In response to a question by Julian Lewis – MP for New Forest East and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motorcycling - Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, agreed that motorbikes play a key role in delivering billions of commuting miles in the country.
In a House of Commons debate about Covid-19 on Tuesday, 12th May 2020, Mr Lewis asked: ‘As an alternative to using public transport during the crisis, what assessment has my Right Hon. Friend made of the desirability of ageing bikers like me once again to use motorcycles for travelling to work, and will he be taking any steps to incentivise motorcycle usage as the lockdown is gradually eased?’
Mr Shapps replied: ‘Motorcycles are an enormously important way of getting around— 2.7 billion miles were travelled by motorcycle in 2018, the last year for which we have data. We are working on a number of projects, including sorting out potholes, which are a huge problem for people on motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles. I also encourage him—at whatever age—to adopt the electric motorbike.’
This mature debate about the importance of motorcycles in the UK is encouraging. Many have pointed out their value as acommuting mode of transport on many occasions. Now Ministers advise the use of private instead of public transport, motorbikes are more important than ever. By law, bikers must wear a form of personal protective equipment, and riding keeps you at least two metres away from others almost all the time, in line with Covid-19 guidance.