Regulator Advisory Group (RAG)

RAG continues to scan the horizon for any matters of note that could possibly concern our members: priorities include motorcycle access to LEZs; licensing and fuel issues. Over the last six months we have been focused on how we can continue to function within Government COVID 19 guidelines and we are keeping this challenge under review as Government rules and advice change. The Comorg ‘Riding Covid Safe’ guidelines, adopted jointly with other motorcycling groups such as MAG, the BMF, ACU, IAMRoadsmart, TOMCC and the TRF, and which VMCC helped to initiate, are an example of sensible collaborative work which has now gained police endorsement and is likely to lead to greater cooperation in future between all major motorcycling organisations.

Meanwhile Roger continues to apply his thinking to how we might work within the regulations to enable the resumption of more major events like long distance trials. Happily some Sections (e.g. Herefordshire, N. Birmingham and West Wilts) have already modified some of their premier events so that riders either individually, or in small groups, can create their own routes between given locations to create in effect an ‘event’. News of your innovations would be much appreciated for the benefit of all.

Our need for vigilance continues: in July 2017 the Lake District became a World Heritage Site (WHS) and as a consequence of this GLEAM decided to challenge the use of motor vehicles over unsurfaced roads within the Park as being incompatible with WHS status. Specifically in Dec 2019, it challenged a decision by LDNP Authority not to introduce vehicular TROs over two routes which I am told are used by VMCC members: Timberthwaite in Langdale, and High Oxen Fell in the Coniston valley. GLEAM claimed vehicular use over these stone roads was incompatible with the protection that should be afforded by WHS status.. Suffice to say the GLEAM attempt was defeated (copies of the judgement can be supplied). But please be aware that similar battles over the network of old roads continues unabated; for example all around the 20 sq mile area of Stonehenge and Avebury – also a WHS.

And with the stated intention by the government to consider extending the number of National Parks (NPs) and Areas of Outstanding Beauty (AONBs) – which will all come with added restrictions – it’s important that we retain our connections with, and meaningful support for, such organisations as LARA and the FBHVC.

RAG members' areas of expertise:

Roger Bibbings (Convenor) - Safety and risk management, regulation, lobbying

Bernard Kuropka - Engineering

Jacqueline Bickerstaff - Legislation Committee FBHVC

Dennis Beale - Flat tankers, DVLA, C&U issues, licensing, testing

David Giles - Trials and off-road

Raymond Albeson - The Scottish motorcycling scene

Peter Henshaw (Records/documents keeper) - Motorcycling journalism and deep marque knowledge