Category Archives: Political

Leeds City Council Transport Consultation

In addition to the WYCA consultation, Leeds City Council have decided to carry out their own  consultation. Throughout our work with the West Yorkshire councils, Leeds council have been transparently pro cycle and anti motorcycle. Filling in surveys like this can help to get our concerns moved up the agenda. Considering cycles have had £38 million spent on their safety in the last year and motorcycles have had nothing (and haven’t even been given use of bus lanes at a cost of nothing in real terms) when both are classed as vulnerable road users, it’s nothing short of a disgrace! Please fill in this survey, mention bus lanes, secure parking, encouraging PTW’s, helmet lockers for commuters etc. Share it with fellow bikers and encourage them to fill it in. The more of us that fill it in, the more chance we have of getting our voices heard. Thanks in advance. The consultation is available at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Leeds-transport-conversations.aspx and will be open until the 20th of September 2016.

WYCA Transport Consultation

WE NEED YOUR HELP! As you will be aware, the three West Yorkshire MAG branches have been campaigning for a long time to get motorbikes legally entitled to use local Bus Lanes for a long time.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority, peeps in smart suits, have accepted the principle, along with better road engineering and parking provision for Motorcycles in their latest Strategy document, now out for consultation.

There is a survey to complete as part of that consultation process and we really need as many bikers as we can muster to fill it in and add their positive feedback comments – let them know you’re a biker – in the free text box towards the end. This is the link you need: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/transtrat2i

The powers that be have told us just that!

It will only take a few minutes to fill in and will help us enormously to finish this campaign off successfully, we’ve been battling for four years, help us to help you now, we’ve been doing it for you

Please share this post far and wide!

Thank you in advance for your support

WYCA Update

Some of you that come to meetings and have attended the demo ride for the past couple of years will be aware that Leeds MAG have been campaigning for the last three years to get bikes access to bus lanes.

This campaign has grown with the formation of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to include Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees (and strangely York) and with it, we’ve put together a document to try to get a fairer deal for the bikers of West Yorkshire.

This includes bus lane access, dedicated motorcycle officer on each council, parity with cycles for parking, consultation with road changes and looking at highway furniture safety specifically it’s affect on motorcycles.

Today we’ve taken another step forward with a meeting with a consultation group that are producing a document that will hopefully recommend bikes in bus lanes across West Yorkshire.
We should know if we’ve been successful by mid February – then it’s down to the WYCA to vote yay or nay.

We’re the closest we’ve ever been to achieving our goals and Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield MAG have been working tirelessly on your behalf to make this all happen.

We’ll try to keep everyone informed of any developments – watch this space

Tracking Highways Faults

As part of our discussions with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority we want to track how effective local councils are at fixing highway faults. Leeds MAG covers the Leeds and Bradford council areas so those are the areas we’re interested in. If there’s a fault near you, report it using their official reporting service and let us know what happens, via Facebook or one of our meetings. In our experience Leeds council tends to complain about tight budgets if the fault is too big, but they’re more responsive if it’s something like a pothole on a major route that could affect road safety.

We want 3 people in each local authority area to report a fault, follow its progress to completion (or not) and let us know how long it takes.

The official fault reporting page for Leeds City Council is at:

The page for Bradford Metropolitan District Council allows you to choose the type of fault to report at:

Please do not use third party services such as Fix My Street for the purposes of this exercise. We want to see how quickly they respond via their official channels.

WYCA Single Transport Plan – July/Aug Update

On the campaigning side of things, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag. We’ve tried to have discussions with Leeds City Council about motorbikes in bus lanes but they’ve messed us about, turning up late to meetings in rooms that are double-booked and quoting the same old study that they’ve mentioned previously. It definitely feels like someone at Leeds council just doesn’t like motorbikes but doesn’t want to say so.

On the 20 year Single Transport Plan consultation held by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, things have been more successful. The results came out last week, with a summary on the WYCA website, and on our website. A more detailed report is on the WYCA website and on our website.  Most of the report deals with public transport, but the main points dealing with motorbikes are:

  • Motorcycles were highlighted as an omission from the Core principles
  • Road safety should be a fundamental component of the plan
  • All road and transport users should be considered in the plan, including motorcyclists.

The following comments were noted:

  • Powered Two Wheelers (motorcycles and scooters) should be included in the Plan
  • PTW users are vulnerable road users
  • Motorcycles address congestion issues
  • Wheels to Work schemes can address employment/training access
  • Motorcycles have less pressure on parking
  • Motorcycles cause less pollution

Of 398 responses from individuals, 83 noted the lack of motorbikes in the plan. There were also responses from the Leeds and Huddersfield MAG groups, MAG Central, and the Teafolk MCC. It’s difficult to say how many of these came as a direct result of our publicity, but the WYCA described the 83 as a “significant” number and it’s a good 22% of the responses. That’s approaching an organized lobby!

Along with the consultation itself was our demo ride and the publicity that came with it. The chair of the WYCA transport committee was interviewed on TV and radio, and he promised to hold workshops with us as part of phase 2. A couple have taken place already and we’re working on getting the MAG Pathways to Progress plan incorporated in the Single Transport Plan. The main points of this plan are:

  • Urgent review of road furniture and ‘safety’ schemes to identify and eliminate elements that have potential for adverse impacts on PTW rider safety
  • Lifting bans on PTWs in all with-flow bus lanes
  • Provision of parking facilities for PTWs should be on a par with bicycles
  • Ensure that PTW rider safety is considered as much as other vulnerable road users in all road scheme consultations – and from the outset of all scheme developments
  • The introduction of a Motorcycling Officer in all local transport authority areas

Quite a lot of road safety elements also affect pedal cyclists. Your webmaster is one of these as well as holding a full A class motorbike licence and understands that poor road surfaces, badly laid out junctions, deliberate traffic calming obstacles like speed humps, build-outs and chicanes, and cycle lane segregators such as armadillos can be downright dangerous regardless of whether or not your bike has an engine.

Initial impressions of the WYCA’s workshops seem quite promising. They were only formed last year and they’re keen to show they’re doing something. It would also appear to be a way to bypass some of the motorbike-hostile elements of Leeds City Council. However it needs to be treated with some caution as a spending review is on the horizon and it is expected to be pretty brutal.

Phase 2 of the plan is currently underway with more workshops planned. After that phase 3 will be a formal consultation into the detailed plan which will hopefully include MAG as an interested party. Meanwhile the WYCA advises the best way to stay informed is to email stp@westyorks-ca.gov.uk with details of the areas that you’re interested in. MAG can do a certain amount as an organized group but individual members need to get involved as well to influence the WYCA and local borough councils.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority Single Transport Plan

URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO KEEP WEST YORKSHIRE BIKING!

West Yorkshire Combined Authority was set up on the 1st April 2014. It takes over responsibility for a number of strategic issues, most pertinently taking over from West Yorkshire Integrated/Passenger Transport Authority for transport. There is a consultation taking place into a 20 year transport plan which closes on the 30th of April 2015 which makes no mention at all of motorbikes and other powered two wheelers. We only found about it a few days ago. The survey itself is pretty short and will only take about 15 minutes to read and complete. To make sure that we are considered in the plans – we are vulnerable road users after all – PLEASE take a few minutes out of your day to make your thoughts known via the survey link on the web page – they want to know our views, so let’s tell them – nicely but firmly. You might want to include in your response some or all of the following:

How do you come up with a plan that takes no heed of motorcyclists (riders of Powered Two Wheelers) needs?
Motorcycles cause less pollution, ease congestion and reduce pressure on parking places
They are also a third of the group of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs)
You have a duty to reduce ALL road casualties and to exclude us as VRUs is irresponsible and bordering on the criminal
Unless you include motorcyclists in your future plans they are not accurate nor fair and thus are flawed and not a vision for the future

PLEASE SHARE FAR AND WIDE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO WANT TO SEE YOU STAY SAFE ON OUR ROADS AND WITH OTHER BIKE GROUPS. Thanks in anticipation of your participation!

The link is http://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/stp-survey/.

Remember, it closes on Thursday the 30th of April 2015 so there isn’t much time left.

Current Campaigns

Leeds MAG have started a campaign for motorcycles and PTW’s to be allowed to use bus lanes in Leeds. Currently motorcycles are excluded from using bus lanes in Leeds whether they are 24 hour or peak time only.

There are two possible methods of achieving the inclusion of motorcycles in bus lanes in Leeds. The first is to change the restriction on existing bus lanes.

The second option is to have motorcycles included as permitted vehicles in any proposed new bus lanes. With this in mind Manny and local MAG members have objected to the exclusion of PTW’s from a new proposed bus lane on Roundhay Road, Leeds 8. The objections were due to be put before the Leeds Highways department on 3rd September, but due to unforeseen circumstances were not presented. They were discussed at the next meeting of the Highways Board on Tuesday 1st October 2013. The Highways Board overruled the objections. Their reasons for overruling the objections raised have now been made public and can be found here

Leeds MAG are now registered with Leeds City Council as an “interested party” regarding traffic orders so there should be no need to look in local newspapers or on lamp posts etc to find out what is being proposed,

Leeds City Council Parking Consultation

Motorcycles aren’t very well provided for, which is something Leeds MAG is trying to address, but if we can get plenty of bikers to fill in the consultation, it will help our cause no end.

The consultation link is https://consult.leeds.gov.uk/leeds/kms/dmart.aspx?LoggingIn=tempVar&noip=1&filter_status=1

The consultation is currently on the second page and closes on 17th October 2014. There is a document to download then a section for comments, so it’s not a straightforward yes/no tick box affair, but if we want to have a voice we’ve got to fill this in.

Report a Pothole

Leeds MAG are encouraging 2 wheel users to report local potholes via www.fixmystreet.com For most road users potholes are a nuisance with the potential to cause damage to vehicles. For 2 wheeled users hitting a pothole has the potential for a loss of control resulting in serious injuries and even fatality. Using fixmystreet.com allows users to pinpoint the problem on a map and upload a photo of the issue. the site then sends the report to the appropriate authority responsible for resolving the issue. The user can then add updates to the report to keep other users informed of the repair progress. The site also allows users to view problems already reported in their local area.

MAG have been in touch with Leeds City Council regarding their policy on potholes and highway repair. The council’s policy on highway inspection and expected repair times can be found here. Following our enquiry further information from a council highways maintenance manager regarding the methods of repairing potholes can be found here