The questions posed basically summarise the detail, however there is a section at Page 4 for organisations to
submit a comment and it is to that part of the draft that I wish to make some comments on behalf of MAG(The Motorcycle Action Group).
As you can see, the only reference to motorcycling is in the proposal to increase "facilities" eg parking and training.
There is no mention of motorcycling specifically on any of the questions that relate directly to "transport", in other
words motorcycles are ignored in the main body of the questionaire and in the proposals.
I would like to see this omission corrected as it provides no opportunity for the extent of motorcycle usage to be
reflected in submissions, nor does it reflect actual usage by the large number of the population that rely on
motorcycles for their transportation. Linked to this is current central government opinion, as expressed in the
national transport strategy document, that motorcycles are considered a viable alternative to the car in reducing
road congestion and in the reduction of pollution, if only from a comparison of noxious output as related to engine size.
Secondly in terms of the use and extension of Park& Ride, Dial-a-bus and taxis for remote areas, there is no reference
what-so-ever to the Bikes2Work schemes that have shown success in England and absolutely no reference to motorcycles
in other issues such as their approval for access to bus lanes, which is now beyond a recommendation in Central
Governments transport Policy on which all areas should be basing their own unique transportation strategies.
Bikes2Work not only provides a viable and cheap form of transport for country-side dwellers but also provides for
their social inclusion in education and work which would otherwise be unavailable to individuals not able to provide
their own transportation from country area to Aberdeen centre or outlying industrial estates. It seems appalling that
only one self-funded group in Scotland has taken up this scheme, yet over 30 councils in England have these schemes in
operation and have the proof of their success. I understand that Transport Scotland saw fit to withdraw support for
this scheme, but believe it has merit as an economic alternative to some of the more expensive forms of current rural transport.
I understand that Aberdeen University operate a somewhat similar scheme, but only for their students, in
providing cycles and mopeds to students who are deemed to require personal transport.
In terms of negative comment, I would also make a point that while the proposals to investigate the viability
of car sharing lanes is laudable, the present roads in and around the Grampian area can not absorb current traffic
levels as it is and it raises the question as to where these lanes are going to be operated on roads that already
are overly congested with bus lanes and other traffic.
While I applaud the principle of additional cycle lanes within town areas this is neither practical nor safe for
the trunk roads that feed into the Aberdeen city area unless they are placed away from main roads on a totally new
installation of bicycle lanes , rather as has been in existence in Holland for many, many years. It is however a
fact that as a "flat" country, cycling is a more popular pastime only through topography; a position that is not likely to be reflected by the hilly Grampian country-side, no matter how "green" we wish to be.
Again, in principle I applaud the intentions towards an integrated transport/bus/train network and the proposals to better manage school transportation. It is a fact that on school holidays, traffic density around Aberdeen is significantly less. There are life-style issues affecting this which go beyond basic transportation measures, but in pure motorcycling issue terms, I raise this only because of the relative safety that reduced traffic flow brings to all remaining road users.
For The Motorcycle Action Group - Aberdeen & Grampian