The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK’s leading voice for riders’ rights, has joined a key working group operated by Highways England, previously known as the Highways Agency. MAG’s regional Rep, Tony Cox, represented the movement.
Tony says, ‘I found the general mood to be very encouraging and pro-biking. Highways England are no longer part of the DfT. They’re now a government-owned company, with more direct control over their actions and policies. Their main aim is to reduce casualties on the Strategic Road Network - but also to encourage modal shift from cars to motorcycles, which is excellent news.’
Areas being looked at include better rest facilities for motorcyclists at service stations, parking and helmet storage. There was also talk of improving refuge areas and hard-shoulders for motorcyclists who have broken down, plus other improvements directly aimed at motorcycling.
The meeting was attended by the Institute of Highways Engineers, RoSPA, Bikesafe, the Welsh Government, the BMF and MCIA.
Tony adds: ‘this is an initiative that MAG definitely needs to be involved with and our presence was very much appreciated by the organisers. The whole concept of autonomous vehicles and their interaction (or lack of it) with vulnerable road users will be one of the major topics discussed in future meetings and workshops.’ The next workshop in October will identify actions to reduce motorcycle casualties. ‘MAG will certainly be represented.‘
Kathrine Wilson-Ellis, Senior Road Safety Policy Advisor for Highways England said, ‘I came away feel really motivated and excited about the power of this group and I am really keen to start getting to the “doing” phase.’
This meeting follows the highly successful launch of a consultation on the future of transport, also in Manchester, and attended by MAG’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik.
Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or firstname.lastname@example.org