Wakefield MAG January 2024 Newsletter

Happy New Year from Wakefield MAG

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend our Tuesday 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 only a few weeks away (See below for details).


1) New Years Resolutions
2) MAG's Review of 2023
3) Whitby Railway Station Motorcycle Parking Ban
4) What do YOU want from Wakefield MAG - A Reminder
5) Post Christmas Auction
6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting
7) 2024 Meetings
8) Yorkshire Region Meeting
9) 2024 Rally Dates
10) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

1) 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 £30 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: www.mag-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Renewal_DD-1_page.pdf.

Membership fees are: Single Membership - £30.00; Joint Membership (two adults) - £45.00; 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 !!!

2) MAG's Review of 2023

MAG's primary mission is to protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists in the UK. We have many tireless volunteers that organise social and fund-raising events, as well as volunteers and paid employees that deliver the goods of lobbying on behalf of riders.

2023 Review

This is a brief review of some of MAG's lobbying activity during 2023, our 50th anniversary year: 2023 Review

As 2022 ended, MAG was deep into campaigning for a review of the motorcycle licencing regime. We published detailed analysis of the effects of the current regime. Ministers promised the formation of a Motorcycle Strategic Focus Group headed by the DVSA to discuss licencing and other issues.

As with most things focus groups can be a way to delay actually doing something, but at least it was an acknowledgement that a conversation is needed. Sadly, after a couple of meetings of the group we were told that the focus group work would be suspended as DVSA staff were all being sent to deal with a backlog in car licence tests. This couldn't be more ironic really; the government was showing a higher priority in getting more people licenced to drive cars than discussing why the licencing system for a more environmentally friendly transport mode was posing a barrier to getting people out of their cars.

In October 2023 the MCIA launched a campaign for licence reform tied to their PLV Action Plan. Positioning their campaign as 'A Licence for Net Zero' is asking for trouble. The PLV Action Plan is about transitioning to an electric-only future for motorcycles, which we oppose. The campaign is tied to the Net Zero agenda that seeks to reduce the numbers of people using private motorised transport. Little wonder then that the Government reacted by calling a Ministerial roundtable to discuss the MCIA proposals - they must have thought Christmas had come early!

But MAG is deeply concerned that any proposals coming forward are likely to further restrict access to motorcycling, or create a two-tier system that desperately tries to increase uptake of electric motorcycles whilst discouraging ICE motorcycle use. All other efforts to persuade us that electric motorcycles work for everyone are failing, so why wouldn't the Government look for more excuses to dissuade us from buying ICE bikes?

The Ministerial meeting was postponed following yet another Cabinet reshuffle, but it is clear that 2024 will include a large effort to get the right outcome for motorcycling when it comes to the licence regime.

Plans for Cambridge's Sustainable Travel Zone resulted in a surreal pyrrhic victory for motorcycling thanks to MAG's efforts. Despite plans to charge motorcycles the same rate as cars to enter this new incarnation of a congestion charging zone, MAG's efforts succeeded in winning a complete exemption for motorcycles. This was a clear victory for motorcyclists - another triumph to rank alongside the exemption for motorcycles in every clean air zone outside of London. But in ensuing weeks the victory party was made slightly academic as news broke that the entire STZ scheme would be scrapped.

There will be further schemes brought forward in Cambridge, and MAG will be on the case. But we did create a precedent for motorcycle exemption in sustainable travel zones: or at the very least confirmation of the precedent for exempting motorcycles from congestion charging zones.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan pushed for further expansion of his ULEZ scheme. The basis of charging for motorcycles has remained unchanged but, due to MAG's previous work to get the best possible deal for riders, very few motorcycles are unable to prove compliance and thus exemption from the charge. Despite this we'll continue to oppose the scheme as long as there are any charges for any motorcycles.

MAG also assisted other campaign groups opposing the expansion, but despite all efforts the expansion out to the whole of Greater London went ahead in August. The Mayor's stubbornness was almost certainly the key factor in the single by-election win for the Tory party and, no doubt, in the 'Plan for Drivers' announced during conference season.

Parking motorcycles has always been something riders have done in a make-the-best-of-a-bad-situation way. Riders are often left to find places to tuck their bikes as sufficient formal parking bays are seldom provided. Car parks get that name for a reason.

This status quo has largely meant that parking has not been another cost for riders - helping to maintain the economic benefits of owning a bike. However, the London skirmishes that began with Westminster's hotly contested introduction of motorcycle parking charges a few years ago have extended to a growing campaign across the capital of unreasonable and unjustifiable charging schemes. London MAG have been valiantly fighting with Islington and Hackney to name but two.

We focused on the parlous state of workplace motorcycle parking for Ride To Work Day. Producing an employer's guide with a clear focus on the need for security, we have also been combining work on getting better facilities with our campaigning to reduce motorcycle theft.

Once again, we are seeing a lack of engagement from policy makers for a transport solution that offers benefits. Caught as an innocent bystander in the war on cars, motorcycles are being unnecessarily penalised for doing their bit to reduce congestion and emissions.

Sometimes, as in the recent case of Whitby Train Station (see below), overt discrimination raises its head. In these cases, the riding community does come together - we were able to rapidly reverse the ban of motorcycle parking at that site, but sadly the insidious ratcheting of discriminatory charges gets less reaction and thus less success.

MAG has plans to work with the British Parking Association in the New Year, but this also needs a long hard look at why policy makers cannot accept the evidence in front of them. The evidence proves they should at least stop attacking, if not start encouraging, our favoured transport choice.

The fight against motorcycle theft has been a major campaign area for the whole of 2023 and will continue to be in 2024. Our research has shown the grossly disproportionate impact suffered by motorcyclists. Motorcycles are 11 times more likely to be stolen than cars and constitute 25% of all reported vehicle theft in the UK despite being a mere 3% of all registered vehicles. The Government's response to this research was that they would do something if it gets any worse. This is not good enough.

Throughout the year we focused on holding Police and Crime Commissioners to account by giving riders a platform to make their views known directly to these politicians. We have held six Fight Motorcycle Theft Meetings over the last year covering Kent, Hertfordshire, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Humberside and West Yorkshire Police Force areas. We have more in the pipeline for 2024. These do lead to tangible results, and we have seen, for example, funds for secure parking facilities in Kent and the formation of a motorcycle theft focus group in Hull. There is much more work to be done, but we have noticed that the dial is beginning to move. The issue is being recognised and discussed, not least due to the new data we are uncovering that shows there is a disproportionate impact on road casualty figures too. We have a long way to go, but we are not tiring and will stay the course.

£8.4b of funding for roads maintenance is not a bad result for this year's Resurface Our Roads campaign. It may be churlish to suggest that the downfall of the full HS2 program is entirely down to MAG, but we can legitimately claim to have helped ensure that some of the funds released were directed to repairing the roads. Unfortunately, £8.4b is short of the £14b that is estimated to be needed, so there remains work to be done.

We launched Resurface Our Roads in the summer, calling for increased funding, best practice and a review of the risk assessment model and its consideration of the needs of riders. We worked with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Better Roads and helped broaden the story on why this investment is so important. As motorcyclists, we are again disproportionately affected by bad road surfaces. And the statistics show that we are more impacted than cyclists. With bad road surfaces resulting in an average of 74 killed and seriously injured motorcyclists per year, we have more reason to shout about the state of the roads than any other group of road users. This is not an inconvenience: it is a significant risk to life and limb.

We continue to work on the risk assessment question. In our opinion, risk assessors who do not ride cannot fully appreciate the dangers we face as riders. We must first provide evidence that this impacts on outcomes for riders. We believe we can do this. And then we plan to ensure the system is changed to work in our favour.

The Government's Plan for Drivers, announced in the second half of the year, falls short of providing a unified Plan for Motorcyclists, but there are elements that can help. The key item was the announcement of a revision of DfT guidelines on bus lanes and the promise of a consultation on default access for motorcycles in bus lanes. This is certainly a start, but MAG is campaigning for the consultation scope to be broadened to cover bus gates, traffic filters and advanced stop lines. With 48% of bus lanes already allowing access it is time for a default policy across the entire UK. One devolved administration (Northern Ireland) already has a blanket policy in favour. How many more trials do we need to run, wasting tax payers' money, to prove what is already proven?

On bus gates and traffic filters we won a significant precedent in Oxford. Motorcycles were made exempt from their proposed traffic filters simply because they realised they were trying to manage car movements - and motorcycles are not cars. Similarly, research has already proven in one trial years ago, that motorcycle access to ASL's can work, so it's time to stop ignoring evidence and start delivering for motorcyclists.

Early in 2023 there was mounting evidence of resistance to UK style electric-only policy from some EU members. Post Brexit, the UK is no longer tied directly to EU policy, but our Government seems increasingly keen to out-EU the EU when it comes to 'leading in the fight against Climate Change'. Despite actions that led to the EU accepting a window of opportunity for alternative fuels in ICE vehicles, MAG has been keen to point out the lack of movement in this direction by the UK Government. Despite Sunak's announcement that rolling back to 2035 for cars and vans was aligning our policy with EU policy, the Government has steadfastly refused to match the position on alternative fuels.

MAG Chair Neil Liversidge met DfT Minister for Transport Decarbonisation, Jesse Norman, in March as the developments in Europe were unfolding, but there was no sign of a softening from the UK perspective. In June we attended a Ministerial Roundtable Meeting with the Minister in June, along with the MCIA and representatives from all the major motorcycle manufacturers. We were still greeted by a minister asking if a year or two delay would make a difference. Many manufacturers pointed to their plans to develop alternative technologies, but the Government stuck to its electric-only mantra. This led a number of manufacturers to state openly to the Minister that there is potential for them to withdraw from the UK market. Since that meeting there has been yet another Cabinet reshuffle and we are still awaiting the final decision on the ICE ban policy for motorcycles. The fight is far from over.

There is always a temptation to be complacent, to hear what they want you to hear, swallow the spin and stick your head in the sand. Too many are doing just that. MAG will not do any of those things. MAG will continue making this the top campaign priority and seeking any allies willing to join the fight. We are facing the death of motorcycling in the UK if this policy is not defeated. If you have never been a MAG member, have let your membership lapse, or are thinking you need to save some money by not renewing this year, we would love you to join, rejoin or stay with us (see above). If, like us, you are passionate about motorcycling, want to see motorcycling continue in the future, and want to preserve all that you love about it, we hope it will be an easy choice to make. MAG's strength is in numbers. The riding community can demonstrate strength when it unites - we proved that in Whitby (see below). But Whitby was small in comparison with the fight we face to save the future of UK motorcycling. If you want to say you played your part to defend motorcycling, please join MAG today.

3) Whitby Railway Station Motorcycle Parking Ban

No Motorcycles

Hopefully you didn't miss the news that Northern Trains introduced a blatant discrimination against motorcyclists by banning motorcycle parking at Whitby railway station in early December. The Whistlestop cafe who are based in the railway station host a very popular bike night so this would have severely impacted their business, and which attracts tourists to the town who specifically come to look at all the bikes.

York MAG Rep & Political Officer, Richard Suddaby was quickly on the case, complaining to Northern Trains and getting coverage in the Scarborough press, in addition to flooding social media with requests for fellow bikers to also complain. We provided a bit of info to assist people with complaining about this discriminatory move by Northern Trains:

'The car park is owned by Northern Trains, trading as Northern, who are a publicly owned train operating company in England. It is owned by DfT OLR Holdings for the Department for Transport (DfT). Given it's publically owned, we should contact the local MP (Sir Robert Goodwill is the Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby). With an election looming they cannot afford to be seen miffing off the biking community. It's possible there may have been small minded local influence at a community level involved in this decision. Given Northern are a publicly owned company they are subject to the Freedom of Information act. We can ask them to provide details of any complaints they have received about bikes in the station car park. Some deft FOI requests may give them a wake up call and at the least make life uncomfortable for them dealing with these. Northern have a strong social media presence as well as several email addresses that Complaints can be directed to (list of email addresses and social media platforms Northern have, together with telephone numbers and names of the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director were provided to aid the complaint process). The angle we went for was discrimination. We asked people to keep any complaints polite. At the end of the day, it's a privately owned car park and they can set the rules. However, it's blatant discrimination against a section of society, plus it will have a detrimental effect on businesses in Whitby'.

MAG issued a Press Release following a note to Northern from the MAG Chair, in addition to producing a Pod Cast: Whitby Station Motorcycle Parking Ban Pod Cast.

After receiving scores of complaints, Northern Trains quickly reversed the ban and motorcycles are again allowed to park in the railway station car park (two to a car parking space). A charge will apply but this will be decided upon at a later date. This is a fantastic result - Well done Richard 'Spud' Suddaby and everyone who took up the call to arms and contacted Northern. This is a fantastic example of how effective lobbying can be !!!!!

We even got coverage in Motorcycle News following the U turn. Next step .... overturning the ICE ban .... it can happen if we all pull together like we did with the Whitby Railway Station Motorcycle Parking Ban !!!!

4) What do YOU want from Wakefield MAG - A Reminder

Just a reminder to let us know 'What do YOU want from Wakefield MAG ?', especially with our Annual General Meeting rapidly approaching, which will include deciding on Branch Development plans for 2024 ......


Wakefield MAG represents MAG members with a WF postcode, and is your MAG branch. We have met every week since January 2002 (excluding the two periods of Covid lockdown in 2020), that's 22 years. However, since Covid, Wakefield MAG has lost a number of active members, mainly due to health reasons and hanging up their leathers. However, we have not been able to replace them with new active members, meaning all the organisational effort now falls down to only three people, which is not sustainable and leads to burnout.

As an attempt to boost meeting attendance, we have trialled business meetings every other week, with socials on the others, in case business meetings were too boring for some. However, that hasn't worked as the socials are less well attended than business meetings, and we've had to stop the monthly organised social events because they were so poorly attended. We also haven't held any monthly rideouts during 2023 as attendance on those had dropped right off, plus no one volunteered to be rideout co-ordinator at the 2023 AGM.

Curtailing social events as they are poorly attended and no longer feasible reduces the attraction to new members as you don't do anything socially - it's a real Catch 22 situation.

Wakefield MAG has historically never been an overly political branch (unlike some other MAG branches) - most business meetings cover only the minimum of political campaigning, with the majority of time devoted instead to events and fundraising (in short, they aren't boring meetings to attend).

We hosted a very successful 21st Birthday Bash in September this year - although we had an excellent turnout, there were relatively few Wakefield MAG members (past and present) who attended, despite the fact the event was specifically laid on for them as a celebration of 21 years of a MAG presence in the Wakefield District. Why was that ? Buggered if I know.

So, the question to our membership is .... What do YOU want from Wakefield MAG that would encourage you to attend meetings / events ?

Please e-mail us at wakefield-rep@mag-uk.org with your ideas and suggestions, or better still, come down to a meeting on a Tuesday and tell us in person !!!

There is an old adage, 'USE IT OR LOSE IT', which is particularly relevant right now. Over to you.

5) Post Christmas Auction

2024 Auction

Our 19th Post Christmas Auction will be held on Tuesday 30th January 2024. Our Post Christmas Auction's are the stuff of legends. The idea is you donate all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, to the Branch and we auction them off to the highest bidder .... with the proceeds split 2/3 to MAG and 1/3 to charitable causes.

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 and other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for !!!).

Hope to see you there.

6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting

The Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held in the Thatched House, on Tuesday 16th January 2024, 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. Meeting Agenda:

AGM Agenda

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 !!!

The Annual Wakefield MAG mailshot was emailed or posted to all eligible Members last month, i.e. current MAG members with a WF postcode, to formally place notice for the meeting. The mailshot letter is also available Here

The meeting is also advertised in the events section on the main MAG website (www.mag-uk.org), and on our website events page.

Last years AGM minutes are available Here.

N.B. Motions for the AGM should be submitted at least the week before the AGM (Tuesday 9th January 2024).

7) 2024 Meetings

Due to the close proximity to the New Years Day Bank Holiday on Monday 1st January 2024, there will be no branch meeting on Tuesday 2nd January 2024. Meetings for the new year will commence on Tuesday 9th January 2024, then every Tuesday thereafter, as normal.

If you have never been to a Wakefield MAG meeting or used to come in the past but haven't been for a while, we would love to see you. New (and Old) faces are always very welcome at our weekly meetings at 8:00pm at the Thatched House on Aberford Road, Stanley. Everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome, healthy debate, friendly banter and reasonably priced drinks. What more could you ask for !?!

Hope to see you at a Wakefield MAG meeting in 2024 !!!

8) Yorkshire Region Meeting

The next MAG Yorkshire Region meeting will be held on Sunday 14th January 11:00 - 12:30 at Breighton Ferry, Breighton, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 6DH. Every Yorkshire MAG member is very welcome to attend, where you can witness MAG democracy in action and have a say in how your region is run. Hope to see you there.

Following the Yorkshire Region meeting, the first Magic Action Promotions (MAP) meeting of 2024 starts at 13:00, to commence the Yorkshire MAG rallies planning process.

9) 2024 Rally Dates

Confirmed dates, venues and ticket prices for the 2024 Yorkshire MAG rallies are:


On Sale now (Online and Telephone) and from your local MAG branch early in the new year (Remember, if you buy your tickets directly from your local MAG branch, you save on the on-line booking fee (which are per ticket not per transaction !!!) and postage .... more money in your pocket = more beer money .... what more of an incentive could you possibly want !!!).

There are also a couple of discount schemes for the Yorkshire MAG rallies, which you may want to take advantage of if you qualify:

Young Riders Discount


DID YOU KNOW YOU QUALIFY FOR 25% DISCOUNT ON OUR TICKET PRICES TO ALL OF OUR EVENTS (claim cashback (voucher) at the event, for terms see below)- NO CATCH


young riders discount

Clubs Discount


If you are, you're in luck. Book your tickets through your club, in bulk and receive ... FREE TICKETS!!!! Buy 20 and receive 2 free, buy 30 and receive 3 free etc etc

Why not use one of our events for you to hold a social, an AGM or even better use it to promote your club and attain new members. Tickets need to be purchased through one central point and in one transaction to qualify, this can either be done online or via BACS.

club discount

For further details of these rally discount schemes, call 0800 988 3199 or visit www.mapevents.co.uk

10) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

Tuesday 9th January 2024 - First Wakefield MAG meeting of 2024 and deadline for AGM motions to be submitted

MAG Yorkshire Region meeting

See Above. 11:00 - 12:30 at Breighton Ferry, Breighton, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 6DH.

Tuesday 16th January 2024 - Wakefield MAG 22nd Annual General Meeting

See Above. 19:30 for a prompt 20:00 start in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield

Tuesday 30th January 2024 - Post Christmas Auction

See Above

Got lots of unwanted Christmas presents ? Got items that are of use/value but you don't have the space for them any more ? Prepared to donate them for a good cause ? Bring them along to the Wakefield MAG 'Post Christmas Auction' where they will be raffled off to the highest bidder, with all the proceeds being donated to MAG and other worthy causes. 20:00 in the Thatched House.

Sunday 24th March - Wakefield Hospice 10K road race marshalling

Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May - Into the Valley (ITV) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd June - Farmyard Party (FYP) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th 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 at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:00pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.