Wakefield MAG September 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) Yorkshire Pudding Rally Report
2) Barrow Hill Rideout Report
3) WYCA Consultation
4) TRF Affiliates to MAG
5) BMF & MAG Joint Statement
6) Oakdene Cafe Incident - Stinger Device Update
7) September Rideout
8) Highways England Motorcycle Working Group Survey
9) Treasure Hunt
10) Bingo Night
11) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

1) Yorkshire Pudding Rally Report

Check out the Rally Report: Here

2) Barrow Hill Rideout Report

Check out the Rideout Report: Here

3) WYCA Consultation

MAG is encouraging all motorcyclists to share their views in a crucial survey of opinions being held by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA). The new plan will be a twenty year vision for developing an integrated transport network that supports the needs of West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership's Strategic Economic Plan for sustained and healthy economic growth - especially for jobs and housing.

From now till Friday 21st October 2016 the Authority is running a full public and stakeholder consultation on the content of the Transport Strategy and the Bus Strategy.

MAG's Regional Lead on Transport Policy, Steve Bolton, has appealed to all motorcyclists to respond. "This is our chance to have a say on the future of transport services in West Yorkshire. Bikers can make a very big impact on the plans they come up with, but they have to hear from us for that to happen.

Towards the end of the consultation survey, there is a free text box inviting comments and this is the most important part of the survey for us bikers:

Also, share the request for input as widely as you can, and please don't delay - do it now."

Although the consultation closes on Friday 21 October 2016, it's best to make your contribution immediately - it will only take a few minutes and make a huge difference to the status of motorbikes and scooters in the Authority's plans. You'll find the survey at this link: www.yourtravelyoursay.co.uk

Many Thanks

4) TRF Affiliates to MAG

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, has received a big lift in firepower thanks to the decision by the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) to affiliate with the organisation. The TRF is the UK's foremost group specifically dedicated to national and international trail riding.

The TRF comments, "the decision to join MAG was clear and in the view of some TRF members, long overdue." MAG Chair Selina Lavender says "we have been talking with the TRF for some time. We've also campaigned closely with them. For example, MAG's Political Unit worked with the TRF to prevent the introduction of an amendment to legislation which could have banned riding on unsurfaced road. The TRF takes political engagement very seriously, and in this sense we have a lot in common."

The TRF stated "together the TRF and MAG will be more effective at improving the rights of motorcyclists in England, Wales, Scotland and other EU countries - whether on or off the trail. The TRF and MAG will cooperate on local issues through our fifty TRF Road Conservation Officers - many of whom sit on Local Access Forums - and can influence council strategic transport planning on issues such as bus lanes and parking in town centres."

The strategic aim is to send a single message to central and local government representatives about riders' needs. "This should make a very substantial difference to the protection of riders' rights - especially where there is an urban and rural mix," adds Selina. "MAG has grown substantially in terms of influence and political profile, and this makes the logic of working with the TRF compelling."

MAG and the TRF will be defining key areas of policy which both groups wish to protect from political restrictions. The affiliation of clubs to MAG is of great importance as it provides a wider network to support riders, as well as a channel to gauge their concerns and through which to spread the work of MAG for riders' rights.

Find out more about the TRF at: www.trf.org.uk

5) BMF & MAG Joint Statement

BMF & MAG joint statement on Cycle Lane Light Segregation Devices.

To remove any doubt regarding how seriously concerned the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) and the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) are regarding the use of 'light segregation' devices on our roads, the organisations have issued this joint statement:

"The use of light segregation devices, including 'Armadillos', 'Orcas' and 'Mini Orcas', on our roads raises serious safety concerns in respect to riders of Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs). Inadvertent contact with the devices can quickly destabilise any two-wheeled vehicle with the potential to throw the rider into the path of other road users.

Evidence has emerged from CCTV monitoring of a Mini-Orca scheme in the City of London that clearly shows the devices to be trip hazards; 55 pedestrians having tripped on them within the first 24 hours of installation. This scheme has now been removed.

These devices are easily damaged and broken by heavy vehicles, leaving fixing bolts exposed and protruding from the road surface, thus creating a further hazard to riders and pedestrians alike. Visibility is easily compromised by scuff marks from contact with tyres, poor light and weather conditions, a build-up of general road grime and the presence of other road users.

Neither the BMF nor MAG wishes these devices to be fitted to our roads due to safety concerns for all Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), not just motorcyclists. Both organisations call for an urgent review of all current and pending light segregation schemes in light of the evidence demonstrating their hazardous nature."

The BMF and MAG are the country's longest-running riders' rights organisations. Over many years, both organisations have worked to fight on behalf of riders' rights both here in the UK and abroad through FEMA. Recognising that both MAG and the BMF want what is best for our motorcycling community, Jim Freeman, BMF Chair, and Selina Lavender, MAG Chair, met recently. They will be in regular contact regarding shared concerns in respect to motorcycling matters.

6) Oakdene Cafe Incident - Stinger Device Update

An update on last months news article where MAG had become aware of a worrying film clip on YouTube suggesting that police might be using a stinger device to stop motorcyclists indulging in anti social behavior outside the Oakdene Cafe in Kent ...........

Police and MAG take sting out of Kent biking:

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, met Kent police to resolve a dispute about the use of 'stingers' in Kent. A 'stinger' device deflates vehicle tyres to stop a vehicle from escaping detention by the police. Earlier in the summer, the device had been displayed by a police officer at the Oakdene Cafe - a very popular meeting place for riders in Kent.

MAG's Deputy South East Representative Steve Mallett and Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, met a delegation of officers, led by Kent police's Police Sergeant Gary Easton, at Oakdene Cafe to discuss what happened on that occasion and what the police policy is towards use of stingers in the context of powered two wheelers. "We were pleased that the police were willing to discuss this issue," says Steve Mallett. "Stingers amount to a potential death sentence to anyone on a bike who rides over them. I was reassured to hear they had never used a stinger against a motorbike and wouldn't do so, except in the context of something like a life threatening terrorist situation."

PS Easton confirmed this assessment: "a stinger has never been used against a motorbike in this country. It would only happen in a very unusual situation, like a suicide bomb or someone trying to attack a group of people with lethal force. In everyday life it's just not going to be used."

PS Easton and his colleagues discussed the circumstances in which the original incident occurred. "It appears the display of the stinger was a response to exceptionally irresponsible behaviour by a small group of riders who don't normally attend the Oakdene venue," says Steve. "I suspect showing the stinger was something of an act of desperation in difficult circumstances, but there was no serious possibility of its actual deployment. For safety, we're asking the police to provide a written statement of their policy on use of stingers. This could help ensure a similar situation will not arise elsewhere. A bit of common sense is the order of the day, to prevent an over reaction from the police plus some self-discipline from bikers to not bring motorcycling into disrepute. A joint approach and light touch policing attitude are probably the best combination."

7) September Rideout

Our monthly rideout for September will be held on Sunday 4th September and will be led by Rideout Leader Rookie Clare Ellam. She's been testing out lots of possible routes but not quite decided which one yet (at the time of writing), so turn up and 'enjoy' Clare's mystery tour. We can guarantee however that it will be a scenic learner friendly route (bathed in 10,000 acres of sunshine and clear blue sky naturally).

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) Highways England Motorcycle Working Group Survey

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, has joined a key working group operated by Highways England, previously known as the Highways Agency. MAG's regional Rep, Tony Cox, represented the movement.

Tony says, "I found the general mood to be very encouraging and pro-biking. Highways England are no longer part of the DfT. They're now a government-owned company, with more direct control over their actions and policies. Their main aim is to reduce casualties on the Strategic Road Network - but also to encourage modal shift from cars to motorcycles, which is excellent news."

Areas being looked at include better rest facilities for motorcyclists at service stations, parking and helmet storage. There was also talk of improving refuge areas and hard-shoulders for motorcyclists who have broken down, plus other improvements directly aimed at motorcycling.

The meeting was attended by the Institute of Highways Engineers, RoSPA, Bikesafe, the Welsh Government, the BMF and MCIA.

Tony adds: "this is an initiative that MAG definitely needs to be involved with and our presence was very much appreciated by the organisers. The whole concept of autonomous vehicles and their interaction (or lack of it) with vulnerable road users will be one of the major topics discussed in future meetings and workshops." The next workshop planned for late October will identify actions to reduce motorcycle casualties. "MAG will certainly be represented."

Kathrine Wilson-Ellis, Senior Road Safety Policy Advisor for Highways England said, "I came away feel really motivated and excited about the power of this group and I am really keen to start getting to the 'doing' phase."

This meeting follows the highly successful launch of a consultation on the future of transport, also in Manchester, and attended by MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik.

The Survey:

The Motorcycle Working Group, as supported by Highways England, have produced an online survey that is purely aimed at motorcyclists. Highways England would like this to be completed by as many motorcyclists as possible to help them understand motorcyclist journeys on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and to provide Highways England a baseline that can be used to measure the success of all the great actions they are going to start delivering. The survey can be accessed by clicking this link (Survey) and should only take a few minutes to complete.

To information needs to be entered before Friday 9th September 2016. This is your opportunity to tell them what the issues are, so don't waste it.

9) Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt 2016 Poster

We are hosting our popular annual Treasure Hunt (The Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout) on Sunday 9th October. Multiple Clues, Multiple Answers, Multiple Destinations, Multiple Opportunities to get totally lost. Prizes for 1st , 2nd & 3rd place, plus a booby prize for coming last.

It's not a race, so ride at your own pace and within your own abilities. Rankings will be determined by a combination of correct answers, correct destinations, route taken, mileage and time elapsed, so the first back to base isn't necessarily the winner ... it's why it's the Ultimate Thinking Riders Rideout !!! Enter as a team (max 4) or as an individual. Meet 8:30am (to get clues/instructions) at the Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT. Leave when you have worked out where you are going !!!

One Pound p.p. Entry Fee (to cover the cost of the prizes). All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund.

Hope to see you there.

10) Bingo Night

Bingo flyer

Due to popular demand, we are hosting another Bingo night. Eyes Down for another Fun Filled Night of Bingo !!! Cash and Prize Bingo, and lot's of hilarity guaranteed. All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. This will be our 4th Bingo Night, and if the previous three are anything to go by, a cracking night is in store. The excitement starts at 20:00 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, on Wednesday 19th October.

Hope to see you there.

11) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

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.


Sunday 4th September - Wakefield MAG Rideout (Clare's Mystery Tour)

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

Friday 16th - Sunday 18th September - Spat out of Hull / at the Tsunami Rally

Quality food and beer, bands on Friday and Saturday, rock DJ both nights. Trade Stands. Held down the dale at Duncolme Park, Helmsley (The old Farmyard site). Ticket Price: £20.00 (Pre-Book only). http://east-yorks.mag-uk.org

Sunday 9th October - Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt (Branch Rideout with a difference !!)

See Above. Meet 8:30am (to get clues/instructions) at Redbeck Cafe, 339 Doncaster Road, Crofton, Wakefield, WF4 1RT (Treasure Hunt will leave at 09:00am prompt). £1 per entrant (to cover cost of prizes). Arrive with a full tank of petrol. It's not a race, so ride at your own pace and within your own abilities. The first one back wont necessarily win as it's a test of reasoning, route planning and clue finding, hence why it's the thinking riders rideout !!!

Wednesday 19th October - Wakefield MAG Bingo Night

See Above. Eyes Down for a Fun Filled Night of Bingo !!! Cash and Prize Bingo, and lot's of hilarity guaranteed. All profits to the MAG Fighting Fund. 20:00 at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield.

Sunday 13th November - Wakefield MAG at the City of Wakefield Memorial Sunday Parade & Service

Meet at 10:50, Wood Street War Memorial, Wakefield. There is a Rideout afterwards to the Royal British Legion Riders Branch event at Mirfield, following our attendance at the Remembrance Service.

Wednesday 16th November - Wakefield MAG 13th Annual Bikers Quiz Nite

Quiz Nite 2016 Poster

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.