One Day To Go – Don’t Expect Us To Be Quiet!

Last day before the General Election and the parties and politicians have laid out their message on the doorstep, through your letter box, on TV in debates and in their published manifestos, all concentrating on the “bigger” issues.

At Right To Ride we have scoured through the parties’ manifestos, contacted the parties and the politicians.

Through BikersRVoters, we wrote to the parties and asked them to tell us what they would do for motorcycling in Northern Ireland.

Given their overall generalisation of the issues to gain voters, it was perhaps too much to wish for motorcycling to appear as a something more than a blip on the radar screen.

Some parties offer solutions to provide alternatives to the private car and include investment in cycling, walking and public transport. What they failed to mention is that the alternative to the car is the motorcycle; they failed to consider investment in a mode of transport that offers simple personalised independent transport in rural areas and congestion busting commuting in our towns and cities.

Overall, the political parties do not consider motorcycling as an important issue and not just here in Northern Ireland, our colleagues in GB through their Riders Are Voters campaign have had the same response.

However what we have found however, is that individual politicians do have opinions about motorcycling and some are willing to put these opinions in the public domain to support bikers.

Right To Ride’s, Trevor Baird, says, “After the general election we intend to launch our, ”Don’t Expect Us To Be Quiet” campaign, so that motorcycling is put onto the political radar screen to ensure that all concerned in Westminster, the Assembly and in Europe are well informed about motorcycling issues. We will continue to beaver away and wear them down to make sure that they listen. We will be the mouse that roars!”

To reiterate, Bikers R Voters is a non – political lobby with no allegiance to any political party or politician, but it was no surprise that only one prospective candidate replied to us directly, outlining the stance his party has regarding motorcycling and confirming the assistance that their MEP in Europe has given Right To Ride in the past.

  • Motorcycle use of bus lanes.
  • Secure parking facilities for bikers and continues to press for.
  • Road safety advertising campaign directed at motorists and designed to make them more aware of motorcyclists.
  • Continue to press for Compulsory Basic Training – Thus helping to encourage young people to consider a motorcycle as their first mode of transport.
  • Motorcycling as a huge revenue raiser in Northern Ireland, not just because of the famous road races but because of the immense tourist potential which there is due to the good roads, fantastic scenery and the natural affinity between people in Northern Ireland and motorcyclists.
  • Which the Minister who is in charge of tourism has sought to promote and which the tourist board does seek to encourage.

Issues that effect motorcyclists are local issues but these are also affected by what happens in Westminster but it is these local issues that motorcyclists want sorted out and right now it is the state of our roads.

Motorcyclists are supporting a campaign, “Northern Irish motorcyclists have the right to clean roads!”.

Based on Facebook, the campaign asks people to join and support motorcyclists in the pursuit to have our local government sit up and take notice of the disgraceful state of our roads – everything from potholes to farmers trailing mud all over the B-roads.

These are the issues that local motorcyclists get passionate about, that affect the right of safe passage on our roads!

After Thursday’s General Election what can new MPs do for motorcycling in Westminster? Well don’t expect us to be quiet, motorcycling deserves proper representation at all levels.

What is important (for us at least) is whether motorcyclists have even a modicum of influence in the “corridors of power” whether in Westminster – the Northern Ireland Assembly or in the European Parliament and whether we can affect policies and legislation regarding motorcycles and other related issues that surround motorcycling.

The Political Soap Box – The Riders Soap Box – Manifestos General Election 2010

www.bikersrvoters.org

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