On Saturday morning I received a questionnaire from Kent Highways Agency as we live on a relatively new estate and they decided to check on the parking, number of vehicles, commuting habits, etc.
Having had a look through the document, I couldn't find any mention of motorbikes or motorcyclists, so I sent an email to the contact listed on the form, asking why they were omitted, suggesting that it seems a very serious ommission and if it isn't demonstrating a bias against bikers, then could he give me the reasons.
This was the reply I got: "There is no biased agenda. It is merely that in preparing a questionnaire judgements have to be made. Motorcyclists usually make a point of declaring their ownership using the comments box or by altering the car or cycle boxes."
So basically, I was expected to put it in the comments box or alter their official form!
Now given that I live in an area that is within the commuter belt into London and I regularly see at least 40 or so bikes/scooters every day and over the past five years have only seen a couple of bicycles, you have to wonder what they are doing and how they think that they can ignore bikers.
Surprisingly this morning I received another email from the same contact, saying he has re-designed the form.
Why should it need my raising the issue for Kent Highways Agency to do this, I would have assumed that they're familiar with all the main forms of transport and would take into every road users needs, given that these questionnaires are used to form policy decisions.
Last email today: "Further to my e-mail on Saturday, please find attached the questionnaire that I will use for the next survey. I have included motorcycle ownership and use."