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Bikers urged to rally to transport cause

MOTORCYCLIST APATHY threatens to undermine efforts to cut car use and ease congestion, roads minister Lord Whitty said last week.

Whitty urged motorcycle groups to get involved in the local transport forums which were set up after publication of the Government's transport White Paper in July to produce local integrated transport policies.

Speaking at a fringe meeting during the Labour Party conference in Blackpool last week, Whitty said that transport planners often ignored the views of bikers as they failed to respond to consultation documents.

Ealing North MP Stephen Pound - a member of the House of Commons Motorcycle Group - joined Whitty's call.

'You are pushing at an open door,' he told bikers at the meeting.

The transport White Paper says that 'local authorities should take account of the contribution that motorcycling can make and consider specific measures to assist motorcyclists.'

Motorcyclists could pay lower urban road tolls, Lord Whitty said last week. He said motorbikes would not be exempt from road pricing, but suggested that use could be encouraged by making charges lower than for cars.

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