Exclusive: Piaggio boss chats to MCN
01 December 2006 14:13
MCN: Has the congestion charge increased scooter and bike sales in London?
TC: When Ken Livingstone increased the Congestion Charge to £8 we saw sales increase.
However, the picture is slightly confused because it happened at a similar time to the London bombings on July 7 which also increased bike and scooter sales.
A £10 Congestion Charge would be good news for us. People won’t be forced onto our substandard public transport system so powered two wheelers are still the best alternative.
MCN: The third European Driving Licence Directive is going to make it harder for young people to get on two-wheels – how can Piaggio encourage the bikers of tomorrow to ride?
TC: It’s harder in the UK, in Europe people have been riding since they were 14-years-old. Send us your pictures, videos and articles to appear on motorcyclenews.com. Email them to email@example.com People have a real thing about two-wheels that they can’t get over. This is the reason Piaggio launched the MP3 (Piaggio’s three-wheeled scooter).
I got a chance to test ride the prototype on an Italian race track and it was incredible. I was braking at full lean with my knee down and it was completely stable.
Over diesel spills and wet man-hole covers it’s so as safe as a car but you can cut through the London traffic like on a scooter.
MCN: Do you believe the Government has a secret agenda against motorcycles?
TC: I certainly don’t believe in conspiracy theories – the motorcycle industry employs too many people for the Government to want to end it.
However, I don’t like the DfT’s new Think Bike TV campaign. I can imagine parents who see that would say: “Right, no scooter young lad!” A German colleague of mine saw that advert and thought it was an Internet joke – he still doesn’t believe me that the UK government had produced it.