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Toad Talks: How the anti-biker narrative needs nipping in the bud

With Oxford trying (and failing) to ban bikes and spouting anti-motorcycle rhetoric, Toad thinks we need to go to the top to make it stop

JUST a couple of weeks ago, Oxfordshire County Council published a paper that outlined the council’s plan for the future of transport in the town.

It’s nothing stellar and to be fair, you can probably guess 90% of the initiatives the team is looking to put into place. It’s about increasing cycle lanes, promoting walking, and getting people onto the all-important public transport.

Had the paper not have mentioned bikes at all I could have understood, we’re getting fairly used to being ignored after years of SMIDYs and absent-minded pedestrians. But what really boiled my piss was the fact that Oxfordshire County Council actively went at motorcyclists.

According to the council, motorcyclists are a ‘danger to themselves and others’ and claimed that motorcycles are ‘environmentally unsound’ and ‘not sustainable…

There was a massive outpouring of anger from the entire motorcycle community and they thankfully retracted the paper.

The thing is, this notion doesn’t just bubble up in middle England from nowhere, it has to start somewhere. And yesterday, we found out that shit really does roll downhill.

Enter Grant Schapps MP, transport secretary for the UK government. The man in charge of planes, trains, and automobiles – but not bikes. Because he forgot/ignored or was told to leave them out of his post-COVID-19 transport vision.

In the wake of COVID-19 (which we aren’t out of yet – not by a long shot) you’d have thought that Mr Schapps would have been all over motorcycles like a dog eating hot chips. If you pay at the pump – zero human contact. Congested city – bikes can filter and ease congestion. Scared of breathing in other people’s breath – good luck getting close enough to me!

Instead of embracing the motorcycle and pushing the powered two-wheeler as a vehicle for positive change, he totally fucking ignored it... again.

Instead, Mr Schapps is pushing forwards with a scheme to get electrically powered scooters on to the UK’s streets! That’s right, the kid’s toy that needs no training, no tax, no insurance and no MoT to ride on the roads instead.

Does the dozy fool not think there is enough crime in UK’s big cities without hordes of scrotes silently cruising the streets looking for another victim? And they won’t be spoilt for choice with him ushering the population on to these death traps.

But, it doesn’t need to be this way.

One reason the UK motorcyclist community has been overlooked for so long is that we have, largely, kept our mouths shut. Now is not that time. Moving out of COVID-19’s grip we all have a real chance to make a change for the good of motorcycling.

Help us, and do you bit. Head to the web-page below. Copy the sample email and send it to your local MP. Let’s show them that we are still here, and motorcycles can, and always will make a positive difference.

www.visordown.com/Letter-to-local-MPs

Comments

Sir,
Biking in the early seventies was a damn site better . We were Social Pariahs and bikes were cheap and enjoyable . You were 'classed' as a commuter or trouble-maker . Society had virtually forgotten the Mods and Rockers when Easy Rider appeared surrounded by a plethora of Biker-gang "Flicks" .
Since then the Media has tried to make 'Biking' Soically Acceptable and allowed a few people to make a 'Financial killing' thus alienating those of us who were real 'Bikers' . Bikes and the accompanying accessories are beyond the resources of 'poor old Johnny Arshole'
I mean £ton for gloves , £20K for a sporty bike . Yeah

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