Wakefield MAG October 2020 Newsletter

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) Farmyard Party Rally
2) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do
3) Christmas Raffle
4) Covid-19 Motorcycle Riding Guidelines
5) DfT Road Safety Delivery Group
6) CALL TO ACTION: Highway Code Review
7) Remembrance Sunday
8) Bikers Quiz Nite
9) MAG Needs You
10) Forthcoming Events (for October and beyond)

1) Farmyard Party Rally

You will no doubt be aware that the 2020 Farmyard Party rally, that was due to be held on the weekend of 25th - 27th September had to be cancelled. Late on the afternoon of Monday 7th Sept, the Yorkshire MAG (Magic Action Promotions) organisers received a telephone call from Ryedale District Council Licencing Dept. informing us that due to the recent increase in the R (infection) rate in the Ryedale area, their SAG (Safety Advisory Group) in conjunction with the Director of Public Health for North Yorkshire, have regrettably withdrawn support for this year's Farmyard Party. Whilst they are only there in an advisory role, MAP fully respect their decision and it would have been wholly irresponsible of us to proceed without their full support. Notwithstanding, as a result of this decision our Event Liability Insurance was no longer valid which automatically put an immediate halt to the event.

This is a big disappointment for everyone, especially after the undoubted success of the YPR proving Covid-19 safe events can be hosted. However, these are unusual times and we have to respect Ryedale Council's caution, which unfortunately meant we literally had no choice but to cancel the event..... ho hum, always next year.


  1. Simply keep your existing ticket(s) (including upgraded tickets) and use them for Farmyard Party 2021 (Provisional dates 18th - 20th June 2021). New ticket(s) will not be issued, your 2020 ones will be valid
  2. Donate the ticket cost to MAG - please email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk with your ticket numbers to notify us of this intention OR return your tickets to the PO Box* below with DONATED written on the back
  3. We would request that you consider the 1st 2 options above over the last 2 options below, this has been a very tough year for MAG and your continued support will help secure the future of MAG and our events

  4. If tickets were purchased from a MAG REP or one of our OUTLETS/SHOPS: Return them to the PO Box* below for a refund** - Please enclose a note or write on the back of one of the tickets your name, sort code, bank account number and a contact phone number
  5. If tickets were purchased ONLINE VIA OUR WEBSITE with a debit or credit card or with a cheque via the PO Box: Return them to the PO Box* below for a refund** (excludes booking fee(s), these are retained by our 3rd party booking agent)

* MAP EVENTS, PO Box 247, Beverley, HU17 6BB, please write your contact number on the back of one of the tickets.


For all enquiries call 0800 988 3199 or email enquiries@mapevents.co.uk. This notice has also been sent to all email addresses that we have on file from this year's online purchases (check your junk mail folder if you haven't received the email).

2) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

Just a slight update on our planned Christmas Do at our new HQ, the Thatched House in Stanley, on Saturday 5th December, as mentioned in last month's newsletter. We are still planning to hold this, subject to no new draconian restrictions being enforced in Wakefield. You will have to maintain social distancing and keep to your social bubbles etc, as per the prevailing rules and regulations, but that doesn't mean we can't still have a jolly good time. The dining options for the Christmas meal are:

The Christmas Dinner is priced at £15.95 (not £14.95 as mentioned in last month's newsletter).

We know it's still a few month's away, but we all need something to look forward to after this year !!!

We'll be taking bookings in a month or so but in the meantime, make a note of the date and we hope to see you there, for multiple goblets of foaming ale in relative safety.

3) Christmas Raffle

After the tremendous success of the 2019 Christmas Raffle, we are planning to hold another one for 2020, with the chance to win a luxury hamper (or £50 cash prize) plus other prizes. We are in the process of applying for a Small Society Lottery Registration through Wakefield Council, after which we can print and sell the tickets. We hope to have these available from mid-October. Tickets will be £1 each (although Chas prefers to sell a book at a time for £5 ;-) and will be drawn at the Wakefield MAG meeting on Tuesday 15th December at 20:30. All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund for the on-going protection of your freedom to ride your motorcycle. Please buy some and let's boost the MAG coffers.

4) Covid-19 Motorcycle Riding Guidelines

In light of the new 'Rule of Six' regulations, the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations (CMO) has reviewed its COVID-19 Riding Guidelines. Only minor amendments were necessary to ensure that the guidelines meet not only the moral goal of staying safe, but also remain within legislation and the spirit and intended outcomes of the law.

The Coalition has removed references to groups of 30, and now refers to groups of six in alignment with the new restrictions. Richard Gladman (IAM) and Roger Bibbings (VMCC) have checked the changes to legislation and advice issued by the Government over this recent period of announcements, and the Coalition is happy that the revised edition is fully compliant with the letter and intent of all laws and guidelines.

Commenting on behalf of Coalition members, Mario Costa-Sa, Chair of the Trail Riders Fellowship, said: "We need to understand what is both possible and lawful as responsible organisations who are capable of carrying out risk assessments, and equally capable of making Covid-safe arrangements should our members wish. The guidelines must remain the go-to guide for those motorcycling organisations making these difficult decisions."

The revised guidelines can be found online at: www.mag-uk.org/covid-19-motorcycle-riding-guidelines-reviewed-for-compliance-with-the-rule-of-six. The member groups of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations encourage their members and all other riders to read the guidelines, and to apply the advice to their own efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

The Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations (CMO) membership consists of representatives from the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF), IAM RoadSmart, the Auto Cycle Union (ACU), the Triumph Owners' Motorcycle Club (TOMCC), the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club and Biker Down UK.

5) DfT Road Safety Delivery Group

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has accepted an invitation from the Department for Transport (DfT) to join the Road Safety Delivery Group (RSDG). Officials offered the invitation at a meeting between MAG and the DfT.

MAG has secured meetings with the DfT as a result of concerns regarding an apparent lack of consideration for motorcyclists. Following discussions across the series of meetings, officials suggested MAG’s inclusion in the RSDG.

The RSDG provides a forum for key road safety stakeholders to share knowledge and experience. The Group aims to reduce the numbers of people that are killed or injured on British roads.

Pauline Reeves, Deputy Director, Road User Licensing, Insurance and Safety, wrote in the invitation letter: "As a leading road safety stakeholder and representative of one of the vulnerable road user groups we believe that you will provide a valuable contribution to RSDG."

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender commented: "I am delighted that the DfT recognises that MAG has a valuable contribution to make. MAG is now in a position to ensure that the views of motorcyclists are fully expressed. As a result, we expect positive outcomes for our members and all riders."

The details:

Colin Brown (MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement) will attend the quarterly full RSDG meetings. Additionally, MAG will develop a significant role in the Motorcycle Strategic Working Group. This will include input to the THINK! team who deliver DfT safety messaging. MAG also joined the DVSA's Bike Testing and Training Advisory Group prior to this latest meeting.

Colin Brown said: "This is significant progress, not just for MAG, but the whole riding community. We now have the direct line to the heart of the DfT. Becoming a member of the RSDG is not an end in itself, but a beginning. We can move forward with renewed vigour and more influence."

6) CALL TO ACTION: Highway Code Review

Highway Code Review

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) welcomes any efforts to make the roads safer for all road users. However, MAG raises serious concerns that the the Highway Code review proposals and introduction of the hierarchy concept will result in the opposite effect.

MAG has challenged the decision to limit the scope of the review in such a way that motorcyclists are the only vulnerable road user group not given specific consideration. We believe that the Department of Transport should be mindful of its duty of care to all road users, and that ignoring the group that they themselves point to as having the worst safety record is unacceptable.

As a result of the exclusive focus on cycling, walking and horse riding, we find that aspects of the proposals look set to increase risks specifically for motorcyclists. Further, we believe that the overarching principle of the Hierarchy of Road Users will actually lead to increased casualties for all vulnerable road user groups.

The hierarchy principle

The stated goal of the Hierarchy of Road Users is to ensure that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others. MAG makes no objection to the laudable aim to reduce danger and threat. We do not, however, believe that the proposed mechanism will achieve the desired result.

In an environment that increasingly sees a visceral and tribal attitude between road user groups, any attempt to impose a hierarchy will increase divisions. Further dilution of mutual respect, empathy and compassion is an inevitable result of the removal of equality on the road. This is problematic for the promotion of responsibility and care for others' welfare.

The claimed objective of the Hierarchy of Road Users is not to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in every situation. Priority is, none the less, being given in the name of equity, and in a way that will increase opportunity for conflict. The simple advice to avoid placing oneself in harm's way is overridden by the award of 'right-of-way' to the most vulnerable.

The claim that the hierarchy doesn't detract from the requirements for everyone to behave responsibly is mistaken. Stating that some road users bear greater responsibility inevitably implies that others bear less responsibility. The nuance that personal responsibility - as opposed to responsibility toward others - is not affected by the hierarchy will be ignored. Whilst academic debate may see the categorisation within the term 'responsibility', the majority of Highway Code students will not register this important distinction.

Whilst the concept of the Hierarchy of Road Users may be extremely attractive in a theoretical setting, the application in an imperfect real-world setting will be detrimental to the aims of the review.

In defence of defensive riding

Safety messaging for motorcyclists uniformly highlights the need to ride defensively. This is a concept reinforcing personal responsibility for your own safety. The object of defensive riding is to prepare and plan for the unexpected, the errors and even irresponsible behaviour of other road users. Don't place yourself in harm's way whether you have right of way or not. This central message is relevant to all road users.

The current hierarchy proposals for the Highway Code undermine this message. We have explained one example of proposed rule changes that will increase the risk of collision - see below **.

Motorcyclists hung out to dry

Despite the equity being afforded cyclists in the form of segregated road space and right of way, the motorcyclist is required to remain in the motorised traffic lanes. As a vulnerable road user forced into ever closer proximity with larger vehicles, the hierarchy and associated rule changes are making motorcycling less safe.

The root cause of the issue here is not a desire on the part of the driver or rider to cause harm. Rather it is the poor design of the road layout that automatically introduces potential for conflict. The risk introduced by this poor road layout is then further reinforced by the introduction of rules that increase rather than mitigate the risk created by that poor road layout.

The rules laid out in the Highway Code should reduce risk, not reinforce the shortcomings of poor infrastructure design.

Hierarchy or Trojan horse

The current Highway Code already includes an entire section headed 'Road users requiring extra care'. This section, covering rules 204 - 225, already sets out the responsibility for road users to give extra care to the four vulnerable road user groups. Why then is there a need to introduce the hierarchy?

MAG believes that the hierarchy does not introduce a new safety element, nor a novel approach to responsibility. Rather, the hierarchy simply achieves the application of privilege. This principle can therefore be legitimately viewed as creating elitism that will simply fuel division and encourage irresponsible behaviour. MAG is deeply opposed to any rule changes that create additional risk for motorcyclists. In this case the increased danger from attitudes towards other road users will apply to all, and, due to their vulnerability, the casualty statistics for VRU groups will suffer most.

As we have already demonstrated, some of the proposed detailed rule changes will create new risks specifically to motorcyclists (see ** below).

MAGs proposal

Given that the detailed rule changes are all predicated on the hierarchy concept, MAG is calling for the current proposals to be scrapped in their entirety. We propose that consideration of rule changes to reduce the threat to all VRU groups, including motorcycles, starts again with a blank sheet of paper. The scope of the review must be extended to consider and eliminate potential erosion of the safety and equality of all road user groups.

New rules should focus on core messages of personal responsibility, and equality of respect and compassion for all road users.

** New left turn rules will increase collisions with cyclists and motorcyclists

The rules pertaining to the need for left-turning motorised traffic (including motorcycles) to give way to cyclists travelling straight ahead in a cycle lane passing on the left.

Highway Code Review


Given that the proposed rules dictate that a cyclist passing on the left has right of way, and therefore a perceived reduced responsibility for their own safety, it is fair to assume that the cyclist will take the right of way that the rules assign to the rider. Regardless of warning signs such as the turn indicator of the car, van or lorry and the fact that the rider is in the vehicle's blind spot, the expectation will be that the vehicle will yield to the cyclist. Realistically, the probability of an error here is large, and will result in a collision.

In the same scenario, but with the perception of priority removed and the cyclist being encouraged to ride defensively, it is not hard to see a reduced probability of a collision regardless of an error by the driver.

If the rules were changed to state that cyclists should give way to left turning vehicles, the risk would be reduced even further as they reinforce a defensive approach to the scenario.


Let us now take the above example from the perspective of a different vulnerable road user, the motorcyclist.

Once again the cyclist is in a segregated cycle lane intending to go straight ahead, but this time it is a motorcycle that needs to make the left turn.

Under the proposed rules the cyclist would be expected to take the right of way. The blind spot for a motorcyclist is significantly less problematic in the case of a competent rider trained to ride defensively and execute shoulder checks before any manoeuvre.

All other things being equal, the probability of an error is reduced.

If, however, the motorcyclist is required to come to a halt in order to yield to the cyclist, the possibility of another vehicle behind failing to stop becomes an additional risk for the motorcyclist.

Thus, introduction of the hierarchy principle has placed the motorcyclist at higher risk.


The consultation on the proposed changes is here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-highway-code-to-improve-road-safety-for-cyclists-pedestrians-and-horse-riders

Please make your views known so that PTW road users are not put in even more danger through ill thought out proposals. The consultation is open until midnight on 27th October.

7) Remembrance Sunday

Covid-19 restrictions permitting, Wakefield MAG will be attending en-masse the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service on Sunday 8th November. We have attended this service for more years now than we care to remember, to honour the fallen from our own area, in our own area. We will again be laying a Wakefield MAG wreath at the war memorial, that we have already ordered from the Royal British Legion. Following the Wakefield Service, we will be attending (at the invitation of the RBLR), the parade and service in nearby Mirfield - The role of the motorcyclists, is to lead the procession through Mirfield, with the marching bands, service personnel, cadets, veterans, and everyone else following on behind. The remembrance parade culminates in an afternoon service at Mirfield War Memorial. The Mirfield parade usually gets covered in the BBC Look North News that evening.
We will remember them
Meet 10:50 (or earlier) at the Wood Street War Memorial in Wakefield for the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service. We will then be riding over to the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, to meet up at 13:00ish with the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR). We will be leaving the pub at 13:30 for a ride to the Mirfield parade which starts at 14:00, followed by the service at Mirfield War Memorial. As a thank you for attending, food is laid on afterwards at the Old Colonial by landlord Tim. Hope you can attend both and let's have a big turnout of bikes to honour the fallen from all armed conflicts, and to show our respect.

Obviously, we will be adhering to whatever Covid-19 restrictions are prevailing, so keep an eye on this space for further updates.

8) Bikers Quiz Nite

Quiz flyer

**** At the time of writing, we are still planning to host this event .... socially distanced of course ****

The legendary and hugely popular Wakefield MAG Bikers Quiz Nite is not far away !!!

The quiz will be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday 17th November 2020 at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield, WF3 4AA. We wont mess with a winning formula so it's the same tried and tested 60 questions, 30 of which will be motorcycle related and 30 will be general knowledge (but there will be a bike related link / theme somewhere, however tenuous). The quiz is hotly contested throughout Yorkshire and the prestigious roll of honour is:

Who will win in 2020 ? .... Leeds Again Probably !

Open to All. £1 entry fee p.p. Team (Max. 5) or individual entry. Great prizes for the winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd), plus booby prize for the least number of correct answers.

And just for a change ....... All proceeds to the MAG Fighting Fund ;-)

Obviously, we will be adhering to whatever Covid-19 restrictions are prevailing, so keep an eye on this space for further updates.

9) MAG Needs You


A good many MAG fundraising events nationwide have had to be cancelled, including Yorkshire MAG's ITV and FYP rallies. 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) Forthcoming Events (for October and beyond)

Apologies Folks, 2020 is not going to be a cracking biking year, although hopefully, Covid-19 restrictions permitting, we may still be able to get some events in.

Sunday 8th November - Remembrance Sunday

See Above. Meet 10:50 (or earlier) at the Wood Street War Memorial in Wakefield for the City of Wakefield Remembrance Sunday Memorial Service. We will then be riding over to the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, to meet up at 13:00ish with the Royal British Legion Riders (RBLR). We will be leaving the pub at 13:30 for a ride to the Mirfield parade which starts at 14:00, followed by the service at Mirfield War Memorial.

Tuesday 17th November - Wakefield MAG Annual Bikers Quiz Nite

See Above. 20:00 in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield

Saturday 5th December - Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

See Above.

Tuesday 15th December - Wakefield MAG Christmas Raffle Draw

See Above. 20:30 in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield

Tuesday 12th January 2021 - Wakefield MAG AGM

The 19th Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held on Tuesday 12th January 2021. 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 our achievements in 2020, Officers Reports, Election of Branch Officers for 2021, Plans for 2021 & a Presentation to our Branch Heroes of 2020. Current MAG Membership Card required to vote. 19:30 for a prompt 20:00 start in the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield.

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