MAG Calls on New UK Government to “Move on Motorcycling”

Ahead of the upcoming but as yet undated UK General Election, the Motorcycle Action Group has launched its “Move on Motorcycling” Campaign

2024 Zero DSR/X Black Forest

The UK general election does not yet have a date, but we know that it must be coming this year. In anticipation of the coming election campaigning, the UK Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has launched its “Move on Motorcycling” campaign.

The main pillar of MAG’s campaign is the forced end of sales for internal combustion engine vehicles. For motorcycles, the end of sales for new internal combustion (ICE) motorcycles is expected to begin in 2030 with smaller bikes, and it’s expected that sales of all new ICE bikes will be banned by 2040.

MAG describes this as an “existential threat” to motorcycling in the UK, and makes its main focus to not only have these dates pushed back but cancelled entirely. It says that “Removing the existential threat to motorcycling posed by blinkered absolutism in pursuit of Net Zero is our top priority.”

MAG’s view is that banning sales of new combustion motorcycles threatens the future of motorcycling in the UK. The share of the UK’s transport market taken up by motorcycling began to rise after the pandemic, but MAG says this is at risk of the end-of-sales for ICE bikes isn’t removed. 

“Any potential for a renaissance in motorcycling looks doomed by proposals to end sales of new internal combustion engine motorcycles, reflected in a tiny, and diminishing, electric motorcycle market share,” it says. 

Indeed, the total number of electric motorcycle registrations fell by almost 2,500 in 2023 (4,062) compared to 2022 (6,526).

The next part of MAG’s “Move on Motorcycling” campaign is about the amount of people taking up motorcycling. “Once Government removes the existential threat of forced electrification,” MAG says, “it must next address the wider question of barriers to entry.”

MAG’s idea to achieve this is to simplify the licensing process, much in-line with recent proposals made by the National Motorcyclists’ Council (NMC). In addition to this, it wants police to be tougher on motorcycle thefts.

Finally, MAG wants policies that promote motorcycling and that specifically deal with motorcycles as a separate vehicle type to cars. “Emissions-based parking charges, restriction of road space access and unfair taxation of motorcycling is most often the result of policymakers’ failure to recognise that motorcycles are not cars,” MAG says. “This lazy approach of assuming the impact of motorcycles replicates that of cars is a malaise that successive Governments have perpetuated through lack of leadership and vision.”

Speaking on the publication of its Move on Motorcycling campaign, MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said: “With this manifesto we plan to put motorcycling into the political debate for election campaigns.  Everywhere we look we see policies building issues into riders’ lives.  Government should seek to protect riders from harms, not be their author. 

“We want this general election to be remembered as the one that finally produced a government with the vision and ability to deliver a better future for motorcyclists.”

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