Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Correspondence between Green Parliamentary Candidate and Motorcyclist Action Group activist

Last week we went to a hustings called by the Motorcycle Action Group. 

A correspondence has followed.

This is my latest turn in the correspondence:

Let's agree on what we agree on so far.

  1. We both want PTW (Powered Two Wheelers) use to be encouraged because they are more fuel efficient than cars, and cause less traffic congestion
  2. We both want PTWs to be as safe as is reasonably possible.
To achieve this, we have to negotiate with the DoT.
I am offering to do this in my capacity as a Parliamentary candidate, which gives me quasi-MP status.

The aim of negotiations with the DoT is to get them to make the following concessions:

  1. Simplify and rationalise the licensing regime (while making sure that safety is maintained or improved)
  2. Reduce or remove the road fund license for PTWs
  3. Improve parking provision for PTWs
  4. Allow PTWs in bus lane
Now my point is that these are 4 concessions that we are seeking from the DoT, which represents (or is supposed to represent) the interests of society at large. We may say that the changes will benefit society (via fuel and congestion savings), but at the same time we are asking for work and expense from the DoT. How can we motivate them?

This is where noise comes in. I have just taken a quick refresher course on noise pollution. {I had a lot to do with environmental health noise experts in my time on the Council).

I find that noise pollution relates to hypertension, coronary incidents, stress, hearing loss and tinnitus. Road noise is a significant component of noise pollution, and PTWs contribute to total road noise.

Incidentally, I came across an assertion in the literature that there is no methodical or scientific evidence that "loud pipes save lives". Maybe you know of some?

So my proposal is that we should offer to meet the DoT (and DEFRA and the DoH, who should take an interest) and say we are ready to negotiate for the 4 items above, and concede controls on PTW noise. There are standards in place anyway (I guess) but they might be tighter in newer bikes. There would be agreed standardised roadside/lab tests. The law would be enforced on non-standard pipes, which I understand are available in shops.

All of which might be a bit offensive to some of your more libertarian members, but then you can't please everyone...

That is what I am offering. A balanced package.

I really hope you do not see me as rude or arrogant. I am trying to help. I felt a bit bad because I didn't join MAG at Burrington (your lovely membership sec looked really hurt when I didn't join, but believe me I am trying to unjoin a lot of organisations, I get so much stuff from them). I do want to show that my party wants to work to change things in a realistic way.

I could join MAG, and say "Ain't it awful, the nasty  Government won't do what you want". Instead I am trying to get some win-win going.

So. Over to you.

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