Yes! Traffic calming, fuel taxes, reduced speed limits — they affect us all.
By a quirk of linguistic history, a different word is used to describe the process of controlling a car, to that of controlling a motorcycle. These words originate from the days of riding a horse, and driving a horse-drawn carriage, yet have been carried over into the modern age. When we say 'drivers' we always encompass drivers and motorcyclists. Many people use both modes of transport.
For too long the government and local authorities have got away with a 'divide and conquer' strategy. They divide road users into pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists, motorists, motorcyclists, truckers and public transport users as if we only ever use one form of transport. They then play one group against the other to prevent us from realising how much we all have in common.
Car owners never walk or use a bus?
Motorcyclists never drive a car?
The ABD exists "To represent and promote the interests of car owners and drivers, motor cyclists and users of other forms of private and commercial motorised vehicles." To pursue this aim we oppose measures to restrict the use or enjoyment of any form of transport — they all have a place in a sensible transport strategy.
We support measures that will improve the attractiveness and accessibility of other modes, especially where they're of benefit to all.
To take an example that is widely supported by many motorcyclists — the use of bus lanes.
There can be little doubt that the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists improves motorcycle safety with no increase in risk for other road users. But should the bus lane be there in the first place? Does it increase bus reliability and time keeping, or is it just there as a 'blocker', to make life difficult for the motorist?
There is some evidence that measures such as bus lanes and traffic calming divert about 25% of traffic onto neighbouring, often less suitable, roads, increasing accident risks.
So yes, 'Bikes in Bus lanes' by all means, but first — should the bus lane be there?
The motorcycle is gaining some acceptance in transport planning through the argument that it is 'less' harmful to the environment and contributes 'less' to global warming, but this admits that it causes some damage and leaves it open to attack at a later date.
There are already suggestions that all speed limits should be lowered to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gasses that they claim cause global warming. These reduced national limits will apply to all road users with the same vigorous enforcement to reduce even further the 'some' environmental damage that is being admitted to.
Yes, the motorcycle has a positive role to play in alleviating the congestion that has been created by years of poor planning decisions and the under funding of our highway network. To encourage this the authorities need to recognise the strengths and vulnerabilities of the motorcycle.
But let's work together on this and promote solutions that make the roads safer and better for all road users.
“Our trip opened my eyes to how insane the rules are in Britain — CCTV cameras everywhere, congestion charge — a ludicrous nanny state.”