Liberal Democrats Official Response

What the Lib Dems will offer motorcyclists

Our overarching transport objectives are to improve the experience for all travellers and to reduce carbon emissions from transport.

Taking the first of these, we believe that there are a number of ways in which conditions can be improved for motorcyclists. In particular, we are concerned about rider safety, bike security and the current licensing test regime, as well as the lack of incentives for manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions.

The Lib Dems recognise that powered two-wheelers, such as motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, can contribute significantly to reducing congestion, in urban areas in particular because they require much less road space than four-wheeled vehicles.

Reducing the cost of riding a motorcycle

We plan to introduce motorway and trunk road pricing on motorways and dual carriageways across the UK, with the revenue raised used to abolish road tax and significantly cut fuel duty.

Our road pricing scheme will include only a minimal rate for powered two-wheelers, in recognition of their lower environmental impact compared to cars. This scheme will also lower running costs for motorcyclists, as road tax will be abolished and fuel will be significantly cheaper.

Security and Safety
We will introduce a range of safety measures, such as ensuring dedicated and secure parking provision, with improved CCTV networks, for motorcyclists and scooters in car parks, and will encourage the provision of on-street secure parking for powered two wheelers.

Test centres

Recent changes in testing regulations have made it unnecessarily difficult to gain a motorcycle licence. There are currently only 67 multi purpose test centres in the country, at which motorcyclists can complete module 1 of the licence test, meaning that almost 20% of people have to travel for more than 45 minutes to take this module.

We are also concerned about the safety of the swerve manoeuvre now being examined, which has led to an increase in the rate of accidents incurred during tests. We would seek to ensure that the focus of the test is on improving rider safety and that the test itself is made safer.

Reducing emissions

As transport is responsible for 28% of all UK carbon emissions, and is the only sector from which emissions have increased since 1990, there is a need to lower its carbon impact urgently.

However, the right incentives are not currently in place for manufacturers to reduce emissions from motorcycles in the way that they have for cars. This is why the Lib Dems have committed to introducing more steeply graduated VED bands in the interim until road pricing takes effect, encouraging motorcycle manufacturers to improve engine efficiency, and rewarding those who purchase cleaner motorcycles.

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