Wakefield MAG November 2020 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can't attend (or Covid-19 restrictions prevent us hosting) our Tuesday meetings regularly, it's the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Suspension of Weekly Meetings
2) Cancelled & Postponed Events
3) Road Traffic Casualties Five Year Summary
4) Stolen Bike
5) A2 Test Compatible Motorcycles
6) Smart Motorway Rules
7) The Most Common Motorcycle Accidents (and how to avoid them)
8) MCIA calls for urgent DfT adoption of PTW EU derogation rules
9) MAG Christmas Draw
10) The public reacts to road restrictions

1) Suspension of Weekly Meetings

Following the announcement on Saturday 31st October that a Covid-19 lockdown in England is being imposed from Thursday 5th November, we are (again) having to postpone our weekly meetings until further notice (hopefully recommence at the start of December but that's slightly outside of our control at the moment). Our last meeting will hence be Tuesday 3rd November at 20:30 at the Thatched House .... watch this space for when the meetings will restart.

N.B. For those of you who have pre-paid for the weekly meeting raffle, the raffle is being suspended and your entries will simply be c/f until the next 'physical' meeting.

In the meantime, keep up to date with this newsletter, published monthly, and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/wakefieldmag) where regular updates will be made.

Hope to see you all again at a meeting soon !!

2) Cancelled & Postponed Events

With the new Covid-19 lockdown looming, we are having to cancel or postpone a number of our planned events:

3) Road Traffic Casualties Five Year Summary

Source: Leeds Highways and Transportation

The number of weekly road casualties in 2020 remains well below last year's level, despite random fluctuations. Obviously, the national lockdown in the earlier part of the year saw a huge reduction in private vehicle journeys made. The trend since week 31 is, though, slightly upward for all casualties but downward for those killed or seriously injured.

Jan-Sep trend: The overall reduction of all casualties in the first three quarters of the year is noted. However, as shown below, no significant improvement on those killed or seriously injured in Bradford and Wakefield.

The 5 year summary stats for Wakefield can be viewed Here

For comparison, the 5 year summary stats for West Yorkshire can be viewed Here

The Powered Two wheeler (PTW) stats on slide 5 come as no real surprise. The biggest risk area are riders of up to 125cc machines in the peak commuter hours, plus a concentration in the warmer summer months. The very good news however is a definate downward trend, seen over the five years with all PTW casualties.

4) Stolen Bike

Wakefield MAG member Natalie Smith has had her bike stolen by 2 scroats on a moped on Thursday 29th October at 14:33, from the Adwick / Carcroft area in Doncaster. The bike 'Winston' is a greeny blue Yamaha SR125, registration number M502 VJL.

It has a shiny chrome exhaust (not rusty like the picture).


Any information please report to the police. There is also a £500 MAG reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Keep your eyes peeled folks and let's get Natalie's bike back.

5) A2 Test Compatible Motorcycles

A recent Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) press release announced that from 1st November 2020, European law makes it possible to do the A2-licence test with a 250cc motorcycle instead of 400cc. Theoretically, as the UK is still in the transistion period until 1st Jan 21 (where we are still fully aligned with EU regulations and trading arrangements etc etc), this should come into force, although it depends on member states formally adopting it. This is quite a welcome development as softening of restrictions to ride bikes is not something you see that often, it's usually the other way round. You may want to lobby your MP to get this adopted in the UK.

Next step I'd like to see, A1 category upped so you can learn on 250's with L plates again ... you can but wish

Read the full story: www.femamotorcycling.eu/a2-test-on-a-250-cc-bike

6) Smart Motorway Rules

Road safety organisation Brake says the findings of a new survey reinforce the urgent need to improve public awareness of smart motorways. The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, carried out with breakdown provider Green Flag, shows while 75% of respondents know what a smart motorway is, less than half (48%) know the rules for driving on one: www.brake.org.uk/media-centre/2037-smart-motorway-danger-revealed-as-less-than-half-of-drivers-are-aware-of-the-rules

This figure increases slightly to 52% in England, where smart motorways are in operation. Brake is calling on the Government to improve public awareness of smart motorways, as acknowledged by its recent stocktake and action plan: https://roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/measures-to-raise-the-bar-on-smart-motorway-safety/. The plan, commissioned by the transport minister, earmarks an additional £5m investment to improve public information and awareness and what to do in an emergency, doubling the previously planned spend. Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, the road safety charity, said: "These important findings confirm what we all suspected - drivers are confused about the rules of driving on smart motorways and communication efforts must urgently be stepped up to help avoid more tragic incidents on these roads. We welcome the measures the Government has outlined to improve smart motorway safety and urge them to follow this evidence-led approach for all UK roads. With more than 75 deaths and serious injuries on our roads, every day, improving road safety must be a priority for this Government."

Damon Jowett, Head of Service delivery at Green Flag, said: "Motorways are a vital part of the UK's infrastructure and are widely used by drivers across the country every day, and so the debate around smart motorways is an ongoing one. While the smart motorways system allows for drivers to get to their destination more easily, understanding of the rules is paramount to ensure road safety. Our latest report has highlighted concerning gaps in driver awareness, and here at Green Flag, we want to help increase driver awareness for motorway driving to ensure these roads are as safe as possible."

The Brake and Green Flag survey also explores issues around driver behaviour on motorways. It found that over three-quarters (78%) of respondents leave at least a two-second gap behind the vehicle in front of them, in line with the Highway Code guidelines for safe driving. However, a 'startling' 18% admit to leaving less than a two-second gap. Guidance on how to drive on a smart motorway: www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-drive-on-a-smart-motorway

7) The Most Common Motorcycle Accidents (and how to avoid them)

Source: www.visordown.com

Click on the link for the Visordown article: www.visordown.com/features/advanced-riding/most-common-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-avoid-them

8) MCIA calls for urgent DfT adoption of PTW EU derogation rules

As with cars and vans, Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) are subject to a series of evolving emissions and safety regulations. The current standard (Euro 4) will be superseded on 1st January 2021 by Euro 5 and as part of that, Euro 4 PTWs must be registered by that date.

Due to the variables involved, a small amount of outgoing vehicles can be registered under the new regime in a process known as derogation, however, despite very positive post-lockdown UK sales, the Covid-induced lack of business at the height of the sales season makes the proposed derogation number impossible to achieve.

Consequently, MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association), the body that represents the UK PTW industry, is pleased to note that the Council of the EU and the European Parliament have endorsed a European Commission proposal, known as Article 44A, that will allow EU dealers more options with the derogation number and calls on the Department for Transport to follow suit in the UK.

By adopting Article 44A, the Government would allow British PTW dealers more flexibility with registering their stock, helping to alleviate another pressure on their businesses in this most challenging of years.

Such a move would help UK dealers continue to support the increasing number of people who are turning to PTWs as an efficient, low and zero emission, congestion-busting, self-isolating, low-cost form of transport for commuting and leisure.

MCIA: mcia.co.uk/en/bulletins/204-mcia-calls-for-urgent-dft-adoption-of-ptw-eu-derogation-rules

9) MAG Christmas Draw

MAG nationally is hosting a Christmas draw, to win a pair of Continental tyres. To be in with a chance to win this MAGnificent prize all you need to do is be a full MAG member when the draw takes place on Christmas Eve at 10am. Our thanks go to Cumbria MAG for generously donating this prize. For full terms and conditions see the MAG website: www.mag-uk.org.

Not a MAG member ? ... here's what to do to join and be in with a chance of winning the tyres:

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.

All the joining options are listed on the MAG website: www.mag-uk.org/motorcycle-action-group-membership

Thank You to all of our members and good luck in the draw.

10) The public reacts to road restrictions

The 'road grab' that MAG has been urgently warning British bikers about continues. Government sponsored action to strip away road space and give it to pedestrians and cyclists shows no sign of being voluntarily reversed. But the public has started reacting angrily to these changes.

Local people have spontaneously removed some of the barriers, and there are indications that some local authorities have removed hugely expensive schemes because they have turned out to be incredibly damaging to traffic flow. Is this happening where you live? Tell the MAG Political Unit what you've seen and heard. There's a very serious side to all this. Essentially, some evidence indicates that these schemes are increasing the number of injury related accidents for motorcycles - and for cycles too. Also, MAG believes it is wrong to use the excuse of the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to remove vast areas of highway on the pretence that this will reduce the spread of the virus. If this were true, then there would not be a massive upsurge in the infection rate - or at least there would be some sign that the road space removal had made a difference.

To date, no such evidence exists. MAG believes that the increase in accident victims is not a price worth paying for some claimed improvement in social distancing. Bluntly, bikers are getting maimed and dying due to the road constrictions - real lives on real motorbikes. This is why we need your help to combat these changes where they appear to be damaging. We're not looking for trouble. We're just looking for common sense. As long as dogma and an apparent and illogical agenda appears to be driving roads policy, MAG will stand up for your rights. Just tell us when those rights are at risk in your area.

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

Stay Safe
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet (Covid-19 restrictions permitting) at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.