"Any charge for motorcycles would be illogical," says MAG after GCP meeting

The UK Motorcycle Action Group says it has "secured reassurances" from a meeting with the Greater Cambridge Partnership over plans to charge motorcycles.

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The UK Motorcycle Action Group has met with the Greater Cambridge Partnership to discuss plans to charge motorcycles in the region’s Sustainable Transport Zone. 

The meeting between the UK Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) and the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) saw exchanges between MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, and two members of the GCP: Transport Director, Peter Blake, and Director of City Access, Lynne Miles.

The meeting considered plans from the GCP to begin charging motorcycles in Cambridge’s Sustainable Transport Zone (STZ) which emerged last month

Should the plans be enacted, they would see a blanket charge of £5 per day applied to motorcycles travelling through the STZ, which would mean bikers paying as much as car drivers. 

In that sense it is not dissimilar to the situation in Hackney, where the Council is planning to charge bikers as much as car drivers for parking in the London borough to try to reduce pollution. 

Unlike in Hackney, the moves against motorcycles in Cambridge seem to relate more to perceived safety risks, as well as noise concerns. 

In its meeting with the GCP, which took place on 30 November, MAG says it “has secured reassurances on motorcycle charging decisions.”

During the meeting, the aforementioned Colin Brown “pointed to evidence from the introduction of the London Congestion Charge, where motorcycles became more prevalent whilst motorcycle casualties reduced,” MAG says. This was in response to a claim by Lynne Miles of the GCP that the Partnership’s view on motorcycle safety is based on statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Following the meeting, Colin Brown said: “I am content that the meeting will have helped put the final decision on motorcycle charges under much closer scrutiny.  The fact that Peter Blake confirmed that the charge for motorcycles is likely to be given much thought is reassuring.  

“I am convinced that if the full evidence that we are putting together in our formal written response is viewed in an unbiased manner there can really only be one outcome.  Any charge for motorcycles would be illogical.”

Since the beginning of November, a public consultation on the plans has been underway. That is still open until 23 December 2022, and you can find out how you can respond to the consultation here: https://consultcambs.uk.engagementhq.com/making-connections-2022

“A consultation is not a referendum, so evidence is key,” said Colin Brown. “However, the decision-makers are still politicians.  Weight of opinion is relevant here.  I would encourage Cambridgeshire riders to also lobby their local Councillors directly in addition to responding to the consultation.”

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