26 September 2012

Latest on Euro Super MoT

The Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament have now had time to look at the new Super MoT proposals from the Commission, so it's time, as voters, that we make contact with them.

They had their first discussion on the topic a week ago and are due to meet again on the 8th October, but I haven't seen the agenda to know if they'll discuss it again so soon.

MAG has been in contact with the Department for Transport here in the UK, so we know that we share many of the same concerns about this proposed legislation, but there is a long way to go as the legislative process has just begun.

You may remember the public consultation was held back in 2010 and is now the subject of an investigation by the Ombudsman, after MAG member John Strong formally complained that it wasn't fit for purpose. This case is ongoing, but I have read erroneous statements on some web forums that no-one was ever consulted. Over 9000 people did respond even though the questions were laughable, and I'm pleased to say many of them were MAG members.

Last weekend saw the demo in Brussels organised by MAG Netherlands and MAG Belgium, there were demos in France by FFMC and in Dublin by MAG Ireland, countries where the Super MoT will have an even more profound effect.

You may be interested to know that FFMC members also recently attacked the DEKRA headquarters in Paris, blocking the entrance with motorcycles before covering the front of the building in flour and oil and then dumping a ton of gravel immediately outside. Sometimes you've got to admire the French direct action! DEKRA is the private company who offer road worthiness testing facilities and who provided the research to the EU Commission to demonstrate that 8% of all bike accidents were caused by technical failures...

Here in the UK, the impact of this legislation won't be as profound, but will still cause considerable unnecessary change if we don't challenge it.

The first thing we must do is contact the British members and substitute members of the TRAN committee, so that they know we are watching what they are doing.

There is a letter below that you may wish to personalise, print off and sign or just cut and paste into an email, but please remember this isn't for every MEP, just those listed below, so if you live in the S West, Yorkshire, East Mids, Wales, N Ireland or Scotland, just relax for a minute.

Be warned, some in the car world who misunderstand the issues have been writing to MEPs already, so please do remain polite, don't forget to sign the letter and follow up the response if it appears your MEP has sent you the wrong reply.

North West

Brian Simpson (TRAN Chairman) Labour    briansimpson.labour@virgin.net   Lakeside, Alexandra Park, Prescot Road, St Helens WA10 3TT

Jacqeline Foster (full member) Conservative   office@jacquelinefostermep.com  Thursby House, i, Thursby Rd, Bromborough, Wirral CH62 3PW


Geoffrey van Orden (substitute) Conservative   geoffrey.vanorden@europarl.europa.eu   88, Rectory Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1RF


Syed Kamall (substitute) Conservative  syed.kamall@europarl.europa.eu   3, Bridle Close, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2JW

West Midlands:

Philip Bradbourne (full member) Conservative   philip.bradbourn@europarl.europa.eu   285, Kenilworth Road, Balsall Common, West Mids CV7 7EL

Mike Nattress (full member) UKIP   ukipmep@hotmail.co.uk   48, Fentham Rd, Hampton in Arden, B92 0AY

Phil Bennion (substitute) Lib Dem   phil.bennion@europarl.europa.eu   6b Bolebridge Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7PA

South East:

Keith Taylor (full member) Green   keithtaylor@greenmeps.org.uk   CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH

Catherine Bearder (substitute) Lib Dem   catherine@bearder.eu    27, Park End St, Oxford OX1 1HU


I'm writing to you as a constituent and motorcyclist with some concern about elements of the newly proposed EU Road Worthiness Regulation COM(2012)380.

I understand that you are a member of the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN), which will be leading for the European Parliament on this issue.

Although the UK already has a motorcycle road-worthiness test in place (MoT), many of the requirements contained in the new proposal appear unfounded and will I feel add unnecessary expense and inconvenience.

The proposal specifies the visual examination of brake drum linings for scoring and oil contamination for example, and ensuring that motorcycles adhere to their original form as constructed, which the UK Department for Transport considers may prevent many modifications owners wish to make, either for personal reasons or indeed to improve safety or fuel efficiency.

The Commission may require the registration of even the smallest trailers and the withdrawal of a vehicle's registration should they fail the test on what is considered a 'major' defect. Perhaps most concerning in the UK, is the financial and regulatory pressure faced by small bike shops who may not be able to continue offering road worthiness testing. This could ultimately lead to a small number of large centres, inconvenient for many riders, but certainly exacerbating recovery charges should a vehicle fail the test and not be permitted to use the highway following removal of its registration.

The public consultation completed in 2010 was deemed by many unfit for purpose, and it is the focus of a complaint to the European Ombudsman, who has found the Commission has indeed a case to answer.

I urge you to consult the Department for Transport and the UK's leading riders' organisation the Motorcycle Action Group for advice on this matter and look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours Sincerely

May the force be with you.

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