Wakefield MAG September 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) Yorkshire Pudding Rally
2) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do
3) Mega Raffle
4) Bikers are Voters
5) Why We Ride
6) DEFRA Clear Air Zone Confusion
7) Yorkshire MAG Reps
8) Bikers Quiz Nite
9) Farmyard Party 2020
10) Forthcoming Events (for September and beyond)

1) Yorkshire Pudding Rally

Check out the event report: Here

2) Wakefield MAG Christmas Do

Yes, we know it's only just gone September, but after the year we have all had, you'll want something to look forward to !!!

We have discussed possible formats for our 2020 Christmas Do over several meetings and we all felt our traditional pub crawl was probably too risky a venture until this pesky virus is under control. It was therefore a unanimous meeting decision to hold our Christmas Do at our new HQ, the Thatched House in Stanley, on Saturday 5th December. We can book a 4 course Traditional Christmas Dinner (or Salmon or Vegetarian Pasta) for £14.95, followed by multiple goblets of foaming ale in relative safety. 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.

3) Mega Raffle

Our Mega Raffle to win a basic service for your motorcycle at Not Your Average Bikes in Ossett, had the Winning ticket drawn at our meeting on Tuesday 1st September.

Ticket 016, drawn by new member Dale, was bought by Wakefield MAG Deputy Rep Chas Milner, who is the lucky winner of a voucher for a basic service (worth circa £100) at NYA Bikes. The raffle itself raised £75, all of which goes towards the MAG Fighting Fund.

Well done Chas and a huge Thank You to our very good friends at NYA Bikes for donating such a fantastic prize !!!

4) Bikers are Voters

Getting your local MP to take an interest in motorcycling matters can be difficult in some constituencies. If you have an ambivalent, disinterested MP you may well have thought that it would be really useful to know how many bikers there are in this constituency. After all, an MP's first interest is how many votes they can win. Well thanks to the efforts of MAG member Stuart Loveless we now have a list of the number of registered motorcycles in every parliamentary constituency in the UK. You can find the full document here: wiki.mag-uk.org/images/5/5e/UK_Motorcycle_Registrations_by_Parliamentary_Constituency_July_2020.pdf.

As at July 2020, in the Wakefield constituencies we have a total of 7,355 motorcycles and scooters registered, broken down into each constituency as:

Yes, some voters may own more than one motorcycle, but no need to point that out to your MP who may well have a smaller majority than he/she has motorcyclists in their constituency. Now you can hit them where it hurts (their tenuous hold on power) if they won't listen !!

5) Why We Ride

Many thanks to those who responded to Colin's 'Why do you ride?' article in issue 89 of The ROAD. We still need more answers though. We are not looking for literary masterpieces (though that won't hurt). This is a longer term project to develop a paper exploring the motivations of riders to choose motorcycling. The responses will help us to formulate surveys and get to a clear understanding of the motivators and driving factors that affect your relationship with motorcycles. If you have a few minutes spare drop Colin a line at cbrown@mag-uk.org with a few lines explaining what motivates you to ride motorcycles.

6) DEFRA Clear Air Zone Confusion

A delayed response from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to the Motorcycle Action Group, claims that there are no Clean Air Zones, current or proposed, that charge motorcycles. MAG has welcomed this news, but asks, if so, "when did London - which charges pre-Euro 3 bikes in the ULEZ - declare itself an independent nation?"

The Motorcycle Action Group wrote formally to Theresa Villiers MP, then Secretary of State, on 18th October 2019 requesting a meeting to discuss motorcycle emissions. The request was made on the back of research carried out by MAG into the emissions data and modelling for motorcycles. On the agenda were to be three items: exemption of all motorcycles from clean air zone charges, further efforts to source reliable, empirical emissions data, and development of modelling techniques for motorcycle emissions that accurately represent the behaviour - and thus emissions contribution - of motorcycles in congested traffic.

A response on 4th December 2019 declined the meeting request, due to the forthcoming General Election. On 14th February 2020 MAG wrote again to DEFRA following the appointment of George Eustice as the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The letter congratulated Mr Eustice on his appointment and respectfully repeated the request for a meeting.

On the 7th August 2020, MAG finally received a reply, again declining a meeting due to 'diary pressures'.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, commented: "Naturally, we are very disappointed with this continual refusal to meet to discuss a subject that may be trivial to ministers, but which is of great importance to motorcyclists. We put great efforts into research and suggesting ways to help the Government to achieve its goals on the issue of air pollution. To have ministers simply ignore and reject those offers to help is sadly a reflection on how the motorcycle is viewed within Government."

The latest response letter did however state: "Defra is wedded to the NAEI/COPERT methodology and it is a continuous review and improvement strategy. Also, as mentioned in the previous reply, no Clear Air Zone currently does or plans to charge motorcycles."

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, commented: "There is clearly no will to recognise the positive role of motorcycles in reducing road traffic emissions, nor in properly modelling their contribution. If there were an interest, wouldn't the Government be actively seeking the development in the modelling methodology? Isn't the narrative here supposed to be about solving the problem rather than ignoring it? We are certain that current modelling over-estimates the motorcycle contribution to emissions, but we can draw some comfort from the fact that even with this over-estimation the contribution is so small as to be of little or no interest. We welcome the fact that there are currently no proposals to include motorcycles in charges. The puzzling thing is the suggestion that no current Clean Air Zone charges motorcycles. Last time I checked, London's Ultra Low Emission Zone does charge pre-2007 motorcycles, and there are plans to extend the size of the Zone next year. The London ULEZ charge for motorcycles is entirely out of step with the Government’s position, yet they fail to challenge or even acknowledge this fact. I understand that London is a special case in terms of devolved powers, but this lack of interest in consistent policy positions on such a matter is very troubling. We will continue to campaign against the charge for older motorcycles in both the existing and extended London ULEZ."

The Motorcycle Action Group has published detailed papers on the role of motorcycles as a Clean Air solution (link: wiki.mag-uk.org/images/c/cf/Promoting_Modal_Shift_to_PTWs_August_2018_%282%29.pdf, and has published articles in its member magazine 'The ROAD' explaining the problems with the COPERT/NAEI methodology to which DEFRA say they are 'wedded'. MAG has gained concessions on the ULEZ charging for motorcycles by negotiating with TfL a route for individual motorcycles to be tested, or secure manufacturer Certificates of Conformity, to enable individual exemption from the charge, but say that the current charging system remains unfair and unjustifiable in terms of achieving the stated goal of reducing NOx levels in the capital.

7) Yorkshire MAG Reps

Richard 'Manny' Manton and Andy Foody have made the decision to step down as Yorkshire MAG Rep and Yorkshire MAG vice Rep respectively at the next Yorkshire Region AGM in September (date to be confirmed). They have both had a great three years of doing the job but now seems a good time to step down with the changing political landscape bringing lots of fresh challenges. It's vitally important that Yorkshire MAG has a strong presence on the National Committee as we are the biggest donators of funds due to the three Yorkshire rallies. If you've ever had an urge to get involved in MAG regionally and nationally, now is your chance !!!

8) Bikers Quiz Nite

Quiz flyer

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 ;-)

9) Farmyard Party 2020

Following the success of the 2020 Yorkshire Pudding Covid-19 friendly rally, it seems highly likely that the rescheduled Farmyard Party on Friday 25th - Sunday 27th September will be able to go ahead. Tickets for this rally are still available but must be booked through Magic Action Promotions to comply with Track and Trace Regulations: www.magicactiononline.co.uk/product-category/farmyard-party/

Stay Rally Safe with MAG !!!

10) Forthcoming Events (for September 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 as restrictions are slowly lifted.

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

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Sunday 8th November - Remembrance Sunday

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.

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.