40,000 bikers ride in anti-EU protest

Demo ride against plans for anti-motorcycling proposals from the EU

PROTESTING against the adoption of EU’s proposed plans for motorcycling, 40,000 riders swarmed UK's motorways in a protest ride against the proposed regulations.

The demonstration, organised by Motorcycle Action Group, took place on Sunday 25th September and was a message to the EU to keep their ‘hands off biking’, as legislations are being put forward for anti-tampering, compulsory ABS and on board diagnostics to enable roadside checks, amongst others. The ride was also in unity against the plans for mandatory day-glo in Ireland and France - enforcing riders, pillions and visitors to wear full-sleeve, high-visibiity jackets whilst riding.

The protest ride, conducted by thousands of bikers including four MPs, against the proposed legislation took place nationwide across the UK’s motorway network, as on mass bikers staged a go-slow ride maintaining a speed of 40mph for around half an hour.

Paddy Tyson, Campaigns Manager for MAG, told Visordown that results from the action have been immediate. The run-up to the event already created a buzz, as the groups have been able to get the committee stage of the legislation postponed in Europe by six weeks, the parliamentary vote put back to next year and MEPs will read and respond to the proposals rather than immediately rubber-stamping the act. The Department for Transport are now also dumbfounded with the commission, as they are displeased with many elements of the proposal.

MAG have been campaigning against the proposal since the legislations were put forward in October last year. The reason for the intensity is that the proposals are part of a regulation rather than a directive; as a regulation it means that they would be automatically implemented into UK law rather than opting for elements that would be done under a directive.

The plans from the EU are on par with what happened 15 years ago in 1996, when plans were introduced to set a 100bhp limit in France – effectively ending sportsbikes. In defense a ride was organised on Brussels where 180,000 bikers descended on the Belgian capital.

MAG are hoping this will not need to happen again, but are prepared to organise a similar ride next year should the need arise. Although the ride was positive MAG are underlining that motorcyclists still need to continue writing to their MEPs.