National Committee Attendance Sheet
National Committee Meeting
First Name Initials
Minute Taker / National Reps Liaison
North West Rep / Director TMAGL
South East Rep
Vice Chair / Eastern Rep
North Wales Rep (Acting)
Chair / East Anglia Rep / Director Nice
Employer Ltd / Director TMAGL
National Membership Coordinator
Thames Valley Rep
West Midlands Rep
East Midlands Rep
Campaigns & Policy Advisor
Herts / Essex Rep (Acting)
Director TMAGL / Director Nice
President / Editor “The Road”
Director Comms & Public Affairs
South West Rep
Western Region Rep
Clubs Liaison Officer / Yorkshire Rep
Director TMAGL / Foundation Trustee
North East Rep
South Wales Rep
Scotland Rep / Director TMAGL
Observer (Taunton Rep)
Observer (& TLRV chauffeur)
Deputy for Eddie Lowe
Deputy for Tony Cox
Motorcycle Action Group: National Committee Meeting
Date: October 10, 2015 Time 12.00 pm Venue: Wren Hall, CV35 7NF
1. Introduction and Register of Interests
SL thanked all for attending and dealt with housekeeping issues. All attendees introduced themselves.
2. Apologies for absence:
Recorded on attached attendance sheet.
3. Appointments and resignations:
Ian Williamson now officially in post as S. Wales Regional Rep.
Dave Wigham and Michael Armstrong both returned as North East RR and Cumbria RR respectively.
4. Adoption of NC agenda:
Adopted without revisions.
5. Ratification of previous NC Minutes:
To accept the August NC Minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Proposed: Oliver Rose; Seconded: Debz Rose. Carried.
There have been no email votes recorded in the interim.
6. Matters arising from previous NC Minutes:
August action points were reviewed. All items require progression.
To open their report LÖ and LM briefly ran through their respective priorities and operational considerations.
LÖ reported success with the “Bridge too Far” campaign, noting that sterling efforts by SW had gone a long
way to securing a successful outcome. SW worked with all the relevant bodies, letters were written and LÖ,
SL and DH met Alex Salmond at Westminster. The result of all this hard work is that all users are now taken
into consideration and it should be possible to continue a constructive dialogue regarding other issues.
SL noted that it had been a non-MAG member who had drawn attention to the matter originally,
demonstrating that MAG is seen as the “go to” organisation regarding matters motorcycling.
LÖ then spoke about the Justice Campaign, explaining that the starting point is the Sentencing Guidelines.
If it can be shown that they are not appropriate, MAG needs to open a dialogue with the Sentencing Council.
But if the fault lies in the application of the Guidelines, a dialogue with the relevant bodies is required, along
with using political influence to effect change.
Because the matter will require a great deal of information-gathering and analysis, SL reported that the
Board will look into the possibility of a university student taking on an appropriate thesis. It was noted that
approaches would need to be made by MAG and that the study would probably be at PhD level.
LÖ and LM have opened a dialogue with the Department for the Environment in Northern Ireland regarding
the matter of compulsory helmets for trike riders. They also took the opportunity to speak with
representatives of Sustrans, whose offices were close by.
(TP joins the meeting)
Information regarding the licence testing regime is to be brought to the next NC meeting.
LM has developed the Five Pathways for Progress into a PowerPoint presentation that can be used at all
The DfT and LTAs have acknowledged the need for a review of the Road Safety Audit. MAG is now driving
the progress on the TfL handbook identifying good and bad practice.
The body of evidence showing significant environmental, safety and traffic flow benefits has resulted in the
lifting of bans on PTWs in all with-flow bus lanes.
Parking provision for PTWs should be on a par with that provided for cycles, and not be seen as a revenue
stream because of having number plates. It is common practice in the EU to park cycles and PTWs
There needs to be parity of consideration for PTW rider safety. All consultations should include PTW riders
and adding MAG to all lists of safety scheme stakeholders is simple and optimises progress.
There should be a Motorcycle Officer in all LTAs. There is a requirement to have Officers to represent
Cycling and Walking and the addition of one for Motorcycling is something that needs to be worked on.
MAG can assist where officers with limited knowledge and expertise are introduced.
The Cycle Super Highway is now under construction and there are already problems that can only get
There is a move from advisory segregation (dotted lines) to hard or light segregation. There are already
hard-engineered cycle lanes in London, which constitute a trip hazard similar to a kerb. Drainage has not
been taken into consideration.
Orcas and Armadillos are classed as light segregation. AC mentioned the trial that has been carried out by
the BMF’s Graeme Hay and the fact that it is flawed because it has not been carried out under conditions
replicating real life. It was noted that LA’s can obtain grants from Sustrans, who get funding from Central
Government. Sustrans receive 10% from any scheme that receives approval.
Following appropriate campaigning in Brighton, recently installed Orcas were removed with five weeks of
It was noted that segregation creates trip hazards with the potential for serious or fatal injuries and that trial
sites are carefully selected to minimise negative results as they fail to replicate real conditions. A scooter
rider has now had an accident as a result of Armadillos and a formal complaint has now been made.
In response to a question about whether such schemes would pass HSE assessment, AC stated that the
Construction & Design Regulations used to require that danger be designed out of schemes, but didn’t know
where Highways sit within these regulations. AC was tasked with finding out more.
SL asked how long the Pathways for Progress presentation takes, bearing in mind that it is likely to be used
for presenting to authorities. It was noted that it can be as brief or as in-depth as required.
LÖ commented again regarding the matter of Sustrans getting 10% of any projects they approve. He also
noted that a meeting is to take place with Andrew Turner regarding trials on the Isle of Wight in respect to
He summarised key priorities and mentioned that Tim Farron is a MAG member and that the organisation
has good representation across the political spectrum. He also said that he would like to hold a reception at
Westminster but that this would be very expensive.
In closing it was noted that LM will be taking part in a meeting with Westminster GLA on Thursday morning
at 11.00 am and that there is live streaming for this.
8. Board meeting report:
The Board held a Skype meeting as they were unable to meet prior to the NC meeting. They welcomed TP
as a Director for NEL.
The move to new offices is progressing and there will be sufficient space to hold the Board meetings there.
MAG now has a server in Wales and Andy Meredith, Tony Cox, Rob Matthews and Leslie Johns are
working to make the move to new premises as smooth as possible.
Membership figures are slightly down due to the Standing Orders/Direct Debit switching.
Short training videos need to be short and slick. TC to look into utilising YouTube.
Press releases need to go out in the timely manner. There is a need for a Media/PR role to prepare stories
for release on a regular basis. NFL is writing a job description. TP is looking into hashtags on Twitter to
broaden out where messages get to.
A National Stand Manager is required and an invitation for potential postholders to tender for the position is
to be advertised.
FEMA has moved to new premises with costs now reduced. The debt of the Greek member organisation
has been written off.
The magazine needs to increase profile with advertisers/potential advertisers and MAG Media is in need of
The use of interactive adverts for an electronic version of the magazine is to be looked into.
Greg is in touch with Julie (Sperling) regarding requirements for the new website.
AB wondered about intern/apprenticeship packages and SL said this is something that can be looked into
after the office move in time for the next academic year. This is something that requires a brief to be written,
with clear aims and objectives. LÖ commented that anyone taking up such a position would need to be
politically aligned with the organisation. IM noted that the organisation needs to be proactive in approaching
The matter of a guest speaker for AGC 2016 was raised and SMC (FEMA) to be approached to provide one.
9. FEMA report:
Report circulated prior to the meeting on the NC list.
10. Additions to emailed reports:
British Independent Islands – vacant
Cumbria Report from Michael Armstrong, Cumbria RR
Regularly attending Whitehaven MAG meeting’s and keeping both groups up to date on national issues.
Cumbria MAG held it’s A.G.M. last month. I was re-elected as Regional Rep and Political Officer and
Caroline Heaney as Regional Secretary and Treasurer. We have kept the role of webmaster but await new
national website and have made the Club and Dealer reps to local reps only.
East Anglia Report from Selina Lavender, East Anglia RR & Chair
There are 3 physical groups in East Anglia, West Norfolk, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill, and one
Facebook group North Norfolk.
West Norfolk have found a new home and will be holding their AGM in November (details entered on the
website so should be in The ROAD). This is my local group and I regularly attend.
Bury St Edmunds are busy planning their January rally, the Mad Cow. I am in touch with the Rep although
I’ve not been to a meeting recently. Dates and poster just released, I’ve reminded them to apply for PLI. I’m
organizing the poster for The ROAD (I need to check if anyone is putting it on the events page on the
Haverhill is a relatively new group and enthusiastic. I plan to attend one of their meetings between now and
the next NC.
I support events around the region often with the MAG stand which has been at; King’s Lynn, Wimbotsham,
I share a lot of the posts from the main Facebook page with all the groups Facebook pages. I also print and
post Network to a couple of older members that ‘don’t do computers’.
East Midlands – vacant
Eastern Report from Dave Hammond, Eastern RR & Vice Chair
Keeping facebooks updated in the region
Attended a show in Selina’s region and help on the stand
Held regional meeting, nothing to report
Attended Spat, great rally
Peterborough MAG still going strong
Greater London – vacant
Herts & Essex Jon Metcalfe, Herts & Essex RR
Lincolnshire Alex Bridgwood, Lincolnshire RR
Lincolnshire Region has been fairly quiet on the campaign front over the last few months. Nothing
controversial seems to have happened locally. Upcoming will be the consultation period for the Local Plan
which covers part of Lincolnshire. No doubt we’l be looking to make representation as per the last
Two events have taken place raising some funds for MAG. Lincoln branch held a bike night in Cherry
Willingham in August and Horncastle Bike Night was held in September by Mid Lincs MAG. Not a huge
amount of money raised unfortunately due to the poor weather at both events.
Looking ahead we have two events, one later this month and one in November, being hosted by the
Lincolnshire Entertainment Group (Created out of members across the region). Hopefully both of these will
be successful and raise some more funds for us.
North East Report from Dave Wigham, North East RR
Orcas / Armadil o’s. Coverage and interviews on BBC radio, Local newspapers, and Satellite TV.
Ongoing with Newcastle City Council. Following this I have been contacted by national highways trade
magazine and have passed this contact over to Leon as I smelled a rat. Leon is fully aware of the reporter
and his agenda and is preparing a carefully worded response.
Attended the NABD Lil’Tiddler with the stall, gave out bumf, sold some merchandise took some new
Attended Cumbria MAG AGM as observer, all returned hunky dory and done properly.
Attended Blyth, Durham and Darlington groups.
Attended Stormin to run National Stall. The trained up staff, Avril, Claire, Gordon and Kay did a superb
job. Local Durham group got the award for second year running for most marshals hours worked. We had
6 young members under 20 years of age marshalling. Took and renewed about 50 or 60 memberships of
which about 10 were new members.
Have organised the MAG stall to travel over Cumbria for rallies for 2015
We are investigating Scottish rallies to attend with tentative feelers, more later.
North Wales Report from Bill Hughes, Acting Rep
North West Report from Tony Cox, North West RR & TMAGL Director
5th-9th August:- Bulldog Bash, Stratford upon Avon
Took MAG National Stand to the Bulldog Bash as MAP were unable to support this year. Was made to feel
very welcome, had a prime spot in the Custom Bike Show Big Top. Only picked up a handful of
memberships but took a substantial amount in donations.
14-16th August:- Jesters MCC Rally, Whittingham Lancs
Ran the NW MAG stand at this event as well as helping run the rally
6th September:- Taliesin MCC Bike Show, Widnes
Took the NW MAG stand to this event with support from Blackpool and Salford MAG. Good attendance and
hoping to get the Taliesin to affiliate to MAG as many are already full members and very supportive.
11th September:- Salford MAG fund raiser at the Duke of York
.Could not attend as had other personnel commitments but reported good turnout and hopefully monies
16th September:- NW Alliance meeting Gypsy Divas, Haslingden
I attended the meeting along with other NW local group reps. Lots of concern at the meeting for Jimmy
Torrence, Manchester MAG rep who had recently suffered a major stroke. Manchester MAG was
represented by Grem who also gave us the latest news on Jimmy Torrence who has suffered a major
18th – 20th September Spat out of Tsunami
Great to be back in the valley at the Farmyard site. Real y chil ed out weekend apart from the “poppers”
incident. Well done to all involved.
27th September:- MAD MCC & Morecambe Classic Bikes Charity Run
Helped out with the Road Marshalling of this event. Ran from Morecambe to the Devils Disciples Bike
Show in Ramsbottom. Got talking with the members of Morecambe Classics who want to run a bike show
on Morecambe Promenade next summer and they are hoping that MAG can help run it with all profits going
to MAG. Needs further discussion but sounds good. Met up with Jimmy Torrence at the show who is looking
better than expected but it will be a long road to full recovery.
4th October:- Hercules Charity Run, Preesall Over Wyre
Once again NW MAG were tasked with organising the Road Marshalling of this annual event which is in its
13th year. The run took 117 bikes 115 miles from Preesall to Brougham Hall Penrith over some of the most
beautiful countryside. Very stressful yet enjoyable day. We had help from Blood bikes this year which does
help when you have bikes with “blues and twos”.
Other news from around the region
I have been busy in-between jobs creating a couple of excel worksheets that can be used to update the
source code on the affiliated MAG clubs page and also the local group meetings page, although I did get
them mixed up at one stage. This will save a lot of time in updates and once the new site is up and running,
these tools will still have some use. It also gave me an excuse to contact the clubs for details of their
Facebook and websites so that links can be included with their club listings. A number of correspondences
have sprung up due to this and I have also been chasing up some clubs whose memberships have lapsed. .
As already mentioned, Jimmy Torrence suffered a major stroke last month but he is in good spirit and is up
and about, hopefully he will make a full recovery
I am still helping to coordinate modifications to the new web-site and upgrade of our IT systems, details in
the Board report. I will not be at the NC meeting this August due to helping out with the MAG stand at Mobile
Chaos MCC Rally
Northern Ireland – vacant
Scotland Report from Steve Wykes, Scotland RR & TMAGL Director
Activities this period have revolved around meeting at local and Scottish level
7th /8th August Attended Board and NC meetings
21st August attended Edinburgh Transport Forum
Matters discussed included Integrated Transport where I stressed the need to ensure adequate and secure
bike parking is available at Transport interchange. A presentation was also given by Phil Noble from
Transport at the City of Edinburgh Council which provided an update on Roseburn to Leith Walk Cycle Link
and Street Improvements. On completion of the improvements, the demand forecast is expected to increase
by 88% which will equate to an overall 16% increase in all bike journeys in Edinburgh. Consultation is
currently under way with various stakeholder groups; this will extend to a full public consultation following
the Transport and Environment Committee of 27 October 2015. There are various proposed design options
for the improvements including a two-way segregated cycleway with continuous footways, examples of
thisare in Bristol. I sought additional details to determine any possible adverse implications for motorcyclists
and was granted a meeting with Alan Hutcheon on September 11th to review current plans ahead of formal
31st August Police HQ Stirling Scottish Road Safety Framework Review
This sub group discussed matters relating to speed and motorcyclists. While discussion was varied and
interesting the conclusions were sadly predictable. Such as the metric on speed, where the measure of
success was deemed to be a reduction in average speed. While appropriate speed was discussed no one
could provide a description of what this was, other than it would change with conditions. No
acknowledgement was given concerning inappropriate speed limits removing drivers ability to gauge
appropriate speed. The suggestion that while most urban accidents involving PTWS was primarily the fault
of the other driver this was offset with the premise that in rural accidents rider behaviour more often than not
had played a contributing role. Another point of concern was that the Assistant Chief Constable was not
aware of the explosion of bike thefts. I need figures to back up this claim prior to the next meeting
scheduled for 3rd November.
1st September Buchanan House Glasgow Meeting with Transport Scotland ministerial advisers
Lembit, myself and Serena visited Graham Thomson and other ministerial advisers discussing motorcycling
issues and stressing the role MAG was keen to play in providing guidance on this mode and looking to work
with them to ensure well informed and positive policy. They reiterated that the Forth Crossing pending any
possible objections during the TRO process would be a motorway but that the existing Forth Road Bridge
would be accessible to all learner motorcyclists. They were interested in the fact that motorcyclist were six
times less likely to be involved in accidents while driving cars than non bikers. Again I need sight of the
report by Carol Nash.
11th September Meeting with Alan Hutcheon on Roseburn to Leith Walk Cycle Link
Discussed the plans with Alan and although at an early stage the planned route would appear to be a fully
segregated scheme and Orca's armadillos do not appear to be being considered. As outlined the plan
appears to utilise road space currently largely designated for parking and thus as outlined does not appear
to adversely affect carriageway widths for other road users, although some sections of bus lane may be
removed. Figure of between £8M and £14M are being publicised for this scheme.
1st October PATAP meeting
Public Accessible Transport Action Plan with Chris Day Edinburgh Council
Managed to get group to ask why there will be no monitoring of air quality changes during/following the
introduction of 20mph limits.
In addition I welcomed the opening of bus lanes to PTWs and also requested that the proposed Travel
Planning Officer (see J23v) encourage PTW use. To be raised with relevant manager.
Edinburgh Trial of Bikes in Bus Lanes goes live allowing PTW’s to use all with flow bus lanes excluding 24
Hour bus lanes and bus gates, but providing access to the vast majority of bus lanes in Edinburgh, the first
city or town in Scotland to allow such access. Consultation will continue throughout the Trial with a decision
expected at the Council's August Transport and Environmental Committee meeting. We can be assured
that the cycle lobby in Edinburgh will try and thwart this, having already tried to influence the committee
illegally after the ETRO process and causing a three month delay in implementation.
In addition I have attended Edinburgh and Glasgow MAG meetings
That's it folks see you Saturday
South East – vacant
South Wales from Ian Williamson, South Wales RR
Meeting between County Surveyors Society and Leon went very well with input from Barrie of Cardiff MAG.
Discussed topics such as Armadillos, signage, surfaces, bike in bus lanes manhole covers etc. Welsh
Government rep was very interested in what MAG had to say. Power point from Leon was forwarded to be
sent out to all CSS members and relevant Welsh Government staff.
All Wales Motorcycle Steering group attended and very positive outcomes from WAG and the South Wales
Police Forces. Concern expressed regarding the dilution of "Bikesafe" by the use of volunteer trainers, not
Police motorcyclists. MAG was very forceful about location markers and the length of time taken to actually
do anything due to the behaviour of some WAG personnel.
Cardiff have succeeded in gaining permanent status for bikes in bus lanes.
Pembrokeshire have been party to a very sound funding application which, in co-operation with the County
Council and other road users may obtain a £85,000 grant for biker training and engagement, thus promoting
AGM held and Ian Williamson elected regional representative.
Aberystwyth AGM held and new officers elected.
Brecon organised a run in aid of a local animal charity.
Good PR was achieved by the use of MAG marshals at the recent Wreath of Respect at Aberystwyth
Twitter and Facebook pages are reasonable active.
Probably lots I have missed as the region is so active
South West from Tim Poole, South West RR
There are still 5 active groups in the South West Region, Cornwall, North Devon, Mid Devon, Taunton and
I have noticed a fair amount of activity on the West Dorset MAG Facebook Page, & I’m planning to post
some encouraging messages about interest in starting a group back up.
I have had a busy Summer Rallying again
I’ve helped at all 3 Yorkshire Ral ies, Accompanied by Sarah at 2 of them. Attended the End of the Road to
support Mike Baker (after some threats), there were no issues & the small rally on the Lizard, in Cornwall,
was better attended than EVER before! We also attended Weston & N Somerset MAG’s GWR & on that
Saturday took a rideout to North Devon MAG’s Ilfracombe Bike Show, both were Great events. Mid Devon
MAG have been holding Bike Nights regularly through the Summer, these have been well attended.
A guy from local to Taunton’s meeting place, turned up on Wednesday & said that he had contacted the
council, regarding some roundabout works which are taking some time & causing great disruption! They told
him that the works were initiated because of pressure from the Motorcycle Action Group! (SUCCESS) The
roundabout was funded by eDF, they have said at the Power Station where I work that the work is due to
Heavy Lorries moving the sunken Kerb stones which we (MAG) had complained about. It is good that the
local Council is taking notice at long last. Persistence is now obviously worth it. I am not holding my breath
waiting to see waiting to see what kind of hazard they leave for us this time!
I’m sorry about the time of this late again. I’m flat out busy at work doing longer than sensible days, etc, etc.
this will go on for the next 6 weeks or so. I may or may not have a job after this!!
SW Region Rep
*_TAUNTON MAG REPORT 8/10/15 *
_Continue to hold weekly meetings with attendance between 6 & 12.
_Held our AGM in July with a few changes in posts.
_Membership up by 2 to 138,
_Our members have attended and helped at many MAG rallies and events during the past few months.
_Examples of these are,
_Cornwall's 'End of the Road' with 11 members attending.
_Weston and North Somerset's ' GWR' with 12 members attending, winning the best MAG group and a ride
out to the 'Ilfracombe Bike Show' on the saturday.
_Some of our members have also joined in with MAG's 'Come Dine With MAG'.
_Communication has commenced with local council regarding road safety issues.
_We have maintained our core of members who work very well together under the direction of Sarah.
Southern from Tim Peregrine, Southern RR
Personally, I have had quite a quiet time in the Region, but things have been happening…
We have held two Regional Reps Meetings and discussed Shows that have been held by Portsmouth and
Basingstoke Groups, as well as looking forward at the planning for Salisbury 2016 and attempts to gain.
I did attend the International Scooter Rally over the Summer Bank Holiday weekend, on the IoW. This was a
1st for MAG and was positively received, although have to adapt the messaging to keep scooterists
interested. e.g. Riders Rights and MAG not Motorcycle Action Group. A small amount of merchandise was
sold, new and renewal memberships, connection and Clubs pack to VCGB (as requested by Oliver),
together with an introduction to a smaller club who will contact Western Region. I was also informed that the
Lambretta Club of Great Britain is “cash rich” and people that visited the stand would push them to affiliate.
Attendance of the Hampshire Road Safety Council Meetings by myself and my Dep. Rep have kept contact
in the County and helping us to pursue our concerns.
Contact continues with Balfour Beatty Traffic Management on bike parking in Southampton City, after our
“walk and talk”.
The meeting at Thames Valley Honda Owners Club was very positive and receptive to the presentation
Thames Valley from Gareth Lewis, Thames Valley RR
I would start by saying as region Thames Valley is treading water, our membership numbers have roughly
halved in the last 3 years and though attendance numbers at our local meetings are roughly stable the
majority of people attending are not currently members. For the time being I will take that as at least the
support and interest is still there. Though given the size of the biking population in the region I don't duck
that this is a dire state of affairs. A lot of steady consistent hard work over years not months is going to be
needed to recover things in my view.
From the AGM we held, which 5 people attended from region, Paul Merrit, Wycombe Rep has been elected
Deputy Rep for the Region and Lucy remains treasurer and I am still RR.
On a positive note both the Lion Rally and Chinnor Bike Dayz went very well and we will be making a
combined donation to central of £15,000 These events are critical to the region and the common sense of
purpose and combined efforts of the relatively few people putting them on serves to glue the region
together. Visits from Mr Mutch and Mr Opik to both were very welcome and entertaining. Lastly though not
the large lump sums raised by some of our other events at a rough estimate the return on input per person
involved is around £500 each which is pretty impressive in my book.
Membership drive. I still have lots of ideas about this along with an outstanding action from NC to work with
Lembit on these. I have collected the MAG trailer from Wales (thank you again for the donation
Ian) with a mind that it will be a pop up recruitment and info stand for the region once rebranded away from
the orange and black that can be present at our local events and rallies. The biggest constraint will be the
time to get out and do this at the moment.
Reading MAG remain engaged with the local council on all the usual subjects, Bike Parking, cycle lanes,
bus lanes and so on.
Best wishes to you all
Warwickshire from Roger Ford, Warwickshire RR
West Midlands from Eddie Lowe, West Midlands RR
No major changes to report, continue to liaise with our local groups and promoting MAG in the community
(managed to gain a corporate member through persistent effort). Colin who is shining when it comes to
community liaison and representing the voice of MAG in the corridors of local power. All of you are certainly
well aware of the historic way motorcycling has been overlooked by transport planners well now we are
at a point where every possible opportunity is being taken to promote MAGs message and ensure that
bikers are not ignored. At a very local level pushing the local council re manhole covers now not only the
type they are using but also the really poor state of maintenance of those already in place. A meeting Colin
had arranged with a local MP has been postponed feedback on the outcome when it does take place.
Just had a meeting with Colin and Nigel from our Black Country group following attendances at Metropolitan
and West Midlands Regional level meetings. Have agreed to contact all possible local MAG members and
ask them to lobby on all levels raising motorcycling up to where it should be.
Apologies for not attending Saturday but Colin will be there for the region
All the best
West Mids Region report additional info from Colin Brown, West Midlands Activist
8th August 2015 – 10th October 2015
11th August 2015 Meeting with Davinder Chohan, Road Safety Engineer, Solihull MBC attended by Colin
Pathways for Progress document discussed. Received reassurances that there are no plans for cycle lane
segregation devices. Requested details/information on motorcycle parking and bus lane access. Chohan
assured me that SMBC have a standard anti skid manhole cover and have a programme to retrofit these
and use these for all new locations. Subsequently received contact from other officers on motorcycle parking
provision (no dedicated parking but m/c’s can park for free in car bays) and partial answer that motorcycle
access is confirmed for a new bus lane currently being implemented.
Requested to be added to list of contacts for consultation on all future highways schemes. This was agreed,
but no further activity at this point.
1st September 2015 – Written response to WMITA LTP4 draft document sent by Colin Brown
Sought input from Leon Mannings after input from Leon Mannings. The letter was a response to the
consultation request to answer the question “is there anything missing from the draft LTP”. The response
pointed out that PTW’s are referred to only once in the entire document and listed a number of specific
amendments to wording to include PTW’s. The letter also requested the development of a PTW charter with
a specific target to achieve an increase in the use of PTW’s to match the existing Cycle Charter that is in
place. Letter also requested a meeting to discuss.
Many thanks to Leon for taking the time to assist with this.
9th September 2015 WMITA public consultation meeting Wolverhampton attended by Colin Brown
Meeting was poorly attended but was able to get a public admission that PTW’s had not been fully
considered and agreement for a meeting with Jake Thrush.
15th September 2015 WMITA public consultation meeting at Sandwell attended by Nigel Carter
Meeting better attended than Wolverhampton. Points raised in the written response were reinforced.
13th September 2015 Meeting with Ian Williamson, South Wales Regional Rep attended by Colin Brown
Many thanks to Ian for breakfast taking the time to share ideas and information
18th September 2015 Meeting with WMITA Jake Thrush Transport Strategy Manager WMITA Policy and
Strategy Team attended by Colin Brown
Informal meeting to discuss points raised in written response. Response was clear that PTW’s would be
more fully considered in the final draft proposal submitted to the WMITA. The suggestion of a PTW charter
was rejected the stated reason being that there is “no appetite” to promote PTW’s due to safety concerns. I
expressed my view that this was backward thinking as a legitimate solution to congestion emission and
parking issues in the metropolitan area was being ignored. I also warned against the promotion of cycling at
the expense of PTW safety and asked if there was direct evidence that promoting an increase in cycling on
the transport infrastructure improved the statistics for obesity and heart disease as suggested in the draft
policy document. I was told that there was evidence but have not been shown or directed to this body of
evidence. I argued that the increase of cycling should be promoted in parks and other areas that do not
impact on the transport infrastructure for maximum benefit in both health by reducing congestion and thus
emissions but still allowing for the exercise health benefits. (Lets face it morbidly obese individuals wobbling
down the roads on push bikes is going to cause an increase in KSI’s )
Further research following this meeting has determined that the West Midlands Safer Roads Partnership
has ceased to operate due to lack of funding. This demonstrates that the region “has no appetite” to focus
on improving road safety
Further lobbying of Councillors and MPs to follow!
22nd September 2015 Meeting with Councillor Tahir Ali (Birmingham City Council) attended by Colin Brown
Positive meeting with the councillor with portfolio for transport on Birmingham City Council. Discussed
Pathways for Progress document. Cllr Ali is most certainly not pro cycling and claims to have turned down
Sustrans funding for cycle lane projects that promoted cycling at the expense of other transport modes.
Cllr Ali has said that MAG will be included on consultee lists and in future he will ask for an equality report
on all planned transport engineering projects to ensure that PTW’s are not compromised.
2nd October 2015 Meeting with Mark Garnier MP for Wyre Forest postponed
Intended meeting with Wyre Forest MP postponed – awaiting date for a re-scheduled meeting
Western from Deb Rose, Western RR
Hi all report from Western Region (short and sweet -like their rep – as requested !!)
Bristol, Weston and Gloucester remain well attended, are busy socially and active politically.
With more events planned for the coming weeks.
Swindon and Not Avon remain largely inactive.
Mid Wilts now seem to be experiencing a slight resurgence with regular meetings now being held and
attended by 6-8 people!!
Most groups have planned their AGM's and financial reports are well underway.
I am intending to attend all of the AGM's work schedule permitting.
Julians Trust charity run (sun)
Hoggin (Oct 18th) regional stand will be there
MAG Hatter's Rally (Easter 2016) site secured plans well underway
Various social events in each group
Leon’s advice has been sought on the proposed replacements for the "toby" bollards in Bristol. We are
preparing to start applying political pressure in the Bristol area ahead of the mayoral elections next year.
Attendance at the GWR was disappointingly low and Weston are questioning the viability of running the
event again. However morale was boosted by Lembit’s attendance.
Hopefully not too short and sweet!! See you all Saturday!!
Yorkshire from Oliver Rose, Yorkshire RR
Mostly quiet in the region at the moment. From what I can work out, everyone went to Spat except me, and
it was well received by those who did go.
On the political front, the WYCA rumbles on. The work of the group responsible for that is getting to the point
of the unfathomable now, with it looking very seriously like we are to get everything we requested originally
in the Pathways to Progress document. The first part which has been installed already is a secure parking
zone in Halifax.
The bus lane trial in Doncaster is continuing, although roadworks in the town centre are hindering progress
for everyone equally at present, preventing any useful information from coming forward.
It looks like York branch has effectively folded - while there were plenty in attendance to see what was
happening in the area on Wednesday, no-one was forthcoming to take up the mantle of branch rep. I do
hope to further develop some of the contacts I built, so that one of the group present feels able to take it on,
but it will effectively close until that can happen.
Apart from this, it is the regional AGM the weekend after the NC meeting, so this closes off term one for me.
Whether they return me back to the top table after then will be up to them, especially after the rant that I
intend to unleash.
Additions/updates given to meeting
Steve Blay reported that the devolution of Manchester is a done deal and as a result will have its own
budgets, including for transport. There is a vision for not just an ULEZ, but a no-emissions zone (which is
completely impractical in real terms). LM noted that ULEZ can be supported on the basis that PTWs are
part of the plan.
DW noted that memberships have gone well at local events and that there is now someone chasing up
lapsed members. He also reported that a number of interviews have taken place regarding segregation.
(LM leaves the meeting).
Colin Brown will forward information to SL/JC for NC distribution. He also thanked IW for his time at a
See below for item 10.vii (Contractors) which was dealt with at this point.
TP noted that the recently acquired neck tubes are selling via eBay. SL flagged up that TMAGL is unable to
use eBay in the same way as a corporate organisation.
Chair and Vice-Chair
Things remain very busy. I speak / email the political team, office staff and Vice Chair on a regular basis.
I’ve responded to all emails from members in a timely manner and clear junk emails from the email lists.
Since the last NC meeting I’ve been active with (in no particular order);
the Northern Ireland Trike helmet proposal, cycle lane dividers, Motorcycle Live stand arrangements,
South East Regional AGM, WYCA, the Justice campaign, the MAG Mission statement and the office
Regular activity includes; monthly BSH articles, monthly Network, bi-month article for The ROAD, proof
reading of The ROAD
Something I will remind you all of on Saturday is that I am being contacted by members across the
country telling me that they are not interested in MAG’s internal fallouts. To build MAG we need to all
remain positive and avoid idle chit chat which includes posts on Facebook.
I have lots of things ‘in the pipeline’ that need to be brought to ‘NC presentation’ stage.
My concentration between now and the next NC needs to be the MAG stand at Motorcycle Live.
My diary over the past two months:
1/2nd Yorkshire Pudding Rally
7th Board meeting
8th NC meeting
9th MAG Stand at the first King’s Lynn, Mods and Rockers event
22nd visit to Mr Mutch
23rd South Wales AGM
31st Wimbotsham Fenman Classic, it rained, rained and rained some more but we did get our picture in
5th Stormin’ the Castle, I had to cancel my visit due to personal circumstances.
18 – 20th Spat at the Tsunami
26th Littleport/Ely Youth Bike first event
SL noted that she has been extremely busy and is delegating where possible.
Supporting the Chair
Dealing with an internal issue (complaint against an officer of MAG)
iii. Finance Officer
This is a brief report detailing any significant data which will allow you to see how we are financially for The
Motorcycle Action Group Limited up to end of August 2015. All year-end figures have now been audited, I
am just waiting for the final confirmation of figures to allow the turnover of the financial year with in the
accounts software. This will be completed once we move so not to disrupted by the office move.
I have had the initial thoughts of recompense from P R Booth & Co, MAG (UK) Ltd’s liquidators in regards to
a final settlement figure and this was looking to be 3 or 4 pence to the pound which would equate to around
£2.5k this was prior to the settlement of an invoice outstanding for works completed on behalf of the
liquidator with this factor in place the final amount available for pro-rata settlement the total of around £1.5k
would be shared. It has been recommended to write off the £81k debt as recompense will be in the
hundreds rather than the thousands that were owed.
The office move will be completed during the last two weeks of October so the planned opening of the office
is 2nd November where we hope to be in full operational order. We hope that there will only be one days
disruption to the office being open which will be Friday 30th October and minimal interruptions thereafter.
The below graph shows that memberships by month have decreased but generally follow the pattern of
previous years. Our Direct Debit numbers have increased as members have transferred from paying by
Standing Order. Our biggest financial loss will be the donations paid by standing order payers but we are
hopeful that they will also be transferred and continue to donate. Please note from the second week in April
no standing order memberships were taken so will dramatically reduce the figures shown. I hope to show
the improvement to these figures from July onwards as the Direct Debits become live transactions. We
currently have just over 1600 direct debits set up and I am still working through the numbers that are still
coming in on a daily basis.
To help understand the figures and their effects to our total numbers of membership please
see the following chart showing each cumulative year by month. Please note that all membership figures
are new/renewed memberships and exclude Life memberships and voting memberships of affiliated clubs or
Cash balances as at today 29.09.15 or where indicated.
Lloyds – current
Lloyds – instant access
Lloyds – standing orders
Lloyds – current
Lloyds – current
RBS – current
RBS – current
iv. National Clubs Officer
Not a whole lot going on over here, so nothing to report. The only thing that has happened of note is
Tony's work on the website, where there is now a page dedicated to affiliate clubs, but I'm not going to
take credit for his work.
National Clubs Liaison Officer
National Reps’ Liaison Officer
Drafting a Code of Conduct that can ultimately be rolled out nationally for Reps and Officers at all levels.
Continuing work on building a procedure manual for hosting AGC, by developing thorough notes
provided by Sarah from Taunton MAG.
Continue to support Regional Reps with welcomes and provision of information.
Continue to support Chair/Vice Chair with admin tasks.
Commence working on Version 2 of Reps’ Handbook, which wil include more information and guidance
in respect to matters I.T. related.
Develop an induction process for new officers. Original estimate of being in place by year end now
looking optimistic, given other projects ongoing, but will be moving up the priorities list a.s.a.p.
MAG National Reps’ Liaison Officer
vi. Executive Officer
Offices – The option of moving to Hatton Technology Park is no longer an option with all suitable units now
let. We were offered another option at Hatton Country World but this is not suitable in the retail/children’s
farm environment. I have now secured suitable offices at Holly Farm Business Park, Honiley, Kenilworth.
This will be available to us from 1st October so we will have one month where double rent will be paid, which
will allow a staged move. The move will be completed by the end of October with the view to be fully
operational on Monday 2nd November. I am negotiating with the current landlords some of the office
furniture, as they do not wish to store furniture – I am aiming for this to be free but otherwise only a small
contribution would be offered.
IT – Work in progress regarding replacement of the web/email server please refer to Tony Cox. Regarding
the website, Greg has now made contact and starting to look at the website, it may be that a fresh install will
be required, this is being worked on. I have been in communication with Andrew Meredith regarding the
broadband connection and have worked out a plan of action to work around the move of offices so not to
disrupt the website services so keeping this to a minimum. I am sourcing a suitable broadband connection
that will be set up at the current location and moving one of current broadband lines to the new offices
(ensuring that this is working first) and then upon final completion of the move have the new service
transferred over. This should also allow the transfer of the office telephone numbers.
MAG (UK) – still receiving new direct debits and standing orders from transferring MAG (UK) standing order
Staff – I am no further forward with regards to Cheryl Rowlands, Selina has attempted to make contact but
not had a good response. It may be most appropriate to walk away and investigate other options in the form
of a new corporate member who is also interested in taking on the role of the free legal helpline that we offer
via Access Legal. *** LO has been working on a realistic ten point action plan to include the NC approved
campaigns and all other administrational repetitive tasks. This is allow a more structured process so to
Sub-Contractors contracts – The same task was given to LM as LO so that he was not overwhelmed. We
have re-categorised his campaigns into area’s as we found that once one concern had ended another
problem was highlighted which warranted the same investment of time and crossed over with similar
implications. We will monitor this over the coming months and review in October as approved at the
previous Board meeting. IM has produced an invoice for this financial year and have agreed that he can
submit an invoice in this way and then we will pay on a monthly basis.
My role – As we have now agreed the office lease I will work on making the move as sleek as possible to
keep any disruption to members minimal. I have started to prepare the account for the year end processes
and so preparing for audit. This is at a time when it is our busiest and annual leave has an impact. The
workload has not reduced and I do not foresee this in the near future but all work is being carried out in an
methodical way and is being completed. ***
Bank Accounts – All signed documents have now been passed to Lloyds for processing.
*** denotes redacted text.
Mutch report October 2015
I got involved in front line political lobbying again recently. Lembit suggested I go to Belfast to lobby the civil
servants tasked with figuring out the viability of a helmet law for trike riders. Clearly this is a foul and stinking
idea and we had to kill it stone dead. This is emphatically core MAG ideology and to get a reversal on the
idea of extending the law to trike riders could be used to call into question the entire viability of the helmet
law as the arguments are the same.
I took a bus from the end of my street to Hammersmith in London £20 return on account of me being a
senior. There have to be some advantages. Sadly the journey from Hammersmith to Heathrow took longer
than the bus trip as some clot had left a bag on a platform and the whole Piccadilly line got shut down. The
far west of London is a drab place around which I trekked in search of buses. Fortunately I had
hours to spare. The bus that stopped everywhere rushed me the two and a half miles in only one hour.
A splendid night in Belfast where one of Lembit’s constituents spotted him and we had to drink a half of
Guinness each with a horde of university lecturers from Edgehill University. The meeting next day went as
well as might be imagined. The people we were talking to were not ideological opponents they were civil
servants tasked with a job and I think by a combination of factual criteria and common sense we made a
good case for not extending the law to trike riders. The only thing that bothered me was that the chap
thought 2 fatalities out of 260 trike riders albeit over 6 years was quite a lot.
A bonus was that we spotted the SUSTRANS office close by the building where we had to go for our
meeting. Now SUSTRANS may seem like the enemy to many as a pro cycling and walking anti personal
powered transport lobby. All the more reason to engage them and seek common ground and endeavour to
influence them. We had a cup of tea and chatted for half an hour as a result of which SUSTRANS will never
give us another problem ever.
Popped over to Bridgewater Harley –Davidson for the launch of their new 750 and found a MAG member
who had just returned from a test ride and was happy to provide a write up for me. Blow me down it arrived
the next day and was exactly what I wanted; objective reasonably complementary without being obsequious
and I got a picture of him with the dealership name ‘Riders’ outside the store. Sadly they didn’t want to take
an ad to go with the feature which I sent them the next day as they are prohibited from advertising outside
their area and the ROAD is a national publication. I have never heard of this before and I am a little skeptical
but I shall dig into it further. I did make contact with the HOG chapter again and learned that after what I
thought was my abortive attempt to recruit a single member after my talk last year; two did join as individual
members and the chapter affiliated at a cost of about £90 so not quite the disaster I’d thought. More work to
be done there.
Our failure to attract advertising continues to be a right pain. I do wonder if there is any merit to the idea of
trying to do a deal with someone like the increasingly significant Mortons Media. They now own
Back St Heroes
Classic Bike Guide
Classic Dirt Bike
Classic Motorcycle Mechanics
Classic Scooterist Scene
Motor Cycle Monthly
Motorcycle Sport & Leisure
Old Bike Mart Newspaper
The Classic MotorCycle
Twist & Go
I reckon this makes them the biggest player in the motorcycle market and they keep on acquiring titles. My
guess is that none of them make a fortune but when you have a lot, you have economies of scale and
Mortons are printers as well as publishers which cuts a huge cost out of their operation. I think they also
profit from cross selling advertising ie you approach an advertiser and can offer them an ad in a
number of publications to enhance its reach.
I am wondering if it might be worth our while exploring the possibility of doing a deal whereby we effectively
get them to sell advertising for us? Since we can’t seem to sell any ourselves there doesn’t seem to be
much to be lost. Even if we sold for a fraction of our card rate it would be a lot better than nothing and would
bring us a bit closer to the ideal situation of a breakeven point on the ROAD which is of course a
long way off at the moment. I won’t put out any feelers without approval.
This issue of The ROAD went pretty well though most of the proofing team went AWOL again. I will now
prune it to those who actually assisted this time.
My ability to move around the country will I hope improve a lot in the not too distant future. There is a couple
in this street who are happy to act as surrogate parents to Jack when I am away and they get on well. I am
hoping to beat out a symbiotic relationship with them if they rent a house with a garden or buy somewhere.
Travelling with Jack is a bit like going round the country with Hannibal Lechter – you have to be so on the
ball. I imagine being on foot patrol in Kabul is more stressful but not much. Training goes ahead weekly at
dog school and fortnightly with a therapist who comes to the house to train him and give him reiki massage.
There wil be a book about my trials and tribulations with Jack some time called ‘What about Jack’ that being
the phrase that characterises every effort I make to go anywhere. He is muzzled for safety on the street or
anywhere there are other animals until such time as he proves he can behave.
I shall book myself into an Ashram at the foot of the Tor soon for a night initially to see what it’s like and then
maybe have a week or two there. I feel I need to develop an inner karma of such profundity that it rubs off
on Jack and he walks about town utterly indifferent to all imagined threats.
A successful MAG fundraising dinner at my house raised £180 from 9 people.
Thanks to Tim and Sarah as Tim and his mate shot 12 wild rabbits for the pot and Sarah skinned them and
made cheese cake. (apologies to vegetarians but at least they were wild and would have got shot by the
farmer sooner or later, no intensive farmed meat in this house).
My own efforts at cramming them into a collection of pots and filling two ovens were quite easy by
comparison but I did provide the venue and sleeping accommodation for four of them so let me be praised
also. A forward warning to anyone who ever stays at mine; a door on the latch is not a closed door. Jack
could give Houdini a run for his money and I had a heart stopping few minutes tracking him down along the
alleyway out the back. Amazingly he actually appeared when I called and my heart beat returned to normal.
I’l probably get Jack looked after on Saturday but just in case I bring him, can I be sure no-one else is
bringing a dog or a cat.
The second meal at the Mutch hutch didn’t quite make this issue but wil be in the next. IT doesn’t seem to
have inspired many copycats yet but I shall keep trying. I think I mentioned that the ROAD office is moving
to S Africa for three weeks as of Oct 14 - I doubt you will notice any difference in service unless the Zebra
get me in which case my suggestion re Frankenstein has already been circulated.
I am guessing no -one has printed the ‘Inside Job’ flyer I got done yes/ no? To remind you all: the idea was
to give it to dealers to provide them with a synopsis of MAG that might impress them to go for corporate
membership or advertise with us.
Realistically individual dealers are unlikely to advertise as we will only have a few hundred members inside
teach dealers catchment area at best but if they feel we are worth supporting then maybe a corporate
You will find the cover of the latest issue draws on the same angle. I think we have to really promote the fact
that we have the key to the Westminster Village in the shape of a former MP whose name escapes me.
Actual y ‘we’ should be largely’ me’ as I am in charge of PR and have failed miserably. I shall do better.
In this connection you will find that the cover of the latest issue draws heavily on the same theme. ‘It’s an
Inside Job’ is the leading cover line and there you will see Lembit black leather jacket collar turned up,
shades and sneering a la Marlon Brando. I dare say someone will write in and ask - is this really the kind of
image we should be presenting? I trust that the vast majority however will get the gag and the
incredibly clever message that we is inside the system mon like da Ali G in da house.
Only not like Ali G but more like a highly articulate lobby yeah. The campaigns section will provide testament
to that I’ve run a two page spread on the scooter rally in Woollacombe party to try and address the bad
feeling toward MAG that there seems to be among a number of scooter riders in the South East and South
West. It may make not a jot of difference who knows but I thought it might make those who are members
and see it feel a bit more welcome.
We have a new corporate in the shape of Almeira tours. This is an English guy who is running a small tour
company in Spain. He keeps ringing me up and sending me stuff and offering deals which I have put before
the board. There’s a free plug for him in this issue as he took out a corporate membership and a year of
advertising is planned. Actually I also made him star letter but I was rather amused by it.
There’s a strong emphasis on the future in this issue. It looks a bit Harley heavy as we have a Roland Brown
review of the electric prototype they have produced and then there is a guest writer who has written a rather
interesting peak into the future type of article looking at the future for the internal combustion engine.
I can’t get enthusiastic about anything that doesn’t go rumble rumble but electric bikes are coming and it
gives us an opportunity to look forward thinking.
There is also an article on the prospects of refining the internal combustion engine dramatically and getting
far more power from it which could of course mean mpg depending on how you use it.
I fully expect several people to take a look at it at NC and say oi where’s this but I did make it available to
Now I shal get on with that ‘This is MAG’ flyer.
IM noted the glossy cover of The Road in heavier weight paper, at no extra cost for this issue. There is an
option to continue to use this grade of cover at an extra cost of approximately £158 per issue. He noted that
due to renegotiation savings of approximately £8000 per annum are now being made and that he is inclined
to go with the new cover. He further noted that if advertising revenue could be doubled the cost of
producing The Road would be covered. He will circulate advertising rates, along with corporate membership
rates on the NC list.
11. Any other business:
Hosting AGC 2016
OR brought a proposal regarding the hosting of AGC next year.
To accept a proposal for AGC 2016 to be hosted by Barnsley.
Proposed: Dave Hammond; Seconded: Steve Wykes. Carried.
LÖ reported that contact has been made with Sustrans in respect to the helmets for trike riders in
Northern Ireland issue, stating that MAG may be able to work with them regarding this but that in
general terms, there is a conflict of interest between the organisations.
SL said MAG can work with other organisations to progress one-off projects and IM noted that there is
an overlap in this case as Sustrans are ideologically opposed to compulsory use of cycle helmets as
they may discourage cycling.
It was agreed to leave the matter with LÖ and LM to gauge.
SL noted that disruption will be minimal during the office move. Telephone and fax numbers will remain
the same, as will the PO Box number. The address of the new office is Unit C13, Holly Farm Business
Park, CV8 1NP.
SL requested volunteers as there are still gaps in the rota to fill. The focus of the stand (4B52) will be
Pathways for Progress.
SL circulated a copy of an email complaint received from a resigning member. Following a brief
discussion the consensus of opinion was that the matter is not a MAG issue but a personal issue
between people who happen to be MAG members. A brief statement will be generated by way of
response. The circulated hard copies of the complaint were handed back in.
SL reminded all that when posting on social media as a representative of MAG, care is needed to
ensure that comments and responses are measured and do not bring the organisation into disrepute.
Observers for Regional AGMs
Arrangements were made for several forthcoming AGMs.
vii. Events flag-up
Several upcoming events were mentioned.
viii. Reminder meetings/events in The Road
It was noted that adverts for The Road need to be provided in a timely manner to ensure inclusion in
It was noted that information for PLI needs to be provided in a timely manner and there is now a
template document available to use.
Covert speed cameras
Anecdotal evidence suggests that some mobile speed cameras may have been operating in a covert
manner, being set up, for example, in a horsebox or tractor. SL noted that, whilst there may have been
an increase in bikes caught speeding at such sights, there is no deliberate targeting of bikes.
Following a brief discussion it was decided that this is not something that MAG should campaign on and
LÖ observed that if MAG takes a position in respect to this matter it needs to be measured and should
aim to open a dialogue.
Fol owing a question from AC regarding the generally recognised “10% + 2” margin when looking at
vehicle speed in relation to speed limit, SW stated that Police Scotland will not reveal what, if any,
margin they are working to.
Set as follows:
1. Isle of Wight
2. Lowering speed limits/use of safety and covert cameras
3. May elections
4. Political engagement, including liaising with Green Party regarding motorcycle policy.
5. Licence testing regime.
6. Justice campaign
xii. Helmets in filling stations
It was noted that there is no consistency by garages regarding whether or not a motorcyclist must
remove their helmet before procuring petrol. TP stated that Graeme Hay (BMF) had made approaches
about this matter and that it appears that in many cases concerns are based around theft in forecourt
A brief discussion ensued with the consensus that where this is encountered, there is the choice to buy
elsewhere and a letter can be written to the company concerned.
In closing the meeting, SL noted that the next NC meeting would be looking towards AGC 2016 and that two
Directors roles will be up for election/re-election.
Date of next meeting: Saturday 12th December 2015.
Report to NC and Board on key areas of work by Policy and Campaigns Unit
Final version: 28th September 2015
Leon and Lembit
This summarises the core activities of Lembit & Leon. As always, we’re receptive and open to
feedback at any time.
To remind you, Leon & Lembit work to key priorities so we focus our time and effort on specific,
strategically important outcomes for MAG.
Lembit’s key priorities are:
Forth Road Bridge campaign
Northern Ireland issues
Licence testing regime
Lembit’s operational considerations continue to be:
1 Requests to be made via Julie. As well as the ‘big events,’ the aim is to attend clubs,
groups and rallies in new areas where Lembit hasn’t been to recently, or at all.
2 Lembit will work on campaigns as directed by NC, Board, Chair and Julie.
3 Time management is key to ensure the right time allocations and prevent burn-out.
4 Lembit will seek to support and empower RRs to succeed and deliver results.
5 Lembit will write down best practice – for re-application .
Physical Segregation Schemes aka Armadillos, Orcas etc.
Consolidating Bikes in Bus Lanes policy
Supporting regional engagement with key policy shapers
DfT; Regaining influence at top level
Developing blueprint documents for regional action and campaigns
Promote MAG's Five Pathways for Progress (Document attached)
Developing influential relationships with key figures in policy and industry
Leon’s operational considerations
1 Develop strategies for coping with expanding number of proposals for physical
segregation schemes – and add weight to challenges at regional level
2 Develop a 'state of the nation' database regarding existing and pending bikes in bus
lanes schemes – and encourage contact via HQ with Leon from regional activists
3 Increase use of Leon at regional level to improve MAG's influence in key policy areas
Lembit Opik: Priorities
Forth Road Bridge campaign
Following the good results we achieved in securing access to ‘old’ Forth Road Bridge once the
‘new’ Forth Road Bridge is open, Lembit and Steve Wykes (Scotland Rep) held a further meeting
with Transport Scotland on Tuesday, 1st September, 2015. We believe the appropriate
measures will now be taken to ensure that the ‘Old’ bridge remains open and this is a net
saving for Learners of around 70 miles per return trip.
Lembit met with Rod Mitchell of Scotland Law. Mr Mitchell has offered their casework
examples to MAG to save time on amassing the information necessary to ask for a review of
how sentencing is handled when a biker is involved in an accident.
There are two further examples which MAG is pursuing directly: an accident involving a MAG
activist in Barnstaple, which is being pursued by Tracy Smith and Lembit, and the on-going case
of Greg Taylor – also in the South West – who was killed in unusual circumstances is being
handle by Doug Smith. We continue to welcome info on cases which may have a bearing on
this investigation and campaign. Please call HQ on 01926 844064.
Lembit has also spoken with the Sentencing Council for England and Wales who have clarified
their position. In short, this has led to a need for MAG to review the sentencing guidelines
comprehensively. At time of writing, Lembit and John Mitchell are arranging to work together
to do this.
This is a big job because it requires a rigorous analysis of details to identify macro – large scale –
trends. It’s a case of determining the shape of the wood from a ‘close-up’ look at the trees.
The question we are trying to answer is: how just is the sentencing process for bikers? Once
again, Lembit is very grateful to John Mitchell for his considerable support in this campaign and
thanks to all who have assisted us so far.
Members have been proactive in using the MP Support Pack to approach local politicians.
Please let us know how you get on – we need to keep a good record of our allies in Parlaiment,
and which of them are signed up as members. Lembit will continue to support this activity and
ensure we develop a good, regular communication system with MPs. Get in touch with Lembit
anytime. Lembit visited Parliament during the two week return period in September.
Tom Watson, Labour’s new Deputy Leader is a MAG ally. So is new Lib Dem leader Tim Farron
and UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Lembit has arranged a meeting with Green Party Leader Natalie
Bennett, which is scheduled for October 2015. He will speak with Mr Watson about the
prospect of support for MAG’s agenda from Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s new leader.
Lembit has begun began planning our activities for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland
elections. Early planning was a key lesson from the General Election.
Northern Ireland issues
In response to a threat to introduce mandatory protective helmets for trike riders in Northern
Ireland, Lembit and MAG President Ian Mutch met with the officers responsible for the
consultation into this proposal at the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland
(DOENI). This matters because if passed in Northern Ireland, the law could then spread
elsewhere in the UK.
Lembit wrote an extensive report in response to the threat which was submitted. Happily, and
to the great credit of MAG, over 100 other responses were achieved. Many thanks to all who
made a contribution – it compares very favourably with the small number (nine) which were
received about helmets on quad bikes – which was not a MAG responsibility. As a result of the
lack of feedback, the mandatory wearing of helmets on road in Northern Ireland is scheduled
Next step is to debate this issue with all the key stakeholders at the next Northern Ireland
Motorcycle Safety Forum. It’s likely to be in November and is a very important one. Cyclists are
likely to be on our side on this issue and it might be helpful to accept their backing.
Separately, but related to this, Lembit is now in talks with the office of a Member of Parliament
who has shown interest in MAG’s philosophical position regarding motorcycle helmets and the
law. Lembit will give a fuller update at the meeting.
Licence testing regime
Lembit and Leon have been working with the Chair to develop a proposed licencing regime. We
will share this document with NC at the meeting, as it needs explanation and discussion –
followed by feedback from the Committee.
Lembit’s has been round and about extensively over the last couple of months. The
attendances continue to guarantee clarity on what the members and activists are thinking
about and concerned about. You’ll find details of a number of these visits in The Road. Note
that sometimes we carry over event reports to a later edition to ensure a steady level of
reporting, instead of lots of visits none edition and none in the next. Therefore the timing of
the articles is not always 100% chronological. In the winter months, the emphasis tends ot shift
more towards group meets rather than rallies.
Leon Mannings: Priorities
Segregation Schemes aka Armadillos, Orcas etc. & Bikes in Bus Lanes policy
Leon has collated responses to Salina’s call for news of all locations where physical segregation
is proposed, on trial or installed. 15 locations are identified so far but the Brighton trial scheme
was taken out following engagement with the council by MAG's Martin Greening (Joe) and
We also have our first report from a biker who has crashed due to an armadillo. Leon has
followed this up and elicited a promise of support and pictures of injuries and bike damage -
but these have not yet arrived.
Leon has also learned that Section 2.2 of the New Roads & Street Works Act 1991, defines the
parameters of what constitutes a defect in the road surface in the form of a Trip Hazard – which
is anything that protrudes above the surface more than 10mm – which is challenging for
Armadillos as they are 130mm high...
Manchester: Following on from work by Blayz and Manny to get a meeting with Greater
Manchester big cheese, Roger Jones, Leon has had a lengthy private telephone conversation
with Jones in which he said he was '9 out of 10' sold on PTWs in all Manchester bus lanes and '7
out of 10' thinking there is major problem with Segregation schemes.
Leeds to Hull: Following on from MAG's highly successful engagement with city councils in the
West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) Stevie B, has a developed a good working
relationship with the Simon D’Vali (WYCA Lead Officer) – and Leon has deepened this good
relationship with MAG by hosting a private lunch for Simon in London. As a result, the officer is
using Leon as an unofficial sounding board to refine his report to the WYCA Board – which will
recommend PTW access to bus lanes – and will raise official concerns about the potential risks
of armadillos etc.
Wales: Regional Rep Ian Williamson used the influence he has as a well respected senior officer
and consultant to get an invite for a MAG presentation to the Surveyors Society of Wales. The
attendees were basically the most senior highway engineers in each Welsh Authority – and the Central
government adviser for the Transport Minister. Leon was driven up to Powys from Cardiff Central by the
local MAG rep Barrie Avery – who is a retired Highways Officer and Barrie has single handedly persuaded
the council to trial motorcycles in Cardiff's bus lanes. Confirmation that the trial scheme in Cardiff will be
made permanent has just come in – albeit subject to ratification soon – which is expected to be a
Leon's Power Point presentation was combined with input from Ian and Barrie and was based on MAG's
5 Pathways document. It was extremely well received with a great deal of receptivity and respect for
MAG's position and proposals. One member of the committee seemed particularly enthusiastic. After
the meeting, Ian revealed that she was the central governments adviser to the Transport Minister – and
that she had agreed to have her first experience of motorcycling which Ian was getting a date for.
The PP presentation included particular emphasis on the many reasons why physical segregation
measures, like Armadillos, Orcas or Kerb ridges should NOT be installed – and why Motorcycle Access to
bus lanes is such a good idea that it should become Nationwide policy throughout the UK.
Prior to the meeting and afterwards, Ian, Barrie and Leon discussed the strategy and tactics required to
ensure that Wales is the first UK nation to have positive guidance regarding PTW access to all with-flow
bus lanes issued by its Central Government Ministry – alongside negative guidance regarding Armadillos.
Norwich: Leon has followed up a request from Jon Barnard, Delivery Manager; Norwich Transport
Strategy, for further information regarding MAG's concerns about cycle segregation. A lengthy and
cordial telephone conversation has led to a proposal for Leon to meet Jon and Colleagues (provisionally
scheduled for 12 Oct) to discuss segregation and PTWs in bus lanes.
PACTS; (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety)
Leon attended the latest session of PACTS on 24th September and followed up on his proposal for a talk
on motorcycling issues in the forthcoming Joint session of PACTS in January. The Chair of the
'Environment' Working Group accepted his proposal and Leon will be using a version of MAG's Paths for
Progress PP presentation.
Birmingham: Although other MAG work prevented Leon attending a talk on Birmingham’s Draft Road
Safety Strategy during the afternoon session of the latest PACTS meeting, Leon asked the PACTS
Executive Director to pass on his card to the presenter, Davis Harris who is the City of Birmingham's
Transport Policy Manager in the hope of triggering interest and engagement in another region.
The next morning, Leon received an email from David Harris saying that he and his colleagues would be
very interested in hearing about 'opportunities/ideas with regard to motorcycles as part of the
development of our final road safety strategy'. A meeting has now been scheduled to do that on 22nd
London: TfL Motorcycling Handbook; Leon has been working overtly and informally on the
development of TfL's Handbook to raise awareness amongst Road Safety scheme designers about the
potential for adverse consequences of road 'safety' schemes for motorcyclists.
This publication will be the culmination of work that Leon began three years ago as MAG's member of
the Motorcycle Safety Action Plan (MSAP) working group. The primary challenge being to ensure that
punches are not pulled in the final version of the guide by senior TfL officers – and this will continue to
be a challenge for Leon until the final version goes to press.
GLA Transport Committee review of TfL's policy responses to motorcycling in the Capital.
This committee is made up of elected members of the Greater London Authority which is supposed to
scrutinise The Mayor and TfL. It has decided to devote an entire public meeting to an investigation into
TfL's PTW related policies and Leon has been invited to attend and make input.
However, and to an extent that probably exceeds their expectations, this event offers an exceptional
opportunity to raise a range of major concerns and identify a range of areas in which there is huge room
A hefty touch of spice may be added to the proceedings as it could be quiet challenging for the two TfL
Directors who will be facing questions from the GLA. As it happens the officers concerned are the key
people who Leon has spent years working/battling with to get bikers and motorcycling treated with far
more respect, fairness and sanity than they generally are.
Leon is now engaged in informing key members of the mainstream and transport policy press about the
prospects of several newsworthy stories emanating from this meeting.
Developing blueprint documents for regional action and campaigns
Leon has now refined a document called MAG's Five Pathways for Progress – which was based
on a bullet point list that was original created by Stevie B for use in contacting authorities in the
WYCA swath of cities that come within the scope of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
In addition to this, and prompted by the Wales visit, Leon has produced a more generalised
version of the PowerPoint Presentation for use by all MAG reps and activists throughout the
UK. He will be whizzing through it at the next NC meeting so that all Regional Reps can have a
clear idea of its potential for triggering new progress in their regions.
- attendance record 2015 5 October
- 201510 NC Minutes Final October 2015
- L&L FV Report to Board NC 28.09.15