The UK aims to phase out fossil fuel-powered cars and vans by 2030. In light of this, the Government is also considering a ban on new motorcycles that use fossil fuels. A UK rider advocacy organisation recently polled 4,805 motorcyclists regarding this, and there is a consensus opposed to the shift. Traditional motorbikes use less fuel and smaller motorcycle batteries compared to electric bikes. And although motorbikes are not yet explicitly included in the ban, drivers will be forced to use a larger, more expensive type of motorcycle battery to power their engines if implemented.
The survey was conducted by the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), and the respondents were either members (1,575) or other motorcycle enthusiasts (3,230). It was conducted online and carried out within a period of two weeks, ending on 20 April 2021.
MAG assumed that every respondent considered themselves an enthusiast because they promoted the survey on relevant channels and did not just do a random sampling for respondents. This lends itself to a more compelling result.
They asked the respondents questions like if they would just accept the ruling if the Government decides to include motorcycle engines in the ban. Regarding this question, 390 said that they would accept the ban; 1,749 said they would campaign for a delay on the ban; and 2,666 answered that they would oppose the ban on motorcycles.
Another question they posted was if they agreed or disagreed with the idea that MAG would work with other groups that would also oppose the ban on the sale of brand-new petrol-powered motorcycles. 4,011 said that they agree with having allies for the push to oppose the ban, and 794 answered that they preferred MAG to push for the opposition alone.
In the last part of the questionnaire, they asked the respondents how they would react if the Government banned the sale of new petrol-powered motorcycles along with cars. 1,476 said that they would give up riding altogether, 2,702 said that they would still ride their motorcycles as long as it was still legal, and 627 said that they would adopt early and buy a zero-emission motorcycle.
MAG said that this survey is a snapshot of the opinions of riders about the potential phase-out of petrol-powered motorcycles, even though motorcycles are not currently included in the Government announcement of banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. The results are a sign that many in the motorcycling community would be hesitant to accept the ban if it ever gets implemented.
Selina Lavender, the MAG Chair, said she was delighted with the level of response for the survey. She added that MAG always seeks to represent different views of riders, regardless of what type of motorcycle they prefer. The association has been hard at work in creating reliable channels so that they could reach out to the Government for better representation of the pulse of the riding public.
A UK Motorcycle Boom
In the last quarter of 2020, there was a growing number of motorcycles in London. However, this growth did not just start last year. Since 2010, London has seen an 11% year-on-year increase in the sale and registration of motorcycles. When the lockdown restrictions eased in September, a 31.2% increase in registration was seen. The most significant contribution was from the small capacity Vespa-style scooters.
Another contributing factor was the prominence of food delivery apps, which rely heavily on motorcycle riders. Not only did the motorcycle sales increase, but the growth of UK restaurants also sped up, making them the fastest-growing sector in the country. Deliveroo, UK’s largest food delivery app, said that they more than doubled their number of riders in 2020 alone.
The rebound in sales is also known worldwide. In Q1 of 2021, different large manufacturers of motorcycles have seen double-digit increases compared to Q1 of 2020. Customers are still going to dealership stores, and the figures paint a picture of what is happening. In Italy, 16,087 motorcycles and 20,526 scooters were sold up until May. This was a 44 per cent increase for motorcycles and a 41 per cent increase in scooter sales. Motorcycle batteries and other essential components have also seen an uptick in sales.
The story is the same over here in the UK. Motorcycle sales were up by 13,998 as of May, which is a 149 per cent increase over the same month last year. All in all, sales of motorcycles in the UK as of June amounted to 43,242. This is a 40 per cent increase over the same period in 2020.
A Pursuit of Safety
According to UK Government data, motorcyclists are 38 more times likely to be killed in a road accident than car drivers. Transport for London (TfL) said in 2017 that riders and their passengers accounted for more than a quarter of the reported traffic-related injuries and deaths, even if they just amounted to 2% of all road traffic in that year.
This is why TfL expanded the scheme to help motorcycle deliveries train their riders better, as well as to create a safety standard that would be applicable to all and with an auditing authority.
The MAG representative, Colin Brown, said that the move overlooked the threat posed by car drivers. He said that as vulnerable road users, motorcyclists need to see real action in raising the standards for driving for everyone. He added that simply focusing on training motorcyclists and wearing safety gear is not going to keep them safe.
Find Great Quality Motorcycle Battery
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