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Opinion: Motorcyclists have equal right to use roads

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 July 2018

Havering's London Assembly Member Keith Prince.

Havering's London Assembly Member Keith Prince.

Archant

Back in the days, when I ripped through the streets of Romford on my Kawasaki KH250, the wind blowing in my hair (when I had hair!) I valued the freedom, space and safety of our London roads.

Unfortunately, long gone are the days when you could cruise in and out of traffic with ease.

I look back with fond memories at a time when a motorcycle was one of the cheapest options to get around.

Nowadays, not only do “powered two-wheelers” find themselves pitted against large HGVs, they are faced with increasing costs to run them.

Worse still, small delivery businesses that depend on the use of motorcycles are finding it more perilous to confront London’s roads, let alone the costs of Sadiq Khan’s planned expanded ULEZ tax.

Seventy motorcyclists’ lives have been lost since May 2016. London has become a hostile environment for those who depend on motorbikes and scooters to go about their business or indeed enthusiasts who hit the open road for pleasure.

I believe that opening all bus lanes across London to two wheeled vehicles is part of the answer. This will give motorcyclists the space they need to ensure their safety from bigger road users.

I am grateful that Sadiq Khan has agreed to meet with me and other motorcycle groups to discuss the possibility of exempting motorcycles from the ULEZ tax, as well as asking him to encourage all boroughs to open their bus lanes to motorcycles.

There are 55k motorcycles on London’s roads and whether it’s a Vespa delivering pizza or a Triumph Bonneville on a nostalgic cruise, motorcycles still have a right to be considered as equal users of the roads with the same thought and consideration applied to them. If all goes well at City Hall, perhaps my days on the open road are not yet over.

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