I’m a business owner and employer who is extremely disappointed in the lack of understanding by HM Government and its ministers (not just current ones) when it comes to motorcycling.
It’s part of my business, so I have a financial industry interest; but honesty, equality and fairness is more important to me. Motorcycling is not the answer to all transport-related problems. Yes if half of all single occupancy cars were replaced with motorcycles, there would be more parking, less congestion, etc. But you’ll not legislate out single occupancy cars in cities through the fear of losing the public’s support.
Those choosing to ride a motorcycle are being discriminated against to such a degree like no other area of our society. Let me give examples of our Government’s discrimination.
1: In some European countries, people can ride mopeds and motorcycles at a younger age than in the UK. I thought we were in a Union with fairness and equality?
2: To get a full unlimited motorcycle licence you have to pass up to four on-road tests, plus a CBT, theory and module one off-road. The earliest the final test can be done is when the rider is 21 (24 if he/she goes direct access). It’s suggested this is for rider safety. How, when a large proportion of motorcycle accidents are caused by cyclists, pedestrians and other road users?
3: Can it be fair when a 17-year-old passes his/her car test in a Fiat 500; then next day, without further tuition, drives a massive 4×4 or a sports car?
4: At 18, you can get a pilot’s licence, do 150 hours-or-so on a multi-prop aircraft, then get a jet pilot’s licence – on a motorcycle you’d be restricted to a 124cc bike.
5: What about the ultimate civil servants’ excuse: “I don’t understand motorcycles”? A full-licence car driver who has never ridden a motorcycle, never taken a CBT, never had any training, can legally jump on a 250cc to 500cc Piaggio LT model MP3; they don’t have to wear a crash helmet, use a seat belt, can use motorways and can ride with a passenger, all with no training or experience…
I agree with safety, but in equal fairness, stages should be done in cars as well as motorcycles; age restrictions should be removed from the motorcycle licensing once the person has reached 17 because ability is more important. My son’s been riding since he was five; his age has nothing to do with his abilities. A 45-year-old new rider can do a CBT, Mod 1 and Mod 2, then ride a 2300cc motorcycle rocket ship after a three/four day intensive course. No way will he have the experience, road sense and safety / self preservation of my 17-year-old.