Wakefield MAG July 2020 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter, as all meetings are currently suspended, this is THE ONLY WAY to keep up to date with what we are up to, in these quite surreal times.


1) New Venue
2) Call for Action - Three Demands Campaign
3) Automatic MoT Extension ends 1st August
4) WYCA Consultation
5) YPR and FYP
6) Carbon Cost of Anti-motorcycle Transport Policy
7) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling
8) New MAG Website
9) MAG Needs You
10) Mega Raffle
11) Forthcoming Events (for June and beyond)

1) New Venue

Just as I was hoping to announce the date when we can restart our weekly meetings, we recently found out the Grey Horse, our HQ for the last 16 years, is only re-opening for a limited time on a Friday and Saturday initially. Doug our genial landlord is looking to sell the pub and has stood down all the groups and events that were hosted there. Another unfortunate victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, for the first time in 16 years, we were forced to look for another HQ. We put the feelers out to our members and friends of the Branch on our FaceBook Group and had a few possible suggestions. Martin Horner suggested a possible meeting venue at the Thatched House, 434 Aberford Road, Stanley, Wakefield, WF3 4AA.

Thatched House

We had a 'site visit' on Monday 29th June and are pleased to report it would be quite ideal. There is a private room we can have downstairs (see photos) for no charge. It had comfortable seating for 20+ at the time of the visit. Immediately outside our private room is a smoking area (partly under cover) so would be good for warm summer nights or overspill from the room itself. There is also a large beer garden with outside seating.

Thatched House
Thatched House
Thatched House

Steve the Landlord said he could lay us on a tray of chips / sarnies (not sure at this stage if there is a cost associated with that). The pub has a very large Car Park and an entertainment licence. The only problem is we would have to change the meeting night to either a Tuesday or a Thursday. We agreed Tuesday is probably the best one to go for as this room is only taken once a month on a Tuesday by an existing group so we would have to decamp to the tap room (it's quiet from 8:00 to about 9:45 apparently so in all likelihood have this to ourselves anyway). The Landlord is an ex-biker and for a good number of years has donated a prize of two carvery vouchers to our Post Christmas Auction, so already supports Wakefield MAG !!

Normally we would raise this at our branch meeting for a democratic vote, but as meetings are currently suspended, we raised this in our FaceBook Group so our regulars could voice their opinion. The consensus of opinion seems to be let's move to the Thatched House !!!

We'll have to move the meeting day to a Tuesday (from Wednesday's) but at the time of writing, the Government guidelines still restrict gatherings to a max of 6 people outside of the immediate household, so we can't announce a restart date for the meetings just yet. In the meantime, we'll have to do a mailshot to the membership to let them know of our new HQ, update our own and the MAG Central Website etc etc (it's not trivial changing meeting venues).

In the meantime, keep an eye on this website and our FaceBook Group for the very latest news as we hope the restrictions will be sufficiently lifted in the next few weeks to allow our meetings to recommence. But, fingers crossed, hopefully see you all in a few weeks time (but no kissing, hugging or handshakes until further notice !!!)

Check out the Thatched House FaceBook Page: www.facebook.com/pub4grub/

2) Call for Action - Three Demands Campaign

The Motorcycle Action Group are ramping up pressure on Government to consider its 'Three Demands' campaign. In a call for motorcyclists to write to their MPs, MAG points out that riders have every right to demand that funds are spent for the benefit of all.

The Motorcycle Action Group wrote to the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, in mid-June with a set of three demands:

  1. Specifically recognise and encourage the role of motorcycles and scooters as a socially distanced, congestion busting, and sustainable transport mode for post-COVID transport in all Government transport messaging.
  2. Mandate all local authorities to immediately allow motorcycle and scooter access in all combined bus and cycle routes.
  3. Mandate all local authorities to immediately provide emergency secure two-wheeler parking facilities that can be used by both motorcyclists and cyclists.

Despite calling for immediate action, there has been no response from Mr Shapps or the Department for Transport.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement said: "We wrote to Mr Shapps with three perfectly reasonable demands. Nothing that we are asking for requires the Government to find a single penny of additional funding. Our demands simply ask that common sense is applied to mandates on the spending of tax-payers' money. It will take the work of a few moments to take the action we are calling for. When we said we wanted immediate action we did mean exactly that."

MAG is asking its members - and the wider motorcycling community - to write individually to their local MP. They are urging members to make just one simple request: "Will you support MAG's three demands?"

MAG's Chair, Selina Lavender, said: "It will cost the Government nothing to modify future messaging. Not one penny need be spent to ensure motorcycle access to new bus lanes. Making new cycle parking facilities dual use will, again, cost the Government nothing. But having to correct the mistake of inaction at a later date will be very costly. The Government must show real leadership. Will the Government listen to common sense? Maybe - if riders help us to create enough pressure."

A template letter can be found here: Three Demands MP Letter Template (although please tweak this to represent your own words as multiple identical letters do not carry the same impact as multiple unique and differently worded letters).

3) Automatic MoT Extension ends 1st August

Mandatory MoT testing is to be reintroduced from 1st August 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted, Roads minister Baroness Vere announced on 29th June 2020.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers and riders were granted a 6-month exemption from MoT testing in March to help slow the spread of the virus. However, as restrictions are eased when safe to do so, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for an MoT test from 1st August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

MoT tests are important for road safety and ensure that vehicle parts, including tyres, seatbelts, brakes, lights and exhausts, are in proper working order.

Drivers with an MoT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MoT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. Motorists can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

4) WYCA Consultation

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) are carrying out a consultation into 'safer streets'. It covers Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, and has links to the Bradford and Leeds consultations. At the moment it concentrates on walking and cycling but there's an 'other' option which could be used to remind them about motorbikes !!!

The aims of the consultation are stated as: The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and our partners want to understand which areas in our region could be improved to help the public travel more easily by bike or on foot, and to provide more space to travel safely while social distancing. There is an interactive map will allow you to highlight issues that you are experiencing when travelling by bike or on foot and to suggest where improvements could be made to make these journeys safer, including increasing space for social distancing.

As MAG have repeatedly pointed out, with the added benefit of a COVID transmission-safe trip, there are many other gains that can be made by an increased number of commuters choosing two wheels and a motor. For those getting onto a motorcycle, they will personally save time and money on their commute, arrive in a better frame of mind, and will need less parking space than their car driving colleagues. The benefits don't end there, though. For the wider population, a modal shift from cars to motorcycles will see significant reductions in congestion, pollution and emissions. A study has shown that a 10% modal shift from cars to motorcycles would reduce congestion for all road users by 40%. Allied to that there would be a 5.5% reduction in Nox, 2.5% reduction in exhaust particulates and a 16% reduction in brake and tyre particulates. The CO2 reduction would be 7.5%, which is in the order of eight to nine million tonnes of Carbon emissions every year. Use the consultation to remind WYCA that not every journey, even locally, can be achieved by foot or cycle, and motorcycles and scooters represent a COVID transmission-safe and environmentally friendly option.

The consultation runs until 20th July.

Make your comments at: www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk.

5) YPR and FYP

At the time of writing, the Yorkshire Pudding Rally (31st June-2nd August) is potentially still on. The relaxing of the regulations is happening and it's getting nearer all the time, the R rate is falling and while the death rate is still too high, it is coming down and the government are relaxing things to suit. However, will things be relaxed enough and within time for us to make the plans and put in any safeguards required before the 31st of July? Currently, we don't know.

There is a contingency plan to move the YPR to the August Bank Holiday weekend (28th-30th August). The land manager at Escrick is happy to accommodate us on the last weekend of August, pending approval from Selby Council to move the licence date (a minor licence variation application).

Whilst we are sure we can meet any regulations regarding safety screens at bars, disposable glasses for beer and a whole host of other things that might be asked of us including the likelihood of one meter distancing, what we cant beat are the rules on gatherings. As it stands at the moment we can't legally gather in anything but small numbers and if this is not relaxed to the point of large gatherings before the end of July (cut off date for making a decision about whether we can host the rally), we simply cannot put the Pudding on.

And ..... repeat for the Farmyard on 25th-27th September.

If we are able to put rallies on this year and all of the above works out, we will need 'new' volunteers to build up and Marshal the rallies, as some existing marshals, for their own health reasons, have opted to not marshal again until 2021.

All we can say at this stage is watch this space and keep visiting the MAP website for the latest updates: www.mapevents.co.uk

Email enquiries to: enquiries@mapevents.co.uk

6) Carbon Cost of Anti-motorcycle Transport Policy

The Motorcycle Action Group has published a new paper examining the Carbon cost of poor motorcycle transport policy. As pressure increases on the Government to properly address the role of motorcycles in the future of transport, MAG demonstrates the huge own-goal scored by transport policy makers over recent years.

The paper Motorcycle Carbon Emissions examines the tailpipe emissions from motorcycle commuter trips. Noting that embedded emissions savings from manufacture of vehicles will be highly relevant, and again favour motorcycles over cars, the paper covers direct tailpipe emissions. The paper analyses statistics from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory and The Department for Transport.

The conclusion of the analysis is that had policies been put in place to halt the decline of motorcycle commuters, and to mildly promote the mode as an effective commuter choice, the nation could have reduced its Carbon emissions by a staggering 294.3 Kilotonnes over the 15-year period from 2002 to 2017.

7) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling

The 25th Wakefield Hospice 10k race was due to be held on Sunday 29th March 2020, but like many events, has been a victim of the Covid-19 lockdown. The hospice have set a new date for the Wakefield Hospice 10k which is now Sunday 20th September. Obviously, mass gatherings may still not be permitted by this date but it's a good few months away, so, fingers crossed.

Parked up, watching the runners

Wakefield MAG have helped to marshal this popular event for more years than we care to remember, and our role is as mobile race marshals, looking after those competitors at the tail end of the race. The roads will only be closed for an hour maximum, and although the bulk of runners will be finished whilst the road is still closed, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) will still be on the course, hence the requirement for mobile marshals (that's us !!) to ensure their safety, once the road is re-opened to traffic. We are generally the last 'officials' remaining on the course, and hence play a vital role.

We generally need around 6 marshals, although the more the merrier. We'll be asking for volunteers nearer the time.

More details of the event here: www.wakefield10k.org.uk

8) New MAG Website

The MAG Central website has been comprehensively revamped. If you haven't visited it recently, be sure to check out the new and vastly improved MAG website: Motorcycle Action Group.

9) MAG Needs You


A good many MAG fundraising events nationwide have had to be cancelled. This is obviously having a knock on effect to MAG's finances so we need as many bikers to join, renew or re-join MAG as possible. To make it easier, it is now possible to join by monthly direct debit: MAG Monthly DD. It is charged at a slightly higher rate per month to cover the additional costs of managing the scheme, but is still only £3.00 per month for an individual membership and £4.12 per month for a joint membership.

If you are already a member and would like to transfer to this new scheme, just complete the direct debit mandate and we will start collecting at your renewal date.

Our annual direct debit payment option is available at: MAG Annual DD.

Please complete either mandate, and then send it to the office address below:
Unit C13 Holly Farm Business Park

Please note that, unfortunately, MAG Central Office cannot accept direct debit instructions over the telephone.

If you are reading this newsletter and are not a current MAG member, please consider joining. As you can see, MAG is still very active fighting for Riders Rights, but unfortunately, this doesn't come free and costs money. If you feel that you could make a donation, however small, to support MAG at this difficult time, it would be very gratefully received. A donation button has been set up on the MAG website: Motorcycle Action Group.

Finally, a huge 'Thank You' to all of our members and supporters: we hope you all stay safe, stay well and follow government guidance.

10) Mega Raffle

Our Mega Raffle to win a basic service for your motorcycle at Not Your Average Bikes in Ossett, was supposed to have the Winning ticket drawn at our meeting on Wednesday 8th April. Obviously, as meetings were suspended by then, this didn't happen and the raffle is still 'live'. We are still selling tickets (at £5 and the lucky winner gets a voucher for a basic service (worth circa £100) at NYA Bikes (notyouraveragebikes.com).

If you would like to enter, send £5 to the Wakefield & District MAG Account (Acc No. 50288799 Sort Code: 40-41-57) and drop us an email confirming this, together with your name and phone number to: wakefield-rep@mag-uk.org. We'll then mail you back with your Raffle Ticket No.

The revised raffle ticket draw date will be our first re-started meeting date (exact date TBC)

Good Luck in the draw !!! ... and a huge Thank You to our very good friends at NYA Bikes for donating such a fantastic prize !!!

11) Forthcoming Events (for July and beyond)

Apologies Folks, 2020 is not going to be a cracking biking year, although hopefully, we may still be able to get some events in.

Friday 31st July - Sunday 2nd August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)

Currently still on. See Above. www.yorkshirepuddingrally.co.uk

Sunday 20th September 2020 - Wakefield Hospice 10K Race

See Above. www.wakefield10k.org.uk

Friday 25th - Sunday 27th September - Farmyard Party (FYP) Rally

See Above. www.farmyardparty.co.uk

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

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

Stay Safe
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG will 'hopefully' resume our meetings at our new HQ, the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.