This letter sent today to the Green Party at Office@GreenParty.org.uk
Let me preface this email by admitting I have already taken the Green Pledge.I am writing because I just had to go and unpublish a blog rant which addressed a Green Party letter on the value or lack thereof of motorcycling, as a means of reducing congestion and pollution. Shortly after publishing the article I found the letter in question to have been written in 2005 and, as such, it was inappropriate for me to refer to it alongside the upcoming elections in May.
However, I have spent some time reviewing the Green Party manifesto, and this evening in particular the Transport Policy, last reviewed September 2014.I fail to see any acknowledgement in the policy of the clear benefits that motorcycling can bring to a national transport infrastructure. As such I would like to receive a formal response from you with specific comment on the following paragraphs.
“Motorcycling is a controversial activity. Ridden inappropriately they can be the cause of serious injury and death, aggravation and annoyance. However, in a landscape of increasing population and of commuting, they have a serious and positive role to play, and the disbenefits mentioned are as relevant to the drivers of other vehicles as they are motorcyclists.
Motorcycles take up far less space than cars, and when a car is occupied only by the driver – I suggest this is a majority position – the use of motorcycles can considerably ease congestion. In the easing of congestion, motorcycling would consequently reduce the use of fossil fuels, both by the motorcyclist and by the other road users who would otherwise be stuck on traffic jams.
Road safety experts will tell us that a trained motorcyclist makes for a far better car driver, having had the experience of being the more vulnerable road user. Recent developments in acceptable road use, including slow traffic filtering and access to bus lanes, have further increased the value of powered two wheel commuting.
It is true that motorcycles capable of high speed can be ridden inappropriately, but then again high speed capability in cars is no different and under powered mopeds can be equally dangerous for other reasons. The Green Party should:
- Emphasise the benefits of powered two-wheelers in reducing congestion and pollution
- Support the use of bus lanes and slow traffic filtering as currently exists
- Promote the installation of safe bike parking and changing facilities at work, as is done with pedal cycling
- Promote the training of motorcycling as a part of car driving lessons, and make motorcycle awareness a part of the driving test for all vehicles.
- Remove the restriction on low powered machines which leaves them unable to take avoiding action in the encountering of hazardous situations
- Either move (road tax) taxation to fuel, or stage taxation by CO2 emission as is done with cars, with zero taxation for electric motorcycles.”
Thank you for reading this far. I will be blogging more about this when I receive your reply.
Mark /| Rosher
In a personal capacity