The Motorcycle Industry Association’s (MIA) Parliamentary Lobby Day takes place on 7th March 2012 at 2pm in Committee Room 13. As Chairman of the All-Party Group for Motorcycling, I’ll be there and I urge riders in Wycombe, members of the Wycombe Motorcycle Action Group, and riders nationally to join us.

As a keen motorcyclist and opponent of EU bureaucracy, I am strongly against further encroachment on motorcycling. For instance, the MIA have shown that the prospective EU Type Approval Framework Regulation includes:

  • A big impact on the way motorcycles are designed and sold;
  • Strong but preposterous “anti tampering” restrictions that will prevent users from making previously legitimate modifications. That will harm aftermarket manufacturers, retailers and riders, all in the name of unproven safety concerns;
  • ABS on all motorcycles that will add hundreds of pounds to the cost of cheap commuter motorcycles and scooters;
  • Bureaucracy for business that will be increased by adding various documentation requirements, some requiring expensive testing procedures;
  • Timetables for emissions reductions;
  • Many areas that are still undefined and will be decided later by the UN and European Commission with little oversight and accountability.

The industry is affected by economic woes like everyone else but there is a healthy trend upwards in the commuting sector as riding is proving to be a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to commute than car or train. A low road tax rate and free parking in most areas, with the important exception of Westminister, means motorcycles are increasingly attractive. However, I am concerned that the number of people taking the full test has sharply decreased, leading to many motorcyclists having only completed Complusory Basic Training.

I am looking forward to 7th March where these and many other issues will be discussed.

And a very happy birthday to my father, 70 today, still riding a bike and still campaigning against oppressive govenment policy on motorcycling.

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