What The Conservative Party Manifesto Means For Motorcyclists

The Conservative Manifesto has now been released, and we’ve pulled out the points that relate to motorcyclists, which didn’t take long!

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It’s hard to avoid the news around the election, and while not all of the party manifestos have been published, the one from the Conservative Party has. To find out what (if anything) it means for motorcyclists.

As you’d expect, motorcycles don’t feature heavily in the manifesto, and the only direct mention is way down on page 59, in the section relating to the Tory plan to “support the journeys people make every day”. In that section, it mentions the recent consultation on motorcycle use in bus lanes, which the conservative party say is something it will rubber stamp if elected. It reads, “Following the recent consultation, we will allow motorcycles in all bus lanes” which is something most bikers can get behind. 

What follows it though could be more enticing for floating voters looking for something quantifiable to put their vote behind and it's a Tory party pledge to “reform motorcycle licencing”. The UK’s motorcycle licence system is both confusing for a non-rider to get their head around, and costly to undertake, especially for a low-wage member of the public, who could be looking at a powered two-wheeler (PTW) as a convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of personal transport. It’s this complexity and financial burden that many motorcyclists, and the groups that represent us, see as a major stumbling block that’s preventing young people from choosing a motorcycle over the myriad of other forms of urban and suburban transport. 

Aside from the two direct points mentioned above, the Tories are also committing to stopping road pricing, or pay-per-mile vehicle tax, and they say they will also reverse the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion that came into force last summer. Another pledge is to “Rule out top-down blanket Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and 20mph zones” which probably needs some explaining. 

While the Tories aren’t saying they won’t introduce more 20mph zones and LTNs in cities, towns and villages, their use must be considered and put to a referendum, and they will be considered on a road-by-road basis. They also claim that any existing schemes can be challenged even after they have been implemented, should they be able to remain in power.

So, there we have it, a couple of direct nods to the bikers of the UK, but as we only make up a gnat’s whisker of the population, it’s fairly understandable. The bigger question really is if any of the parties looking to win seats in this year's election want to seize on the opportunity that exists from increasing motorcycle usage and seeing bikes and people that ride them as a way to save money, prevent harmful emissions, and reduce inner-city congestion.

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