't know who Fred Hill was, or why MAG holds him in such high esteem, check out his obituary Here.

Wednesday 22nd February 2017 - Wakefield MAG Bingo Night

Eyes Down for another Fun Filled Night of Bingo !!! Cash and Prize Bingo, and lot's of hilarity guaranteed. All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. This will be our 5th Bingo Night, and if the previous four are anything to go by, a cracking night is in store. The excitement starts at 20:00 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, on Wednesday 22nd February. Hope to see you there.

Sunday 2nd April 2017 - Wakefield Hospice 10K Race


Friday 28th April - Sunday 30th May 2017 - Into the Valley (ITV) Rally


Friday 16th June - Sunday 18th June 2017 - Farmyard Party (FYP) Rally


Friday 4th August - Sunday 6th August 2017 - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)


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 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.