Wakefield MAG July 2016 Newsletter

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.


1) Evening Visit to Sheffield Speedway
2) FYP Report
3) June Rideout Report
4) Blanket Ban on Pre-1999 Bikes in Paris
5) NCC Promote Modal Shift Towards Motorcycles
6) MAG Director Neil Liversidge Resigns
7) July (Memorial) Rideout
8) West Yorkshire MAG 'Bit of a Do'
9) YPR Tickets For Sale and a Call for Marshals
10) Fleur de Lys Classic Vehicle Show
11) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

1) Evening Visit to Sheffield Speedway

Check out the event report: Here

2) FYP Report

Check out the event report: Here

3) June Rideout Report

Check out the rideout report: Here

4) Blanket Ban on Pre-1999 Bikes in Paris

The measure, scheduled to begin on 1st July 2016, will be enforced with a 35 Euros fine from 1st October. The ban was agreed by the Minister of Environment, the City of Paris, and the transport authorities.

The new policy contains some glaring contradictions, and the level of pollution generated by vehicles does not seem to be the key consideration. Vehicles in Paris already require a coloured badge to show the emissions group they belong to. Yet pre-1999 bikes will be banned regardless of the colour of the badge. That means that, even if a bike is 'environmentally clean', it will still be excluded from the city solely on the basis of it's age.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, has strongly rejected what she regards as an unfair and counter-productive scheme. "Whatever problems Paris has with air quality aren't going to be fixed by a blanket ban on older bikes. For one thing, even an aging scooter has a tiny environmental footprint compared to most new cars. So what's the logic of banning a 'good' form of transport on the basis of what looks like political dogma? Also, the total amount of road traffic made up of older bikes and pre-1997 cars - which will also be banned - is less than 10%. Of that, a miniscule proportion is bikes and scooters. So it makes no logical sense to ban this two-wheeled section of road traffic - as there's going to be no measurable difference to air quality. It's a discriminatory, badly thought out move which will make Paris hugely unattractive to thousands of owners of older and classic bikes."

London is considering an 'ultra-low emissions zone' by 2020, which would introduce heavy charges for vehicles that do not meet stringent emissions standards. MAG has repeatedly raised the same concerns about this move as it is about the Paris ban. "MAG is happy to work with the authorities to find sensible solutions to common concerns," adds Selina. "What we won't tolerate is the systematic exclusion of one of the most eco-friendly forms of powered vehicles ever invented, just because the decision-makers haven't bothered to take a strategic, and sane, look at the consequences of what they're doing."

5) NCC Promote Modal Shift Towards Motorcycles

Northamptonshire County Council is the first in the UK to promote a modal shift towards motorcycles.

The Motorcycle Action Group has praised Northamptonshire County Council as the first in the UK to actively pursue modal shift from cars to motorcycles. This strategy has been a cornerstone of MAG's policy position, as outlined in its Pathways to Progress document. Northamptonshire's announcement came in the lead up to the International Ride to Work Week (20th - 26th June 2016). Their strategy and thinking behind the move is superbly covered in a short video: Link.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said "Northamptonshire have shown a forward thinking attitude to helping solve the congestion issue faced in many towns and cities across the UK. We welcome this initiative and look forward to other counties following their lead."

John Spencer, Team Leader of Road Safety and Travel Choices, Northamptonshire Highways says: "As part of our modal shift strategy Northamptonshire County Council intends to embrace motorcycles and scooters as a sustainable transport mode within the future countywide transport programme. Greater use of motorcycles can bring environmental, congestion and accessibility benefits, particularly on journeys made for commuting to places of employment or education."

Mr Spencer adds "the road safety team in Northamptonshire is committed to improving safety for all road users but is also looking at encouraging different ways to travel. In 2015 we carried out a motorcycle survey to reaffirm why people were using motorbikes, but also why they were not! We collaborate with various partners like the Motorcycle Industry Association, Get on Team and the Ride to Work team, to encourage people to take up motorcycling as a safe, sustainable and better way of getting around."

6) MAG Director Neil Liversidge Resigns

MAG has announced that one of the leading campaigners for motorcyclists' rights, Neil Liversidge, has resigned as Director of the organisation. Neil, who was one of the key leaders as MAG restructured itself into a proactive, politically energetic movement, said:

"Dear Fellow MAG Members,

On 9th June 2016 I asked MAG's Board for permission to resign, which permission it has graciously granted. My retirement is therefore effective as of 18.00 hours Saturday 11th June 2016. In the years 1989-2002 when I Chaired MAG, and the year or so before that when I served as a co-opted member of the NC, I did it 100%. I lived it. MAG was my priority above almost everything; certainly above my paid employment, and I always felt that I was doing a great job. I know some others will disagree but they didn't have to stand in my boots and face the issues I faced. And I did face them. I never ducked one. The same was the case through the time of my return in 2012 and the Tribunal. I gave it everything and despite the undermining and the downright treachery we had to face, we got a great result. MAG today is the living proof. I regret nothing I did. I'm proud of every minute of it, every action and every decision and I would do the same again today in the same circumstances.

I have always believed in some words I heard Muhammad Ali speak many years ago. I remembered them on the morning last week I learned of his death. In the 24 years of my working life before I had my own business I had to take some jobs that weren't great under managers I'd rather not have had. Regardless, Ali's words inspired me to do every one of those jobs all as well as I could in the belief that it would pay off eventually. It did. I commend these words of The Greatest to anyone who wants to get on in life and make a success of anything they attempt:

"I would have been the world's greatest at whatever I did. If I were a garbage man, I'd be the world's greatest garbage man! I'd pick up more garbage and faster than anyone has ever seen. To tell you the truth, I would have been the greatest at whatever I'd done! If you're going to do anything - be the greatest. Don't be satisfied with second best. Go first class. Put 100% effort into everything you do. Don't be slap dash. Add excellence as your secret ingredient to every task you undertake. Don't remain a follower. Determine to be a leader."

That is why I am retiring. I support MAG now as wholeheartedly as I did when I joined aged 18 in February 1982. I shall maintain my Membership. It may be that somebody kindly wishes to bestow Honorary Life Membership on me. Please don't; I prefer to pay my way. MAG's ideas are my ideals. MAG's principles are my principles. Writing chunks of the Constitution and the 'What is MAG' descriptor was a breeze to me. I didn't have to think hard on what to write because came from the heart. None of that has changed. What has changed though is that with the growth of my business and my family, my life today is too full to allow me the time I need to properly fulfil the duties of a MAG Director. I have to make space in my life. I can't do the MAG job half-heartedly and be second best. If I can't put 100% in then I can't do the job at all.

So, goodbye. I wish MAG, its staff and all of you all the well in the world. The only advice I have to give is that you should remember the words of Muhammad Ali. Then you'll know what you need to do to be - and make MAG - The Greatest.

Ride Free

Neil F Liversidge
MAG Member 23660"

And in a message to the National Committee, Neil wrote;

"I wish MAG, the staff and all of you personally all the well in the world, and I exhort you to support your Board and in particular the National Chair who is doing a great job which I admire very much. MAG has never in my experience had a better team than it has today. You are doing a great job and can be proud of yourselves."

MAG's Chair Selina Lavender has praised Neil's contribution to the riders' rights agenda across many years. "Neil is MAG through and through. He's tirelessly contributed to our work at the cost of his health, his work and his family. No-one could have done more than Neil to help the organisation become the foremost voice for bikers in the UK and also in Europe. The Board and the National Committee wish to take this opportunity to formally thank Neil and acknowledge his dedication to the organisation. We all wish Neil well and look forward to seeing him at our events in the future."

As a result the Board now has two Director vacancies, one of which is a financial role. Anyone interested in these positions should contact the Board via email (central-office@mag-uk.org) or phone: 01926 844 064.

Footnote: Of course, within Wakefield MAG, we have a special reason to thank Neil as he launched Wakefield MAG on the 9th January 2002, at the White Horse pub on Westgate. The branch was formed as a part relaunch of Castleford MAG (which had become defunct in Spring 2001), and part trial of MAG's Local Group Expansion Plan (LGEP) concept, to develop MAG branches in Hub towns (and Wakefield having that much bigger catchment area than Castleford). He was Rep for the first year, joint rep for the first six months of 2003, then stood down to let Steve take the reins. He set in motion the 'model branch' rules, which we still follow to this day. Enjoy retirement from MAG Neil, but I suspect, in the words of the Terminator ... "I'll be Back"

7) July (Memorial) Rideout

Our July Rideout will be held on Sunday 17th July, and is dedicated to the Memory of dear friends and ex-Members of the Branch who are sadly no longer with us. Martin has planned a learner friendly very scenic 'long way round' route to Whitby and 10,000 acres of clear blue sky is guaranteed (well, OK, we can't guarantee the last bit ... but we can live in hope !!!). Usual Rideout rules apply. Meet 8:30am (leaving at 09:00am) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT. Hope to see you there.

8) West Yorkshire MAG 'Bit of a Do'

Leeds MAG Rep Manny has been floating an idea of a West Yorkshire MAG camp over to galvanise the political work we've all done over the last 18 months (see The Road magazine if you've missed it).

It's not particularly aimed as a fundraiser, but more a celebration and get together of the great friendship we share across Wakefield, Leeds and Huddersfield MAG Groups.

Well, the idea is coming to fruition and the date is set for Sat 26th November, at the Green Dragon pub in the glorious Yorkshire Dales. Good real ale, good food, open fires etc and en-suite rooms from £30pppn, bunkhouse from £18pppn and camping from £8pppn.

All the West Yorkshire members and elected officers are invited, and we are even investigating producing a pin badge to commemorate it (and raise a bit for the MAG coffers). And, if the timing is right, it could be a celebration of bus lane success with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. If it all goes well, we could hold it as an annual event.

Watch this space for more details as we firm them up, but in the meantime, put the date in your diary.

9) YPR Tickets For Sale and a Call for Marshals

We have Yorkshire Pudding Rally tickets for sale at the weekly branch meetings and if you buy them from us, you will save yourself the booking fee and postage.

The Yorkshire Pudding Rally is the weekend of Friday 5th - Sunday 7th August and tickets are £20.

Be sure to buy your YPR tickets early, as this rally sells out every year well ahead of the event, and it's Pre-Book only i.e. no 'On the Gate' sales. If you want some YPR rally tickets reserving, do let me know ..... and don't leave it too late to buy them ... once it's sold out (and it will sell out), your only hope of a ticket is probably eBay.

More details of this excellent rally at: www.yorkshirepuddingrally.co.uk

Marshals Registration for the Yorkshire Pudding Rally 2016 is now open. The deadline for registering is 13:00 on Saturday 16th July. Your shifts will be confirmed to you by Sunday 24th July. To register to marshal, go to the rally web site (link above), go to the section menu on the left hand side of the page and click on MARSHAL REGISTRATION.

10) Fleur de Lys Classic Vehicle Show

The annual gathering of classic vehicles organised by the Fleur de Lys Classic Vehicle Society will be held on Friday 1st July at Clarence Park, Wakefield, from 4pm to dusk. All vehicles are welcome and to be classified as a classic they must be aged over 25 years old ie. Manufactured in or pre-1991.

Last Years Show

Enjoy a summer's evening in the Park wth some wonderful classic vehicles and enthusiasts. Entry is free for spectators.

More details at: fleurdelyscvs.org/

11) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

Friday 1st July - Fleur de Lys Classic Vehicle Show

See Above.

Saturday 2nd July - 40th Brum Demo

Organiser: West Midlands MAG. Group ride through the streets of Birmingham. Show your support in the fight for motorcyclists rights. Meet from 12:00 for a 13:00 start at the Old Hare and Hounds, Lickey Road, Rednal, B45 8UU (or ride from the Heart of England Rally). All welcome, MAG member(s) or not.


Sunday 3rd July - Blackpool Motorbike Show

Organiser: NW MAG. £2 per bike/trike parking which gains free entry in the show. Trophies for Best in each Class and Overall Best in Show. Location: The Italian Gardens, Stanley Park, Blackpool. north-west-region.mag-uk.org

Sunday 17th July - Wakefield MAG Memorial Rideout (Destination: Whitby)

See Above.

Friday 5th August - Sunday 7th August 2016 - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)

Tickets available at the Branch meetings - See Above.


Saturday 13th August - Wakefield MAG Rideout (Destination: Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Chesterfield)

Usual Rideout rules apply. Meet 8:30am (leaving at 09:00am) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT.

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th September - NE MAG's 26th Stormin' The Castle Rally

Witton Castle Country Park, Witton-Le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 0DE. Ticket Price: £30; Saturday only tickets (pre-book only) £20.


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

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

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Chairman (since the early Carboniferous Period)
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.