Wakefield MAG May 2024 Newsletter

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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.


1) Bikes in Bus Lanes Consultation
2) Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show
3) MAG Leaves FEMA
4) Mayoral Elections
5) Marshals Registration Open FYP 2024
6) Rally Tickets
7) MAG make free 15 minutes kerbside waiting demand for motorcycles
8) April Social
9) MAG's 50th Anniversary Merchandise SALE
10) Forthcoming Events (for April and beyond)

1) Bikes in Bus Lanes Consultation

Just a reminder if you haven't already done this ..... Please complete this consultation which is about allowing bikes in bus lanes nationwide by default, not per individual council decision as it is now. MAG's been campaigning for this for years so hopefully with your assistance, we might finally make it happen. It literally takes 5 minutes to complete and there are lots of opportunities to add individual comments.

Link to the consultation: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/motorcycles-in-bus-lanes

This consultation closes at 11:59pm on Sunday 9th June 2024.

2) Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show

Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show
Wakefield May Day Gala

Our popular bike show, hosted at the Wakefield Gala at Clarence Park Arena, on May Day Bank Holiday Monday (6th May), is rapidly approaching. Fettle up your pride and joy and enter it into the show .... for FREE. All types of Bike, Scooter, Moped, Combination and Trike are welcomed and there are six winning categories plus an overall Best in Show up for grabs. This year we have invested in some better trophies for the show winners - wooden shield and plaques as opposed to certificates in frames as we have used in previous years.

Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show

We will also be hosting the Wakefield MAG stand and running a tombola (with some great prizes to win). Lots of other attractions at the gala (including a motorcycle stunt show) to entertain you whilst you wait to see if your bike has won, and it's a great family day out.

Location: Clarence Park, Wakefield. Show to be judged at 14:30, Entry into show from 09:30 onwards (Gala officially opens at 10:00).

Hope to see you there. Did we mention it was FREE !!!

APPEAL FOR HELP: At the moment there are only three of us who will be running the Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show. Unfortunately, there are more than three jobs that will need doing simultaneously on the day: Setting up the MAG stand, Parking marshal(s), Handing out side stand plates, Manning our Tombola stall, Selling MAG Products, Fielding MAG queries and joining up new / renewing memberships, judging the bike show and awarding the trophies, taking down the MAG stand and packing it all away. If you are able to help out on the day, please do so. We will be setting up the MAG stand at 09:00 on the Monday morning. Thank you in anticipation.

3) MAG Leaves FEMA

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) which founded the European Riders' Rights Movement in 1989, has quit the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) citing its unhappiness with FEMA's 'gutless' attitude to forced electrification.

MAG has repeatedly expressed its concerns about the gap between the clearly stated views of ordinary motorcyclists, and FEMA policy. MAG and FEMA surveys of riders have independently confirmed bikers' overwhelming opposition to any ban on the sale of petrol-powered motorcycles. MAG's response has been robust and unequivocal ever since 2017 when the UK Government first announced a proposed 2040 ban before bringing it forward to 2030 and moving it back to 2035. By contrast, the FEMA board has obdurately resisted MAG's calls for a hardline position and seems to see its role as being one of convincing and converting bikers to accept the ban.

In its latest move, the FEMA Board has adopted a joint so-called 'manifesto' written by FIM, the global governing body of motorcycle racing, and ACEM, representing European Motorcycle Manufacturers. The FEMA Board has now presented it to its member organisations as a diktat with Wim Taal, FEMA's General Secretary, stating that he would 'not have discussions', would 'not welcome comments', and 'It's not a discussion paper, it's fixed'. As well as accepting forced decarbonisation, the document also omits any mention of historic vehicles. Asked the reason for that omission, FEMA said that ignoring owners of historic vehicles was the best way to get a three-way agreement between the FEMA, FIM and ACEM boards.

MAG Chair, Neil Liversidge, said: "No way does this document accurately represent the vast majority of riders' views on forced electrification. FIM has concocted it, ACEM has watered it down, and FEMA's Board has waved it through with no involvement from FEMA's National Member Organisations. What it does make clear is that democracy is dead in FEMA, and with it the independent European Riders' Rights Movement. For ten years FIM has connived to control FEMA. It has now succeeded through the agency of self-interested people who have subverted it for their FIM paymasters. Now FIM will do what big business always does; adopt the path of least friction with governments and supra-national authorities, selling riders out in the process. MAG is proud of its achievements for European riders in the 35 years since we founded FEM. We shall not be putting our name to this gutless betrayal."

Following a unanimous vote by the MAG UK National Committee, MAG has resigned from FEMA with immediate effect, citing its complete lack of confidence in FEMA and its belief that FEMA no longer represents the interests of motorcyclists. MAG remains open to working with any and all organisations faithfully representing riders' interests by continuing to fight forced electrification.

Ed: MAG's membership of FEMA costed £20,000 per annum, the equivalent of 666 individual MAG membership subscriptions. Twenty thousand pounds is an awful lot of money to pay an organisation to undermine us, so I agree with the Unanimous Recommendation of the MAG Board and Colin Brown and the unanimous National Committee vote to leave FEMA. That money can be utilised to a better extent elsewhere. Sad it's had to come to this though but if they won't listen to their members, they don't deserve supporting (bit like the mainstream political parties then). The British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) Management Team and the BMF Council jointly voted to leave Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) in August last year. FEMA now has no UK riders rights groups who are members. Expect other European riders rights organisations to follow suit.

4) Mayoral Elections

On the 2nd May 2024, Mayoral & Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Elections will be held in South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and York and North Yorkshire. Six candidates are standing for the West Yorkshire Mayoral election:

  1. Tracy Brabin (Labour - incumbent)
  2. Bob Buxton (Yorkshire Party)
  3. Andrew Varah Cooper (Green Party)
  4. Arnold Craven (Conservative)
  5. Stewart Galton (Liberal Democrats)
  6. Jonathan Tilt (Independent - previously stood for the Freedom Alliance)

The biggest issue within West Yorkshire affecting bikers is undoubtedly motorcycle theft. Within Yorkshire MAG, we have contacted all the candidates to ask them to publically sign up to MAG's Anti-Theft Pledge, which is:

The 'Fight Motorcycle Theft' Pledge

Within motor vehicle theft, motorcyclists are disproportionately impacted to unacceptably high levels due to an historically weak response to the issue. Nationally, a motorcycle owner is 11 times more likely to become a victim of vehicle theft than a car owner.

By making the Fight Motorcycle Theft Pledge, PCC's are sending a clear message to motorcycle thieves: "We are coming for you".

  1. I will work to halve motorcycle theft in my jurisdictional area by the end of my four-year term in office.
  2. I will work for the victims - motorcyclists - to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the operational police response, requiring regular published progress reports toward my goal of halving motorcycle theft by 2028.
  3. I will proactively work with the victims - motorcyclists - to ensure that a local multi-agency approach to creating a meaningful prevention strategy is adopted, including riders' groups, police, local authorities, crown prosecution service, and the judicial system.

To date, we've had responses from three of the candidates which are as follows:

Jonathan Tilt (Independent)

Campaign Statement. West Yorkshire Mayoral Election.

Motor Cycles.

As a lifelong cyclist I am very aware of many of the road issues around safety and security which apply to both the cycling and motor cycling communities. I can make the following observations and pledges:

Jonathan Tilt
24th April 2024.

Alison Lowe (current DMPC for policing and crime) on behalf of Tracy Brabin (Labour; incumbent)

Thank you for your email to Tracy Brabin about her support for your campaign to end motorcycle theft. I attended a MAG meeting last year to hear about the scourge of motorbike theft and I brought along Asst Chief Constable Damien Miller with me, who outlined some of the work West Yorkshire Police are currently doing, but he also promised to do more.

Tracy is delighted to support your campaign and I hope this email is sufficient for your purposes. As a full bike licence-holder myself (I used to ride a Honda CB200 in my youth) I understand the importance of this issue and I would be very happy to attend a future MAG meeting, again.

Alison Lowe
30th April 2024.

Arnold Craven (Conservative)

One of the reasons I decided to stand as West Yorkshire Mayor is motorcycle theft. I did my bike test in 2009, and since then I've almost always had bikes. Last year I went away for a long weekend, and upon returning home to West Yorkshire my garage had been broken in to, and my 1986 GSX750 stolen. That must have been a premeditated theft, as the bike's front tyre was punctured and it wasn't rideable. Neighbours had CCTV of a van driving up my street in the early hours.

I had never been the victim of a theft before, so I called West Yorkshire police, and whilst they were pleasant, they refused to even come out and look at the CCTV. 'We are too busy with other things' was the response.

To me, that means motorcycle theft is basically decriminalised in West Yorkshire.

But what does this have to do with standing as Mayor? The Mayor of West Yorkshire fulfils the role of Police and Crime Commissioner in our region. That means, in short, the Mayor sets the overall objectives for the police and is supposed to make sure the police properly do their job. I don't believe the current Mayor is doing that.

I've spoken to many police officers in recent months, serving and retired, who all tell me the same thing: West Yorkshire Police has brilliant officers and staff, but they are struggling under confused and poor leadership. As Mayor I will rip up the current Mayor's policing plan and start again, focussing the police on investigating all burglaries and other serious crimes. West Yorkshire needs to be a place where those who commit serious crimes are scared that they will be caught. At the moment, I don't believe it is.

The powers of the West Yorkshire Mayor are relatively limited, so if I achieve the above I think I already will have made a big difference to West Yorkshire. But I have bigger ambitions.

In my professional life - property and infrastructure development - I have delivered over £300 million of private sector investment into West Yorkshire. I've been involved in schemes like The Broadway city centre development in Bradford & Skelton Lake Services on the M1 in Leeds.

I will use that private sector experience of building infrastructure to not just talk about, but actually deliver a mass transit system. I will use that experience to properly facilitate the remediation and development of disused brownfield sites across West Yorkshire, not just Leeds city centre, delivering new houses where they are needed. And I will use that experience to deliver a world class adult education system. I do this sort of work professionally, but I could do so much more as Mayor.

When it comes to MAG, your issues are my issues. I know how annoying it is when you're not sure whether you can go into a bus lane. I know the pain of trying to find secure parking in a city centre. I get it, because I experience it too. As your Mayor, I will work closely with MAG to make West Yorkshire the best place to be a motorcyclist in the UK.

Arnold Craven
26th April 2024

Arnie has posted the MAG Fight Motorcycle Theft pledge on his X (Twitter) account: twitter.com/ACforWY/status/1783950682195718492. Alison and Jonathan have agreed to do so but to date, have not physically done this.

Despite several communications, we haven't received any response from Stewart Golton (Lib Dem), Bob Buxton (Yorkshire Party) or Andrew Cooper (Green).

MAG will never tell you who you should vote for, but it will ensure you are well informed on candidates positions on the issues that matter most to bikers. Use your vote wisely on 2nd May.

5) Marshals Registration Open FYP 2024

The Registration Application Forms for the 2024 Farmyard Party (FYP) are now available to fill in from the MAG Marshals website: www.magmarshals.co.uk.

The forms are available from Friday 19th April until Friday 7th June and the marshal rota will be compiled that weekend. Marshals will then be emailed your shifts in the week beginning Monday 10th June.

If you have marshalled before at a rally, last year's details will be provided in the form so that you only need to update your details. If not, full details of how to register are provided on the MAG Marshals website: www.magmarshals.co.uk.

If you fill in more than one form in your household, then it may be beneficial to clear your browsing data and cookies before attempting each form as the form may hold the information from the previous attempt if you do not do this.

If you do have any problems, please email the Marshal Co-Ordinators at marshals@mapevents.co.uk who will help you.

All shifts will be 4 hours long but in one or two cases a 6-hour shift may be allocated and this will be treated as 2 shifts for the marshal's package, which is:

Also, all marshals have the use of showers and a secure marshals camping area.

Thank you for volunteering your time to marshal at the Yorkshire MAG events, as without the volunteer marshals, these events simply would not happen.

6) Rally Tickets

Into the Valley (ITV) tickets are now off-sale and the event is officially SOLD OUT !! Wakefield MAG do however still have tickets for FYP and YPR. Ticket prices and dates for FYP and YPR are:

Remember, if you buy your tickets directly from us, 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 !!!

See the Yorkshire MAG Events site for more details of these 3 fantastic rallies: www.mapevents.co.uk

Buy your tickets at any Tuesday Wakefield MAG meeting.


7) MAG make free 15 minutes kerbside waiting demand for motorcycles

The Motorcycle Action Group is making a bold but completely practical demand for motorcyclists to be allowed waiting time regardless of urban parking restrictions. The demand will be part of the upcoming General Election campaign due to be launched by MAG after the Mayoral and PCC elections. MAG's demand reads: 'MAG calls for the Government and local authorities to allow motorcycles 15 minutes waiting time parked parallel to the kerb so as not to obstruct traffic, on all non-motorway roads, unless specifically prohibited by notice, regardless of other restrictions, e.g. double yellow lines. Such an allowance would benefit motorcycle users such as couriers, whose work supports the business world, as well as encouraging motorcycle usage generally, thereby reducing congestion and pollution.'

MAG National Chairman Neil F Liversidge said: "There is a strong case to allow a short waiting time for bikers where parking is otherwise restricted. Without delivery riders there would be tens of thousands of extra journeys in the urban environment due to people fetching their own parcels and takeaway food. It's a hard life being a courier and they deserve a fairer deal, instead of being targeted for easy money with expensive traffic tickets."

Neil specifically cited this video by YouTuber 'London Hustle' as exemplifying how hard couriers work, how vital they now are to the urban economy, and how unfairly they are often targeted: https://youtu.be/24kE8p4QMQ8?si=4ZuRHNUC2S1rdH_v

8) April Social

See event report here

9) MAG's 50th Anniversary Merchandise SALE

All the Limited Edition Merchandise for MAG's 50th Anniversary is now ON SALE !!!

Bag a bargain here

10) Forthcoming Events (for May and beyond)

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


Monday 6th May - Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show

See Above. Our popular bike show, hosted at the Wakefield Gala at Clarence Park Arena, on May Day Bank Holiday Monday (6th May). Fettle up your pride and joy and enter it into the show .... for FREE. All types of Bike, Scooter, Moped, Combination and Trike are welcomed and there are six winning categories plus an overall Best in Show up for grabs. We will also be hosting the Wakefield MAG stand and running a tombola (with some great prizes to win). Lots of other attractions at the gala to entertain you whilst you wait to see if your bike has won, and it's a great family day out. Location: Clarence Park, Wakefield. Show to be judged at 14:30, Entry into show from 09:30 onwards (Gala officially opens at 10:00).
Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show

Tuesday 28th May - Wakefield MAG May Social - Event TBC

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

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Tuesday 25th June - Wakefield MAG June Social - Event TBC

Tuesday 30th July - Wakefield MAG July Social - Event TBC

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Tuesday 27th August - Wakefield MAG August Social - Event TBC

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.