Leeds MAG AGM Tomorrow!

Tomorrow (26th of Jan 2016) is our group AGM. It is in the upstairs room at our usual meeting place, the Royal Hotel, Station St, Pudsey at 8 pm. If you only make it to one meeting this year, make it this one.  All committee positions are up for grabs, and we’ll be reporting on the substantial progress that we’ve made over the last year. There is also a high likelihood of cake! Don’t forget your membership cards if you want to vote.

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

December Events

Tuesday the 15th of December will be our last meeting before Christmas. We’ll be doing a Secret Santa: bring a wrapped gift worth about £5 and receive one in return. There will also be a prize for the best Christmas sweater.

Then on Sunday the 20th of December we’ll be having Christmas drinks at the Duck & Drake from 5 pm. There will be live music from Glam Rockz.

If you can’t make either of these, have a merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year for more events, campaigns and other bike related stuff.

Leeds MAG Christmas Toy Run 2015

At Leeds MAG we’ve got a great relationship with a facility on the outskirts of Leeds, called Lineham Farm Childrens Centre, which offers residential breaks for the children of the surrounding area, who wouldn’t normally have the chance for a holiday.

We congregated at Cardigan Fields retail park on the outskirts of the city centre and 14 bikes, loaded with presents, left for the rush hour dash across Leeds to Lineham Farm where we met up with another dozen bikes in the form of the East Leeds Lions, who always support our events and also bring bikers from the other side of the city.

We warmed up with coffee and mince pies then went into the main room to be given a lovely carol concert by the 33 kids in attendance.
When they’d finished, I had the pleasure of thanking the kids and informing them that we had presents for them all – the cheers were deafening.

We then handed out the presents and were then informed that one of the boys was having his tenth birthday that day so after an extremely raucous rendition of “happy birthday” we gave him a couple more prezzies, just for good measure! The kids were ecstatic and it was very humbling to see the joy on their faces, when being given relatively small gifts. Finally we all went out into the courtyard and the kids took it in turn, sitting on the bikes and some brave souls even started their engines and allowed the kids to rev them!

I’m always happy to see the bikers of Leeds making an effort to give something back to people with a lot less than them and also projecting a very positive image of bikers – something we don’t see enough of in the media.

Hopefully our relationship with Lineham Farm will continue well into the future – the next event being the Easter Egg run in the Spring. See you there.
Manny (Leeds MAG rep)

Lois on the Loose in Leeds

Following the success of our Evening with Austin Vince, we’re pleased to announce Lois on the Loose in Leeds, an evening with Lois Pryce. It will be held at Squires at 7.30 pm on Saturday the 14th May 2016.

Stuck in a boring job with a dream of adventure she decided to turn herself loose. From the top of Alaska to the tip of South America, and then followed it up by riding down the side of Africa. Find out more about Lois on her website.

Lois Poster

Tickets including free camping will cost £10 from Squires or Leeds MAG meetings, or from our online shop for £10 each plus £2 postage.

Do We Have Your Email Address?

We have a mailing list that we use to send out details of meetings, campaigns, upcoming events and such like. We know we don’t have email addresses for everyone in the Leeds MAG area, so if you’d like to join, email leeds-rep@mag-uk.org with your details. The same goes if your email address has changed but we still have your old address. You don’t have to be a member of MAG to join the list but we certainly wouldn’t complain if you do decide to join.

18th August 2015 Meeting

Hi everyone,

Tonight is the second Leeds MAG meeting in August at The Royal Hotel in Pudsey (LS28 8PR) from 8pm.

Attached is an events list so you can plan your social calendar to include some MAG events – remember, we plan these to raise funds to help to protect your right to ride, so your support is always needed and appreciated.

As some of you will know, Leeds MAG, along with Huddersfield MAG and Wakefield MAG have been in active discussions with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), who are the new body that are in charge of all transport throughout the county.
We’ve put a lot of time and effort into trying to get a good deal for the bikers of West Yorkshire.

We have put together a five point plan which has been mostly accepted (with the exception of bus lane access – which we’re still working on)

The five point plan is –
1) Bus lane access for all PTW’s throughout West Yorkshire
2) A single point of contact in each of the five councils for PTW riders
3) An urgent review of road furniture and “safety” schemes that could have a negative impact on PTW’s
4) PTW parking facilities to be at least on a par with pedal cyclists
5) Ensure that PTW rider safety is considered as much as all other vulnerable road users, at the outset of any road changes/developments.

We feel that this is a great basis for getting a good deal for the bikers of West Yorkshire BUT we now need a bit of help from a couple of our members – THAT MEANS YOU 😉

We need at least one Leeds based and one Bradford based member to identify a road hazard (dangerous street furniture, bad design, poorly visible kerbs etc) and report it to the relevant council at these links https://leeds.mag-uk.org/tracking-highways-faults

You’ll have to photograph the identified faults in the day and in the dark and keep a track of your complaint and keep me informed.
This is vitally important as we need to be able to prove to the WYCA that their systems that they have in place either work or not.

Please don’t think that someone else will do this, because it ends up that nobody will, if everyone thinks like that!

Anyone that reports a fault, could you email me the details and pics to leeds-rep@mag-uk.org and keep me up to date with developments?
We need this info to progress our case with the WYCA and it can’t come from me as they know me :-/

Thanks in advance for your help and hope to see you at a meeting soon.

Ride safe

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.

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