The boss of the UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) says that London mayor Sadiq Khan is risking the lives of motorcycle and scooter riders in the capital, by ignoring the benefits of powered two wheelers in his new transport strategy.
In a strongly worded statement, the MCIA says that Transport for London (TfL) is waging a ‘war on motorised transport’ and ‘lumping commuter motorcycles and scooters in with cars, taxis and construction traffic’, despite making a pre-election pledge that ‘it is absolutely right for us to enable PTWs to play their part in delivering a less congested road network’.
Taking up much less physical space than their four wheeled counterparts, it is well known that motorcycles can play a significant role in reducing congestion and pollution in urban environments.
The MCIA, led by CEO Tony Campbell, met with Mayor Khan last month, mainly to discuss the crime epidemic that is currently affecting the capital. Following that meeting, the mayor stated that he felt that motorcycle manufacturers needed to do more to prevent bikes being stolen but, according to the MCIA, said that bikes had an important role to play in TfL’s strategy.
“The Mayor clearly has his own agenda around motorcycles and scooters, which was not made clear to the riders who elected him following his promise to champion their contribution to reducing London’s congestion,” said Campbell. “At a recent meeting with the MCIA, the mayor said that he agreed PTWs had an important part to play. In doing so he also agreed to review his Transport Strategy, taking into account the feedback he had received during the consultation period. To quote Mr Khan: “I have read through the industry’s response to my Transport Policy Document and can say I agree with most of what you are saying, not all but most”.
“Given this statement, it is more than disappointing that the Mayor has decided to yet again ignore what is clear common sense for transport policy. The MCIA strongly urges the mayor to take another look at his plans to not only fulfil his pre-election commitment to riders and London voters, but also to honour his words at the recent meeting with (the) industry.”
The MCIA’s statement concluded by saying that ‘congestion, air quality and rider safety can only be improved if the needs of this vulnerable user group are factored into road planning and transport strategy, in the way cycling is’ and urged Khan to recognise that most small motorcycles meet the ultra-low emissions criteria he is working towards in his vision for London.