BMF meets Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP
The newly appointed Transport Minister, Andrew Jones MP, held a ground-breaking meeting with key representatives of the British motorcycling world on Monday, 22nd June 2015, at his Department for Transport offices in central London.
Mr Jones, who is dedicated to supporting people’s right to use and enjoy vehicles, is also dedicated to understanding the effects of technological developments on road transport and safety. He meeting, held with representative of the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) and the British Motorcycle Federation (BMF), covered the Minister’s intentions towards the sector and issues affecting it.
Mr Jones said, ‘people will choose the transport solution which fits their personal needs the best. That includes motorcycles and scooters. I’m very keen to emphasise a more carrot rather than stick approach, whilst also asking: what would make motorcycle usage safer?’
The Minister’s outlook and strategy was welcomed by MAG’s Policy and Campaigns Adviser, Dr Leon Mannings. ‘I found Mr Jones’ approach very enlightened and encouraging. It’s hugely encouraging to hear someone in political authority such as the Minister expressing his wish to engage with us positively. He understands that motorcycles have to be a part of the transport mix, not something dealt with separately from the rest. We can certainly work effectively with his approach and look forward to doing so.’
The MCIA presented their ‘Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework’ – including proposals regarding local infrastructure concerns - and expressed the view that ‘progress on motorcycle safety can only really come if motorcycling is fully mainstreamed as part of wider transport policy.’ Craig Carey Clinch, a key industry policy adviser, said ‘we feel this is a minister whom we can do business with. We look forward to developing the industry’s policy framework with him and his officials further.’
Graeme Hay of the British Motorcycle Federation added his positive impressions of the meeting. ‘It was utterly refreshing to meet with the new minister who sees motorcycles as an integral part of the country’s transport solution. This is what we’ve been waiting for. We need to work together to make sure we make the most of this unique opportunity.’
The Minister added that as long as motorcycle safety considerations are properly covered, then there is great scope for the relationship with the sector to be an effective and results orientated one. Future meetings will take place in the months ahead to create a meaningful and actionable agenda for powered two wheelers in the United Kingdom.