You are here
Home > Other news >

Public fails to recognise bikes

The British public does not recognise motorcycles as part of the solution to traffic congestion and poor urban air quality, according to research commissioned by IAM RoadSmart.

A survey of over 2000 motorists found that less than half (42%) agree that powered two-wheelers helped reduce traffic congestion, while only just over one in five (22%) believe they can help improve air quality. This is despite research by the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) which suggests that a 10% swing to motorcycle use by car drivers could reduce congestion by 40%

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “We strongly believe that motorcycles represent a huge opportunity in combating poor air quality and congested roads. Indeed, their smaller size means that motorcyclists can safely filter through traffic, while smaller engines mean they produce less harmful emissions.”

To push the benefits of motorcycling, IAM RoadSmart has teamed up with the NMC, DocBike, Helite, BikeTrac and Mental Health Motorbike to produce campaign toolkit which bikers and influencers can download.

This includes some interesting stats – did you know, for example, that nearly two-thirds of motorcycle use is for commuting and other practical reasons? Echoing campaign work by the BMF and NMC, IAM RoadSmart’s toolkit calls for government to recognise the benefits of motorcycles as a step towards decarbonisation, to remove VAT from PPE such as airbag jackets and to help improve riding skills.

Jim Freeman, Chair of the BMF, said: “As riders we’ve always known that bikes are the ultimate congestion busting device, especially for suburban and urban distance commuters. Car drivers who realise that getting a relatively small percentage of their fellows onto two wheels would help improve traffic flow for themselves, is possibly an over-subtle argument. Speaking as someone who commuted for decades, almost totally by bike, a journey that took an hour by public transport was halved by bike. The same journey was impossible by car, taking an hour and a half, with nowhere to park at the destination. I filtered past endless cars, stationary, whilst belching out CO2 and particulates.’

IAM RoadSmart’s motorcycle toolkit is available here.

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of IAM RoadSmart