Yorkshire MAG Newsletter June/July 2021

Hi everyone. I hope you’re all having a great time in the warmer weather and looking forward to lockdown restrictions lifting.

Most of the councils in Yorkshire have been very quiet over the past few weeks with no motorcycle related news apart from our arch nemesis Leeds City Council

We’ve had discussions with LCC regarding the removal of secure motorcycle parking bays in Leeds City centre but the bus lane trial has taken the biscuit!

You may remember that Leeds MAG started a campaign eight years ago to allow motorcycle access to bus lanes due to the fact that they were popping up everywhere.

This turned into a West Yorkshire wide campaign after the inception of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

After many meetings we got it included in the WYCA 20 year transport strategy that where possible, motorcycles should be allowed to use bus lanes throughout the county – result………well, not quite!

It turns out that the WYCA is an advisory body and has no power to make the five councils under its umbrella do what it recommends. Basically it’s yet another tier of bureaucracy that is not needed.

We have been pressing each of the five councils for the past three years to implement the recommendations. So far Calderdale have complied, both Bradford and Wakefield have put trials in place. Kirklees have ignored our overtures and Leeds after much lobbying, eighteen months ago agreed to implement a trial to find out how it would affect traffic flow.

This trial was supposed to start in Spring 2021 but we noticed in March that the council had only just started to consult with the local councillors in the affected wards.

We pressed for a start date, but two councillors objected to a bus lane trial. One citing “motorcycles would scare off cyclists from using bus lanes” – but buses overtaking them would be fine?

The other councillor objected because “motorcycles may slow down the progress of buses”

So……the bus lane trial was batted back to the scrutiny board at LCC for a “steer”.

Despite many councillors and MP’s lobbying for the trial to go ahead and positive articles in both the Yorkshire Evening Post and West Leeds Dispatch, the scrutiny board bottled it and decided to set up a committee to discuss the issue! Three weeks after this decision we’re yet to make contact with the head of this committee!

We will continue to press for bus lane access but after so long, it’s a massive personal disappointment to me, to have the trial stopped at the 11th hour.

LCC has a policy of supporting cycling, walking and buses – all private transport is being discouraged and Leeds has stated its intention to become the first carbon neutral city in the country and under these circumstances I’m less confident than ever of getting a result.

Below is the link to the YEP article


And here is the link to the West Leeds Dispatch article

The MAG NC had a virtual meeting where national issues and campaigns were discussed.

Ride to work day happened on 21st June and was run for the first time by MAG. We’re currently collecting feedback on the campaign.

Central office has collated the results of the recent online survey. It wasn’t perfect but gave us a snapshot of riders views. Over 80% of riders surveyed want MAG to campaign for the continued use of our ICE motorcycles – hopefully this will happen but in my view, the National Committee of MAG seems to have accepted the future of ICE vehicles is limited and seems to want to push a green, battery powered agenda. I absolutely disagree with this stance and have been very vocal on the NC email list, but unfortunately I seem to be part of a very small minority that dares to rock the boat.

The holding of a virtual AGC was also discussed. Again, under guidance from your local reps i have been extremely vocal against holding a virtual AGC.

Wakefield, Huddersfield and Leeds have all posted questions to the NC about how a virtual AGC would work and we’re absolutely unconvinced that it can happen in a competent and fair way.

Members joining in individually will be limited due to the licence and “hubs” are being encouraged, but with varying hardware and software, coupled to pub WiFi, we’re not convinced it will work. Not one of the six Yorkshire MAG groups has come forward to host a “hub” so far, so as it stands, the biggest and highest donating region will be all but excluded from the national AGC which is outrageous.

We’ve offered to host the AGC this year in a safe, face to face way but this has been declined in favour of the Virtual AGC.

It really doesn’t take a genius to work out why a virtual AGC is being pursued as with Neil Liversidge standing for chair and the Yorkshire region being silenced, the NC can continue to push their green, PC agenda – for fairness, I must state that this is my opinion, but it’s an opinion based on the many messages going back and forth on the NC email list.

If you’re unhappy with this state of affairs, please contact central office at central-office@mag-uk.org and let them know what you, the members, think.

E10 fuel will be introduced nationally from next year. This will have an adverse effect on older bikes but premium fuel will still be available. MAG is looking into the affects on older bikes and will report back with the findings.

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/c/c4/Network_2021-07.pdf

York MAG hosted their first rally at Cropton brewery on what would have been the Farmyard party weekend. Rep Richard Suddaby reports – York MAG’s debut rally, Slaughtered In Cropton was a success. The turn out was great considering the short amount of notice post-lockdown. York MAG would like to thank everyone that attended, everyone who helped out at the event, the fantastic host Helen at The New Inn and those that helped to circulate the event online.

Next year will have a larger attendance capacity unlike this years covid compliant event. Next years date will be confirmed later this year on their facebook group and on their website, York.mag-uk.org. Keep your eyes pealed for other events they will be hosting in the coming months. 

YORKSHIRE PUDDING 2021 – Is now sold out! We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone on the 6th, 7th and 8th August, but we find it amazing that we can hold a safe, secure 2000 person rally but two months after this we wouldn’t be able to host a safe, secure 250 person AGC. Go figure.

The Yorkshire MAG AGM will be held at Squires Cafe (back room) on Sunday 25th July from 9am to 11am – we need to be done and dusted for 11 due to the carvery starting at 12 noon.

This is the most important meeting in the Yorkshire MAG calendar and an exceptionally important one as some of the Yorkshire MAG committee are stepping down.

I’ve canvassed the committee and three of us are stepping down at the AGM and one I haven’t heard back from. As happens at all AGM’s all the positions are up for grabs so below is a list of the positions, a brief description of the role, the current incumbent and their status for the re elections to the committee.

Yorkshire Regional Rep – to oversee and coordinate the six Yorkshire MAG groups. To attend bi-monthly National Committee meetings. To organise Yorkshire mag meetings. To ensure the local membership is kept up to date with social events (national and local) and also report back from the NC to the members, currently done with this newsletter. To support local groups and members and to represent the Yorkshire MAG members and their views on the NC and to a wider audience. To do media interviews on TV, radio and printed media and help the political rep coordinate email campaigns to push for a better deal for motorcyclists in Yorkshire.

Current incumbent – Richard “Manny” Manton

Available for re election – no.

Yorkshire Vice Regional Rep – to support the RR and stand in where necessary.

Current incumbent – Andy Foody

Available for re election – no.

Yorkshire Political Rep – to create and help to coordinate email campaigns and feedback results to the regional committee. To engage with local councillors and MP’s to get a better deal for bikers in Yorkshire.

Current Incumbent – Ian Whittaker

Available for re election – ? Unsure of Ian’s intentions

Yorkshire MAG Web and Social Media Rep – to keep the regional and local group websites up and running with relevant content. To help monitor and help out with social media issues. To ensure the online presence of Yorkshire MAG is maintained.

Current incumbent – Marcus Houlden

Available for re election – yes

Yorkshire MAG media rep – to contact media outlets locally with news and press releases from MAG. To set up interviews and stories for publication through media outlets.

Current incumbent – John Nettleship

Available for re election – yes

Yorkshire MAG Secretary – to coordinate the emails throughout the Yorkshire region. Taking and writing up meeting minutes from the Yorkshire MAG meetings.

Current incumbent – Linz Foody

Available for re election – no

Yorkshire MAG treasurer – to keep the Yorkshire MAG funds and donations up to date. Depositing donations from groups and making donations under the direction of the Yorkshire MAG committee to MAG central office.

Current incumbent – Gary Timms

Available for re election – yes

The committee elections will take place at the Yorkshire regional AGM so if you want to vote, don’t forget your full MAG membership card. If you’re interested in any of the positions you must have been a full MAG member for at least a year and if this is the case and you would like more information get in touch with me at manny@mag-uk.org

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 six 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

Huddersfield MAG’s AGM has been arranged for Wednesday 11 August 2021, starting at 8 pm prompt, at The Field Head, Quarmby Road, HD3 4FB.  Steve Travis, Wakefield MAG Rep, has kindly agreed to observe.  As always, all Committee positions are up for re-election:

  • Rep
  • Vice Rep
  • Treasurer
  • Political
  • Fund Raiser
  • Membership
  • MAP Liaison
  • Web / Social Media
  • Dealer Liaison

If you want any further information about any of these roles, please get in touch with linz@mag-uk.org.  Please be aware that anyone wishing to stand for any of these roles must have been a MAG member for at least 1 year.  Please bring your valid membership card to be able to vote.

Group meetings have been up and running for a few weeks now but, as I’m writing this, restrictions will be lifted full on 19th July. Personally I’m looking forward to this but if you’re attending a meeting, please respect the fears and views of your fellow members.

The Yorkshire regional group meetings are –

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 – NB no meeting on 7 July 2021; business meeting is on 14 July 2021

Leeds and Bradford MAG meet every 1st Tuesday and 3rd Thursday from 8pm at The Royal Hotel LS28 8PR

South Yorkshire MAG meet every Thursday at The Market, 2 Wentworth Rd, Elsecar, Barnsley S74 8EP from 7pm

Wakefield MAG meet every Tuesday from 8.30 at The Thatched House, 434 Aberford Road, Stanley, Wakefield, WF3 4AA

York MAG – Third Friday of each month from 7:30pm at The Black Swan, Peasholme Green, YO1 7PR.

Keep safe

Manny (Yorkshire MAG rep)