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2022 BMF Review of the Year

We would like to start this review with a message from our Director of Member Services, Peter Laidlaw “The BMF is supported by its membership, both individuals and clubs, who make it possible for the volunteers and staff to carry out the valuable work of representing the motorcycling family to UK government. Our partners for insurance, legal services and breakdown services provide benefits for members but also support the organisation with sponsorship. Membership numbers are stable, those members and sponsors are owed a great deal of thanks for their support, without them the work of the BMF could not continue.”

Next, we next have a brief outline of the year by Emily Rochester – Government Relations Executive and Anna Zee – Political and Technical Services Director…

Despite restrictions being lifted and the return of some physical meetings in 2022, there has been a lot of instability in government. This has caused delays, for example the Transport Bill and the Road Safety Strategy. See below for a summary of our activities over the past year.

One of the most-discussed topics this year was decarbonisation and the government’s Net Zero plans. Previously, the government consulted on a date to end the sale of new non-zero emission cars and vans, but there was some uncertainty as to when this would be for motorcycles. The consultation took place over the summer, and the BMF sent in our response which can be found here. We will continue to encourage the government to reconsider the use of arbitrary dates when phasing out non-zero emission motorcycles and not to focus solely on battery electric technology.

London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ)
The BMF attended a pre-consultation meeting with Transport for London officials earlier in the year, which was then followed by a consultation on expanding the ULEZ to cover all London boroughs. We submitted a response which you can find here, in which we advocated for full exemption for motorcycles. In November, the Mayor of London announced that this expansion will take place as planned from 29th August 2023. Included in the announcement was the new scrappage scheme, which will include scrappage of motorcycles. The BMF are disappointed that Transport for London are not recognising the benefits of motorcycles in easing congestion and reducing emissions. We are considering whether there is any further action we can take.

Clean Air Zones and Parking
2022 saw more local authorities introducing Clean Air Zones and similar schemes where some vehicles face a charge for entering. Fortunately, many already recognise the benefits of motorcycles and therefore they are exempt. However, some of these schemes including one being proposed in Cambridge plan to charge motorcyclists. We will be submitting a response to this consultation which will be posted on the website, outlining why motorcycles should not be charged to enter the zone, much less at the same rate as cars. Similarly, Hackney council are planning to end free parking for motorcycles. We are currently part of a working group on this within the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and will issue updates as we have them.


Road Safety
We have continued to engage with various road safety forums to ensure that motorcyclists are being considered. This year hybrid meetings were more common, and both meetings that Anna and Emily attended, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) working party meetings ,were in person this summer.
In October, we gave a presentation to the RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) National Road Safety Committee regarding the use of light segregation devices, also known as orcas, armadillos and wands, to separate cyclists from other traffic. This prompted a positive discussion on how guidelines can be developed in order for them to be implemented safely and consistently, and we will be discussing this further with members of the committee.

Landscapes review
We responded to the consultation in April published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and you can find our article here. Following the consultation, we are working with National Motorcyclists Council and LARA (the Motoring Organisations’ Land Access and Recreation Association) members on management of access in the countryside.

Automated and remote driving
We responded to the consultation on remote driving this year, demanding that sensor systems similar to those specified in UNECE Regulation 157 be fitted. We also raised concerns about connectivity. As new technology develops and regulation around connected and autonomous vehicles changes, we will work to ensure that the safety of motorcyclists is considered.

The BMF supports the proposals for training and testing made by the National Motorcyclists Council. This is not a short-term project but, in the meantime, we have taken opportunities to encourage the government to implement proposals for improvement of Compulsory Basic Training which have effectively been on the shelf for over 5 years.

EU Shipping
This has been an ongoing issue since the UK left the EU, and until very recently there was no consistent guidance on crossing into the EU with a motorcycle. Following multiple meetings with the Cabinet Office, clear guidance has now been issued by the National Motorcyclists Council which can be found here.

The National Motorcyclists Council, of which we are a founding member, turned one this year. In March, Anna and Emily attended a parliamentary reception to launch the NMC’s policy programme Motorcycling and the Future of Transport. The event was attended by a wide range of organisations and individuals, including Minister Trudy Harrison and TT legend Steve Plater, which demonstrated the increasing support for the NMC. See the NMC’s article here.

Our final comment for this section is motorcycles are an important element of the transport mix, and we will continue our lobbying efforts both individually and through the National Motorcyclists Council.


Next up is a short summary from Sheonagh Ravensdale  Communications Director…

2020/21 was a year of new starts for Communications within the BMF – a new editorial team, a revamp of Motorcycle RIDER Magazine, a new website, the introduction of Zoom meetings in the winter to which the whole membership was invited and an expansion of events attended to include the new Women in Motorcycling Exhibition.

2022 has seen all the above (bar a new editorial team!) continue to be worked on to improve our offering to members and potential members. RIDER copies for 2021 and 2022 are now available for all to read online, except the current issue which is reserved for full and designated club members. A new feature was introduced – photo competition with a year’s free membership for the winner.

2022 in numbers

Newsletter subscribers > 7,232

Facebook posts > 231

Facebook followers > 17,433

Instagram posts > 216

Instagram followers > 1,054

Tweets > 173

Twitter followers > 1,591

Articles posted on website > 155

To follow us,just click on your favourite Social Media channel


Fortnightly emails now go out to all members as well as a monthly news round-up for clubs that can be copied and pasted into club magazines or sent on by email to club members.
Annual Regional Meetings were reinstated, both in person and online, for the first time since the pandemic and I was pleased to ride up to join Region 7’s meeting and to get to know my local group, as well as to join them on the BMF stand at the Calne Bike Meet.

The BMF took over the handling of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) touring events from the Auto Cycle Union this year, with the valuable continued help of Keith Freak and Paula Fidge. Members enjoyed events held in France, Germany and Greece.

Half-way through the year, we started up an internal communications team, comprising Anna Zee, Emily Rochester, Helen Hancock, Cheryl McMonnies and myself – with a fortnightly zoom meeting. This is proving effective both in terms of internal communication and new ideas we’re working on, the results of which will (all being well!) become apparent in due course.



Finally, the whole of the BMF management team and support staff are looking forward to finding out what 2023 will bring.

Thank you for your continued support.

Written by Helen Hancock

Top image courtesy of Ante Samarzija – Unsplash

In article images courtesy of Simon Finlay Photography, Tim Fawthrop, Dirtbike Rider and Emma Baxter