The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has recognised motorcycles as an important form of transport. In response to a question by Julian Lewis - a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motorcycling - Mr Shapps agreed that motorbikes play a key role in delivering billions of commuting miles in the country.
In a House of Commons debate about Covid-19 on Tuesday, 12th May 2020, Mr Lewis asked: "As an alternative to using public transport during the crisis, what assessment has my Right Hon. Friend made of the desirability of ageing bikers like me once again using motorcycles for travelling to work, and will he be taking any steps to incentivise motorcycle usage as the lockdown is gradually eased?"
Mr Shapps replied: "Motorcycles are an enormously important way of getting around - 2.7 billion miles were travelled by motorcycle in 2018, the last year for which we have data. We are working on a number of projects, including sorting out potholes, which are a huge problem for people on motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. I also encourage him - at whatever age - to adopt the electric motorbike."
The response was welcomed by all motorcycling organisations in the UK.
Chair of MAG, Selina Lavender, praised Mr Lewis and Mr Shapps: "MAG is very encouraged by this mature debate about the importance of motorcycles in the UK. We’ve repeatedly pointed out their value as a commuting mode of transport. Now Ministers advise the use of private instead of public transport, motorbikes are more important than ever. By law, bikers must wear a form of personal protective equipment, and riding keeps you at least two metres away from others almost all the time, in line with Covid-19 guidance. Having made these points to Parliament repeatedly, we’re delighted to see an MP share our view, and the Secretary of State for Transport recognising motorbikes in the transport mix." MAG continues to work with the authorities on clear guidance to the riding community.
The TOMCC had written to both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport ahead of the recent announcements urging them to consider the beneficial role that motorcycles can play post-lockdown. It seems that they have taken notice.