EU BANS Bikes?

A couple of months back, we at Right To Ride wrote to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission regarding the European Commission’s proposal – Approval and market surveillance of two – or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles.

At that time the European Commission’s proposal was being discussed within the IMCO Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) European Parliament committee of MEPs, riders in the UK and Ireland riders had held demonstrations against the Commission’s proposal. A demonstration by Motorcycle News (MCN), a UK weekly motorcycle publication, was also planned to ride to Brussels – which took place in November against the proposal.

There was a lot of angst amongst riders in the UK, regarding issues surrounding the proposal on the internet, especially on social networking pages – forums and in the motorcycle press.

Equally, there was misunderstanding amongst riders of what was contained in the proposal, many believed (and still believe) that the Commission’s proposal included the banning of filtering through traffic, banning motorcycles over 7yrs old in Urban areas and the compulsory wearing of Hi-Viz clothing.

Most of this angst surfaced as anti-European Union rhetoric that the proposal was part of the EU’s attempts to completely remove motorcyclists from EU roads – there was concern that the EU was trying to ban bikes!

In our letter to the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, we laid out constructively the issues surrounding the Commission’s proposal, as well as our concerns regarding some of the text contained in the European Commission Road Safety website “Specialist Knowledge page on Powered Two Wheelers” which states:

  • “Riding a PTW is also much more dangerous than using another motor vehicle.”
  • “Discouraging or restricting the use of PTWs may be more acceptable if alternatives are made more attractive.”

We pointed out in our letter, that while we appreciated that there are a lot of important issues being dealt with by the European Commission, these motorcycle issues are just as important to motorcyclists here in Northern Ireland (31,250 approx.), Ireland (36,000 approx.), Great Britain (1.5million approx.) and indeed throughout the whole of Europe (33.5 million approx.).

We called for clarification from the Commission that would allay the fears of the European Motorcycle Citizen. We asked for a statement that the European Commission is not attempting to completely remove motorcyclists from EU roads and asked what the Commission’s position regarding motorcycles (Powered Two Wheeler – PTW – Mopeds – Scooters – Motorcycles) is.


We have now received a detailed reply which was filtered down to the Head of Unit for Road Safety at the European Commission, Isabelle Kardacz who replied to us on behalf of the President of the Commission.

Her reply was to the point. She stated “Let me make it very clear that the Commission’s position concerning the use of motorcycles and mopeds is not, and has never been, to ‘remove motorcyclist from EU roads’.

Read the full response on Right To Ride EU – Click Here



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