April 5th 2005.
The Motorcycle Industry Association has today launched its 'Motorcycling Manifesto' for the post-election Government. The Manifesto calls on the Government to act in several key areas such as bringing fairness to the motorcycle licensing regime, forcing local authorities to think bike in their transport policies, implementing the new National Motorcycle Strategy and providing funding to the successful police-led 'Bikesafe' initiative.
The Manifesto has been launched in the wake of a survey by the MCI, which shows that the voting choice of 51 per cent of Britain's motorcyclists is likely to be influenced by political party attitudes to motorcycling issues. With an average of 7,600 motorcycle licence-holders in each UK constituency, the 'think motorcycle' message to Parliamentary candidates is clear - particularly in key marginal seats. Among the UK population as a whole, 20 per cent of all voters will be looking for the next Government to do something positive for motorcycling and transport generally.
Although the Government's recent launch of the UK's first National Motorcycle Strategy has been welcomed by industry, MCI feels that unless the incoming Government - of whichever Party -- follows the strategy with a clear programme to support its implementation, coupled with actions to address rider vulnerability and accessibility on UK roads, even the most positive strategy will end up being a valueless document which sits on a shelf.
MCI has been fully engaged with Government, riders groups, the police and others to produce the Strategy and to encourage a new approach to road safety which was outlined in the industry's '19 Point Safety Plan' of 2003. MCI's work culminated in the launch of the rider skills DVD 'A Street, A Track, An Open Road' in February, with this being supplied to the buyers of new motorcycles.
In addition, the industry has put safety at the top of its agenda in franchised dealers, by requiring buyers of new motorcycles and dealers to complete a 'safety handover form' as part of the sales process.
MCI has also led the field in a large number of areas relating to improving the lives of ordinary riders and improving rider safety. This includes encouraging local authorities to include biking in their transport plans and helping to develop a national framework for the Police-led 'Bikesafe' scheme. Now the industry is calling for Government to deliver in other areas.
The MCI's Craig Carey-Clinch said: "In short, MCI is delivering, and now we expect Government to do the same. The industry has responded to Government concerns about rider safety and has worked closely with Ministers and officials to produce the National Motorcycle Strategy. However, the Strategy needs implementing and there are a number of additional key areas where Government should now act to support the work of industry and the wider motorcycle community. So far it is showing only a few signs of doing so. Which is why we have today launched the industry's 'Manifesto for Motorcycling'.
We urge Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to support the aims of the Manifesto and call for the transport teams of the main political parties to include the Manifesto in their transport policies."