February 5 2010.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association presented the case for Government support for the industry during a meeting with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills this week.

MCIA representatives met Ian Lucas MP and his senior advisors to seek commitment and support for the motorcycle industry as an integral part of the automotive sector. The motorcycle industry was over-looked as a benefactor of various business support programmes, including the car scrappage scheme and the MCIA is calling for equal status in the automotive field.

The outcome of the meeting has satisfied the MCIA's immediate request for a constructive dialogue and a programme of meetings will be put in place to explore industry demands in more depth. These include; inclusion in any future scrappage schemes, company electric car tax relief to be extended to electric bikes, inclusion in alternative fuelled vehicle grant incentives, much greater fairness in the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) regime and inclusion in the Government's Automotive Council.

Although motorcycles of all kinds only represents 1% of road traffic, the 2010 industrial assessment (GHK) has found the UK motorcycle industry to have a significant impact on the UK economy. The industry is of  considerable size with net sales now known to exceed £5 billion and directly employs 62,000 people in over 5,700 companies, with additional employment in related businesses. While a large proportion of these sales are goods imported from overseas, the UK motorcycle industry itself generates significant added value of £2.75billion per annum. The industry contributes just under £1billion in taxes to the Exchequer.

Motorcycle and scooter use also has many characteristics that are important for improving the overall transport structure in the UK and helping the Government to meet its own targets.

Congestion beating - Riding motorcycles or scooters doesn't add to congestion and can in fact contribute to lowering the costs to businesses.

Lower Pollution - When bikes are actually in use they are less polluting than cars, especially when using smaller capacity commuter bikes. Average Co2 emissions are 158g/km for the new car fleet compared to 110g/km for the motorcycle fleet. Smaller motorcycles and scooters emit well under 100g/km.

Reduces Social Exclusion - Can be reduced in a number of ways through the use of Powered Two Wheelers. It offers a cost-effective mode of transport for many sectors of society including young people, residents in rural areas, low income employees and workers with unusual hours such as shift workers in the public and private sector. Off road sport that engages young people, reduces illegal riding and also can help to reduce exclusion. Wheels to Work is another important initiative that helps get people on two-wheels to enable them to work.

The industry delegation was led by Tara Glen, MCI's Chairman who was supported by Steve Kenward, MCIA's CEO, and Craig Carey-Clinch. Steve Kenward said; "We are very positive about the outcome of this meeting and are looking forward to working with the Government to create proper recognition for the motorcycle industry. Motorcycles and scooters have an important role to play in transport policy, as well as making a very notable financial contribution to Britain. Now is the time to readdress the balance and bring equality to the automotive sector."