Now in its 24th year, International Ride to Work Day kick-starts Ride to Work Week, Monday 15th – Sunday 21st June 2015.
It’s the time when motorcycle and scooter riders across the nation take to the roads to celebrate their chosen mode of travel. It’s also the time when riders are encouraged to promote the benefits of commuting by motorbike to non-riders and to show other commuters what they’re missing.
Time saved is the big factor mentioned by all riders, who value the ability to filter through static traffic queues, which means they can gauge their travel time more accurately and arrive at work on time.
The number of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds has nearly doubled over the past twenty years, according to Government licensing statistics. (Ref. 1)
This trend seems set to continue and recent indicators include:
• A 10% rise in new registrations for 2014 and a further 10% rise for the first months of 2015.
• An 11.4% rise in the sale of new 125cc motorcycles in the first quarter of 2015. This is the most popular starter bike for new riders and commuters, with many models doing over 100 miles to the gallon.
• A 10% rise in attendance at Motorcycle Live, the industry’s flagship show, held in November at the NEC.
• A 75% increase in the number of Wheels to Work schemes across the UK. These schemes loan small motorcycles or scooters and help thousands of people find and keep work in areas which are poorly served by public transport. (Ref. 2)
• A steady increase in the number of women over 50 seeking insurance for motorcycles, according to specialist insurer Carole Nash. (Ref. 3)
Motorcycle Industry Association CEO Steve Kenward says there’s never been a better time to get on two wheels:
“With congestion getting worse each year, the only way to accurately predict your journey time is to travel by motorcycle or scooter. The rise in new sales of 125cc bikes shows more and more people are rejecting the misery of sitting in traffic and riding to work instead.
"There is also evidence to suggest all road users would benefit if more commuters switched from cars to motorcycles or scooters. An EU study, which modelled the traffic for a particularly congested part of Belgium, showed congestion was reduced by 40% for all road users when just 10% of car drivers switched to a powered two wheeler.” (Ref. 4)
Riders arrive at work happier, according to a one off survey by the Office for National Statistics. This shows commuting by motorcycle, scooter or moped had no negative impact on journeys of up to half an hour, in contrast to most other forms of public and private transport.
What can you do?
Take a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training), the first step towards a motorcycle licence, which will allow you on the roads on L plates. For information about learning to ride go to www.GetOn.co.uk or visit your local motorcycle dealer or training school. You can find your nearest training school via www.mcita.co.uk
You can also join in on social media:
Reference 1 Figures from Gov.UK Statistical Data Set Motorcycles (VEH03) show that the number of motorcycles, mopeds and scooters licensed for the road was 720,900 in 1994, rising to 1,326,500 for summer quarter 2014.
Reference 2 According to the Wheels 2 Work Association in 2013 there were 24 Wheels to Work schemes. There are currently 42 with several others in the pipeline.
Reference 3 Carole Nash customer insurance records show the percentage of women aged 50 to 54 insuring a motorcycle has risen from 14% to 20% since 2011 and for those over 55 this has risen from 14% to 18%.
Reference 4 See Commuting by Motorcycle, Transport and Mobility Leuven.