The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) welcomes an announcement that motorcyclists will be exempt from traffic filter trials in Oxford. This news follows recent success in achieving consideration for motorcycles as a separate mode of transport in the Oxfordshire Local Transport and Connectivity Plan.
Oxfordshire County Council has revealed plans for a trial of six traffic filters in 2023. Traffic filters are being introduced to make bus journeys quicker and more reliable, and reduce local air pollution. The proposed trials are seen as a win because mopeds and motorbikes are included in the list of exempt vehicles.
The exemption for motorcycles is a direct consequence of work by MAG to convince Oxfordshire County Council that motorcycles need separate consideration from other motorised vehicles. In response, the Council has deliberately listed motorcycles as a separate transport mode in its transport user hierarchy. This deliberate demarcation allows policy decisions that recognise the benefits that the mode can deliver.
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:
“It is reassuring to see that the efforts we put into getting this seemingly innocuous recognition written into the County’s local transport plan paying dividends. Motorcycles are rarely mentioned as a separate mode in key transport policy documents and, as a consequence, simply suffer the same results as cars. Here we see that when they are considered separately the outcome for riders is very different. Motorcycles are finally being recognised as part of a solution rather than as part of the problem. We hope that other councils will sit up and take note.”
The trial will be introduced as an experimental transport regulation order (ETRO) following a Pre-ETRO consultation and Cabinet sign off expected in autumn of 2022. The trial at six locations is planned to start in Summer 2023.
Cherwell District Councillor John Broad, who has worked tirelessly with MAG for recognition of the benefits of motorcycling, said:
“By many motorcyclists in Oxfordshire keeping up the pressure on officers producing the County and City transport plans, results do eventually occur. The relatively small inconvenience to local motorcyclists of having to respond to consultations can have big gains for the future use of motorcycles as a recognised part of the transport system.”