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Now for Something Completely Different……

September 26, 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=miliband&iid=9855467″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9855467/britain-new-labour-party/britain-new-labour-party.jpg?size=500&imageId=9855467″ width=”350″ height=”239″ /]

Falmouth, England – Something completely different? I’m reaching out too you ‘Red’ Ed Milibland the new UK Labour Party Leader?

No not yet. The Rider will give Ed the chance to ‘bed in’ sort out which of his family, close friends and ex university buddies get the opposition ministerial posts. Then examine in minute detail Ed’s transport policies àpropos biking and comment upon them in his usual completely biased motorcycle and scooter centric style.

Meantime let’s focus on what Ant and Dec, that’s Co Prime Ministers David Cameron and Nick Clegg to the uninitiated, are getting up to motorcycle wise, or at least what their transport posse down at the Department for Transport (DfT) HQ in London’s Marsham Street are occupying their time with. That’s when they are not discussing who’s getting the chop after the results of the Government spending review are announced on 20 October.

Followers of BRR will be aware that Mike Penning MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport with responsibilities for ensuring that all us cuddle bikers get home safely, has been busy ‘consulting’ on the issues surrounding the motorcycle test. Now our Mike was trained, at 16, to ride a bike as a despatch rider, later serving in the Grenadier Guards. Thus two things are certain a) he knows how to ride a motorcycle and b) he knows all about recognising bull****t. As the UK Driving Standards Agency (DSA) are adept at gold-plated bull****t it would seem they have met their match in Mr Penning. So expect a positive outcome i.e. legislation to allow tests to be taken on designated public roads at 30mph, and sensible adjustments to the Module One so-called ‘brake and swerve’ manoeuvre making it safer for test candidates whilst maintaining the test standard.

Not to be outdone cycle maniac and train buff ‘Stormin’ Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport with responsibilities for Local Transport, has decided to dump the current system of centrally funded local transport grants and has announced, among other things, the launch of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Yawn yawn, boring boring!! Well actually no! Rather a favorable circumstance in which too promote the use and advantages of motorcycles and scooters. What Norm’s up to here is to get local transport authorities working with their communities to identify and implement the right transport solutions for their areas. This is all about implementing the coalition’s localism agenda. It’s all the usual suspects, encouraging walking and cycling, initiatives to improve integration between travel modes and end-to-end journey experiences, better public transport and improved traffic management schemes. Its sustainability and carbon reduction. It’s an opportunity to stop pi**ing about and get motorcycles and scooters back on the governments transport agenda. Handily it looks like the cycling thing has peaked. The cash hungry QANGO Cycle England is listed to go, well it was supposed to go in 2012, with the responsibilities for promoting cycling returning to Local Authorities. So with the boys and girls from the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI), and the usual hangers-on, scheduled to meet Norm in the next week or so it seems a window of opportunity policy change wise could be upon us.

Think about it, motorcycle two wheels, scooter two wheels, moped two wheels, bicycle two wheels. Hey Norm how about a policy, a Directorate (not a QANGO) that draws together the users of two wheels and supports and promotes their mode.

Ride safe and smile!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. dave permalink
    September 27, 2010 8:38 am

    Can you imagine the cycling zealots being forced to sit round the table with MAG or MCIA and discuss how to promote biking? I’d pay to see that. The words would turn to ash in their mouths.
    Also have you noticed that where once it was the smokers who ran everything it’s now the cyclists? Huddling together in groups, wispering…

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