Leeds MAG newsletter February/March

Welcome to the latest Leeds MAG newsletter
Here’s a quick rundown of the NC meeting that I attended on Saturday 19th February
MAG has been in touch with the United Nations Environment Programme to state the case for motorcycles being a positive influence on both congestion and pollution. This approach has been formally acknowledged with a letter back, stating “as you accurately say in your letter, motorcycles could provide a short term and immediate way to reduce emissions now” This is a big deal as obviously the UN is listened to by policy makers throughout the world.
Colin Brown has been looking at some statistics from London which may be pertinent in all cities around the country where cycling/bus lanes have been pushed as the way to go.
He’s looked at the modal share and KSI (Killed and Seriously Injured) statistics show that motorcycles make up 1.5% of all traffic and cycles make up 2.5% of all traffic in London.
The KSI statistics show that motorcycle KSI’s are up by 6% while cycling KSI’s are down by 4%
This is a very worrying trend as it seems to show that while both are classed as Vulnerable Road Users, cyclists are being protected with dedicated cycle lanes while motorcycles are being compressed into the road space that’s left, with tragic effect.
He intends doing more work on this matter and will report back.
The ULEZ charge in London will come into effect in April. MAG has worked hard to try get exemption for all motorcycles but unfortunately mayor Kahn hasn’t allowed this BUT we have gained exemptions for bikes that can prove that their emissions are below the Euro 3 levels used. This is a big win for thousands of bikers with older machines that will now not have to pay £12.50 a day to ride in London. Exemption has also been granted for any bike over 40 years old.
As we’re all now aware, the big push in cities is all about air quality (especially particulate matter) and the relentless push towards public transport “for our health” (or to tax our arses off). Lembit came across a startling statistic that air quality in the underground network in London is 2900% higher than when standing at the side of a busy road in central London.
Membership, nationally, is slightly down (by 17 members) and this looks as though it could be the effects of the new GDPR regulations introduced last year. The reps only have a very limited time to chase up lapsed members before all their contact details have to be deleted, so please think on next time you renew and do it via direct debit so your membership is seamless.
It has been decided that ALL group reps will now be DBS (formally CRB) checked from now on. This is to ensure the safety of all our members and their families and to ensure the organisation is totally transparent.
Politically we’ve been making good progress in Calderdale with secure motorcycle parking and there’s an article by our political rep, Steve Bolton, in the latest Road magazine. The other four local authorities are also forging ahead with more secure parking. We just need to remember to carry a lock so we can take advantage of the parking rails.
Huddersfield MAG have been running a campaign to get the unlit bollard problem throughout Kirklees sorted out. Great progress has been made and there’s been a decent article in the Huddersfield Examiner.
After much pushing from myself and both our political reps, Steve Bolton and Ian Whitaker, we’ve finally cajoled the decision makers in the five West Yorkshire councils to get together and discuss the bus lane issue. Bus lane access for motorcycles is now written onto the 20 year transport policy for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, it now just needs implementation. Leeds as “lead” council have opposed bikes in bus lanes since we first approached them six years ago, but hopefully this meeting will force some action.
Over in Hull, Karl Freebury, who you will remember was the rider behind the theft awareness ride in Hull last April, is to meet with the Police on 20th February.  The Police are keen to have another big push with Operation Yellowfin in Hull, but Karl has again stated this will not involve another mass ride. Even though East Yorkshire MAG helped him massively by providing marshals for the very successful anti theft ride, Mr Freebury still refuses to join MAG.
Both of our political reps StevieB and Ian have been pulling out all the stops for MAG members throughout Yorkshire and they deserve our thanks.
I put an official complaint in against a councillor in Leeds who has constantly stood in our way and proved difficult. We received a slightly grovelling email back and hopefully we can push on with progress to ensure a better deal for bikers.
Here is the link to the current “Network” which will keep you informed with MAG happenings around the country. https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/e/e1/Network_2019-02.pdf
Membership remains steady throughout the region as is generally the case at this time of year. When you come to renew, please think of doing it by direct debit as this way, it’s all done automatically and you continue being a MAG member.
On Sunday 10th February we held two Fred Hill memorial rides.
Despite the damp and chilly weather, 49 bikes, trikes and sidecars joined in the annual East Yorkshire MAG Fred Hill run on Sunday 10th February.  The route took the now traditional 20 mile ride into Hull City centre before heading west towards the Humber Bridge and back to our host pub, The Foresters in Beverley.  Non riding members were waiting to serve a welcoming hot brew, home made soup and hotdogs from which £82 was raised for MAG.
The second ride was from Squires Cafe, just outside Leeds and unfortunately the turnout was disappointing. 14 bikers joined in and my thanks goes to each one of them. Hopefully next year, people will reflect on why we do the Fred Hill Runs and make an effort to join one of the Yorkshire rides to remember a true biking hero who personifies the term “let the rider decide”
On Tuesday 12th February we had the Leeds MAG AGM. We had a good turnout and I was duly re elected along with a full committee of willing volunteers. Hopefully we can continue the great work we’ve been doing for the past few years. Anyone in Leeds or Bradford is more than welcome to come along to the meetings and join in the fun with a great bunch of bikers.
We’re still wanting to restart Scarborough MAG and York MAG or get a completely new group going in North Yorkshire. If anyone is willing to become a rep (it’s great fun and very rewarding) or even host a meeting, just to get a likeminded group of folk keeping in touch and pushing the MAG message, please give me a call (07867918722) or message me via email, text, Facebook etc. North Yorkshire is a big area and it’s a real shame we don’t have a North Yorkshire group or two, especially considering it’s a biking Nirvana.
Traditionally, this time of year is always a quiet one but behind the scenes at MAP HQ, everything is coming together nicely to give you the three best rallies on the biking calendar. Tickets are now on general sale and all the info you need is here https://www.mapevents.co.uk/tickets_where.html
We’re always on the look out for new marshals, because without our marshals we can’t put the rallies on. We’re almost like a family within a family and I can say from personal experience that marshalling at our rallies gives a whole new appreciation of them and is fantastic fun. Email mag.marshals@live.com for more details.
We’ve got a few events coming up in the next few months that you may want to add to your diaries.
Sunday 17th March – Yorkshire MAG and MAP meetings at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR from 10am. All MAG members welcome.
Saturday 23rd March – Leeds MAG presents An Evening With Ed March! Following the success of our previous motorcycle travel talks, we’ve managed to secure madcap C90 adventurer Ed March to come and talk to us. Check out his exploits on YouTube then come and meet the man himself
Finally if you want to get more involved at a local level (and to really get the most out of your MAG membership, I strongly recommend that you do) here are the meeting details of the five Yorkshire MAG groups – though we are looking to expand with more groups so if you haven’t got one close by and fancy getting together with like minded bikers, get in touch with me at manny@mag-uk.org
We’re very lucky in having some very strong groups in Yorkshire, but we need the members to join in, so pop along to your local meeting and help to make a difference
East Yorkshire MAG meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 8pm at The Forresters Arms HU17 0PR
Huddersfield MAG meet every Wednesday from 8.30pm at The Fieldhead HD3 4FB
Leeds MAG meet every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 8pm at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR
South Yorkshire MAG meet every 1st and 3rd Sunday from 7pm at The Ball,1 Hesley Bar, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, S61 2PW
Wakefield MAG meet every Wednesday from 8.30 at The Grey Horse WF1 1JG
Ride safe
Manny (Yorkshire MAG rep)