Does new motorcycling minister signal a bright future for riders?

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) asks if new Minister, Trudy Harrison, is a sign of a bright future for riders.  Is her appointment a signal that attitudes towards motorcycling are changing at the Department for Transport (DfT)?  At a Westminster Hall debate the new minister praised MAG for its lobbying work.

New motorcycling minister, Trudy Harrison
Trudy Harrison with MAG members from Cumbria

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland since 2017, has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DfT as part of the September cabinet reshuffle.  Her primary responsibility is decarbonisation of transport.  MAG believes that her appointment signifies a DfT change in attitudes to motorcycling as Trudy is a motorcyclist herself.

In a Westminster Hall debate held on 26th October, Trudy mentioned her delight when her father gave her her first motorcycle at age 16.  She commented:

“Dad took me to the garage and unveiled my first motorbike, as I thought, though it was probably a moped—a 50 cc bright blue Honda Camino. I have since had many enjoyable days out riding pillion on bikes from a Honda 900 CBR Fireblade, through to my dad’s last bike, which was a Yamaha FZR1000.”

MAG’s Director of Campaigns and Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:

“MAG has long said that the best policy decisions for motorcycling are likely to be made by people with experience of riding motorcycles.  Having a DfT minister with a first-hand understanding of what it means to ride a motorcycle can only be a good thing.  I was particularly pleased to hear the warm words spoken about MAG by the Minister and many of the speakers in the debate.”



Bill Wiggin MP thanked the National Motorcyclists Council saying:

“The NMC has representatives drawn from a wide range of stakeholder groups, including the Auto-Cycle Union, the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart and the Motorcycle Action Group—I am a member of both—the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, and the Trail Riders Fellowship. What an august body it is.”

Ian Paisley MP said:

“I am also a member of MAG, which was mentioned by the Hon. Gentleman”

Steve Baker commented:

“Like my Hon. Friend the Member for North Herefordshire, I am a member of Motorcycle Action Group. In fact, I have just received their latest excellent edition of The Road magazine, and if it does not contain at least one letter from my father, I will be extremely surprised—it usually does.”

Stewart Hosie said:

“Can I start with a declaration of sorts? I am a biker. I am proud to ride with YesBikers for Scottish independence and, like almost every other speaker, I am very happy to support many of the campaigns run by the Motorcycle Action Group, which I particularly thank for its help preparing for today.”

MAG members in Cumbria have long had an excellent relationship with the newly appointed minister.  In making her ministerial response to the debate, Trudy Harrison said:

“There were many references to the Motorcycle Action Group, which does a great deal of good both in lobbying for policy change and with its charitable work. I have had the pleasure of seeing that for myself in Copeland. That group’s work, along with that of other charitable organisations, is superb.”


The debate covered many themes and issues that form MAG campaigns. The influence that MAG commands in the ‘corridors of power’ is clear.  It is also clear that Trudy Harrison is prepared to champion motorcycling within the department as summed up in her comments:

“One of the first things my Hon. Friend asked for was confidence that motorbikes are appreciated. They certainly will be by me. We have not had long this afternoon, but I have heard a lot. I agree with Members about the importance of road safety for motorcycle users, and the key role that motorcycling can play in meeting our current mobility needs. There was a request for an acceptance of motorbikes. I assure my Hon. Friends and other Members that they have my personal advocacy.”

A full recording of the debate can be seen on Parliament TV here: