12 May 2014

MAG - One Year to General Elections!

We're less than one year away from the next General Election. MAG has never been more focussed, determined and able to get its message across. And the message is simple: riders are voters too.

That sounds like a slogan. It is. But it's a slogan for a reason. Almost 1 in 10 electors are qualified motorcyclists, people who understand the excitement, attraction and economy of using motorcycles and scooters.

In the past, we've been gentle. We've tried to appeal to politicians from a distance. Now, we're right in there, up close and personal. We're asking each of you to write to your local MP, and all the candidates standing against them.

Ask them two questions:
  1. Do you agree with the general stated view that motorcycles are a valid component in Britain's transport agenda?
  2. Will you meet representatives of the Motorcycle Action Group before September 2014, to consider three policy areas which you might be willing to support in regard to transport policy?
By securing a meeting, you'll ensure no candidate can ignore riders' rights after the next General Election.

We've never had so much momentum. Help us turn it into something which helps make the UK the riding capital of the world.

Lembit Öpik
Director of Communications and Public Affairs


11 May 2014

FoI Request - Cycling Collision Statistics

It would seem that the offer from MAG to work with cyclists to head off unnecessary legislation and interference in their "sport" has been met with a rebuff.

As two wheelers we have the same sort of problems on the road, not being seen by other road users, road surface conditions etc.

But this is their mouthpieces repost:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_public/motorbikesbrf.pdf

I don't see any evidence or research quoted to substantiate their claim that motorcycles are more of a danger to them than cars. Simply, unsubstantiated bowlocks!

As a result I have lodged a Freedom of Infomation with Transport for London to see what stats they hold.

Below is my email but first their initial response.

___________________________________

Our Ref:         FOI-0209-1415

Thank you for your e-mail received on 8 May 2014 asking for information about collisions involving cyclists.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and TfL's information access policy. 

A response will be provided to you by 6 June 2014.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London




-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Devall [mailto:pauldevall@yahoo.co.uk
Sent: 08 May 2014 17:55
To: FOI
Subject: Cyclist Accident Stats on London's Roads

Dear Sir,

After reading the Cycle Touring Club's opposition to allowing further freedoms for Powered Two Wheelers in the shared spaces on London's roads, i.e. Bus lanes and advanced stop boxes, and their claim that PTW's are a greater threat to their (cyclists) safety I'd like to request to see the statistics that TfL holds on the accidents/incidents between cyclists and all forms of powered vehicles and pedestrians.

The CTC published this document on January 2014 without any supporting evidence just hysterical sound bites.


I'd like I make this request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I have searched the TfL FoI website and although there are several requests, some answered, some not, none have broken the data down by vehicle type involved with the cyclist.

Thank you.

Paul Devall
London N1 1TH



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8 May 2014

At last...

... a chance to get out for a ride.

I feel more and more guilty as I head off for work knowing that behind the garage door, there lies Dora. Waiting to turns her wheels on the road.

With life being so hectic, the time to actually get out and ride seems even more diminished so when an opportunity arises, then it needs to be grabbed with both hands.

It wasn't all that far as it happens. I togged up and as it was actually sunny and warm, I chose the Joe Rocket mesh jacket.

I set off out of Hythe and onto the M20 for a ride, cruise control on, for Dover.  I ended up past the castle and on the White Cliffs.  I stopped at the box at the entrance to the site and the guy said that motorcycles were free.  It's recently gone up to £3.50 for a car, but for that there aqre many marked spaces. Bikes have to squeeze in wherever there is space!

There were a couple of others there although I never saw the riders/pillions at all. When on the bike I always ride through the disabled parking area to the cycle racks and park there.  


As every other time there were no cycles!  There never have been. Even so, I still got a few stares from the matrons out for a stout walk in their stout walking boots and tweeds.  Yes, Dame Margaret Rutherford types are still about!

I had a short walk along to where they are working to improve the path across to the cliffs and the South Foreland Lighthouse to see what they are actually doing. On a Bank Holiday no one was working.

Then it was back to have a cup of coffee in the visitor centre, and who could refuse the offer of a large piece of homemade shortbread......


Not me.

Once I had failed to get the free wifi to work on my phone and drunk and ate. I had a turn through the shop before setting off home again.

In the end I had done less than 30 miles this time, given Dora a run out and was back in time to sit in the garden for an hour or so.





Papers of Charles Devall

My aunt Yvonne emailed today to say that paers belonging to my Grandfather, Charles Devall, were now available in the National Archive.

Googling "papers of Charles Devall" takes the avid googler to here.

I have probably seen the documents and related photographs before, but it would be nice to see what they have.  Although listed on the website, the actuall docs and photos aren't in digital format.

Looks like a visit to the Lambeth Library at some stage.

MAG Lock Up Your Sheep Rally

Forwarded from MAG:

Please find attached, a flyer for MAG South East Region's rally – Lock Up Your Sheep – which takes place on the first weekend in September at Middle Farm near Lewes.


The poster is available as a PDF for sharing:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/m7dl373hkt9u06z/Sheep%20landscape.pdf

Tickets are now on sale, either by cheque – details on the flyer – or by Paypal from the MAG South East Region website: http://south-east-region.mag-uk.org/news.html

Hope to see you there! If anyone fancies helping out in any way, please give me a shout.

Cheers!

John Mitchell
National Chairman/
South East Region Representative
Motorcycle Action Group

w. www.mag-uk.org
e. chair@mag-uk.org
m. 07855 111946

7 May 2014

UK Sentencing Policy

MAG supports change in government policy over causing death or serious injury while disqualified.

In a move announced today, the Government has changed its policy on causing death or serious injury on the roads through driving while disqualified. Now, if the person who caused an accident leading to someone’s death was found to be already disqualified from driving, then the driver will face up to 10 years in jail.

While it is too late for Brian Hampton whose actions led to the death of Jade Clark in Dorset in 2013, or the many others whose lives have been taken by the actions of someone who should not have been on the road, MAG supports the change. MAG’s National Chairman, John Mitchell says, “MAG has been campaigning for a change to the sentencing guidelines for a long time now and it sees this change as a victory for common sense. MAG will keep the pressure on to change the sentencing guidelines for all cases where someone has caused a death or serious injury by so-called careless or dangerous driving. It is wholly unacceptable that someone who should not be on the road in the first place can cause someone’s death, then get away with a metaphoric slap on the wrist in the form of a short prison term.”

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today announced a review into the sentencing guidelines. MAG is already part of that consultation process, which starts later this year.

John Mitchell
National Chairman
The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG)

1 May 2014

SHO-1 gone!

Although a superb looking piece of kit it was so expensive and the fitting looked more complex than stripping down and rebuilding my car using a plastic fork from McDonald's and the little spoon hidden in the lid of a Haagen Daas ice cream tub.

So at small cost it went back. Thanks to the original seller JustHelmets.

In its place I have ordered the Schuberth SRC kit for the C2 from a bike shop in Nice. Fingers crossed it arrives tax paid ifrom a € scoffing nation very soon.

Both kits are made by Cardo, so at least the quality and design can be trusted.

The other kit will move from the aged Nitro to the Shoei.

Fingers crossed.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Before the off......

Tonight Claire and I went with my brother, Neill, and his partner, Cath, to see Rick Wakeman perform this work for the first time in forty years.

That ages you. I didn't see either of the original UK concerts but did manage to go to see The Myths and Legends of King Arthur at Wembley Empire Pool, now called Wembley Arena.

Tonight was at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert was superb.


Rick in the middle...

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