MAG joins other UK biking groups in opposing UK government decarbonisation plans

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The Motorcycle Action Group has voiced its opposition to the proposed end of combustion motorcycle sales after a meeting with the Department for Transport at the end of July. 

The UK government announced last month proposals to end the sales of all combustion motorcycles by 2035, with the phasing-out of internal combustion bikes beginning in 2030. 

Several UK motorcycle groups have come out in opposition to the government proposal, including the Motorcycle Industry Association and the National Motorcycle Council

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) met with the Department for Transport (DfT) on 21 July. 

In the meeting, MAG representatives were told by DfT officials that there is no possibility for internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles to be sold after 2040. Additionally, MAG was told that there is little possibility of winning favour for end-dates beyond 2035. 

MAG was also made aware of the government’s relative ignorance of synthetic-fuelled or hydrogen-fuelled ICEs as long-term solutions. 

MAG says that “only battery electric, fuel cells or hydrogen are viewed as options. Hydrogen burnt in Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) is considered to be highly unlikely.

“Finally, carbon neutral liquid fuels for ICE is considered to be nothing more than a short-term transition fuel for existing ICE. The DfT rules out synthetic or bio fuels as a solution for the continued sale of new ICE.”

The Motorcycle Action Group says it is “seeking a far wider discussion on decarbonisation and the future of transport as a whole,” and has requested a further meeting with Trudy Harrison MP, who is Minister of State at the Department for Transport.

MAG Chair Neil Liversidge wrote to Harrison requesting a meeting: “I must state that The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is following the wishes of its members and the wider motorcycling community in opposing this policy. 

“I appreciate that this may place us at polar opposite positions, but I feel it is essential that our position is clearly explained and considered in a wider context than the current consultation scope allows.

“The measures as proposed will curtail individual freedom, damage the UK economy, worsen energy security, and reduce living standards for tens of millions of people, without helping the environment at all.

“Our solution will enhance everyone’s quality of life and be better for the environment, the economy, and our security as a nation.”

Colin Brown, MAG’s Director of Campaigns and Political Engagement, said about the initial meeting with DfT officials: “None of this came as a surprise to me. I made MAG’s opposition to the proposed policy clear. 

“MAG is representing the views of its members and, we believe, the vast majority of bikers.  We will engage fully in the consultation process, but there is no path to a good outcome.  The discussion needs to go far beyond the limited scope of the consultation.

“We have formally submitted a request for an urgent meeting with the Minister with responsibility for the decarbonisation of transport, Trudy Harrison MP.  

“If necessary we will continue escalating this all the way up to the new Prime Minister.  First shots have been fired and MAG is mobilising for a period of intense campaigning.”

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