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Is three-time convicted speeder behind ban motorcycles proposal?

Published: 12 November 2008

Updated: 19 November 2014

A proposal from the Association of Chief Police Officers to ban motorcycles was written under the direction of a three-time convicted speeder, MCN can reveal.

Meredydd Hughes, who was last year banned from driving for his latest offence, has “overall” responsibility for the department that produced the memo, the association confirmed.

A spokesman said the South Yorkshire chief constable was “head of business area for uniformed operations including road policing”.

Hughes publicly stepped down as ‘head of road policing, business area’ after receiving a 42-day ban for reaching 90mph in a 60mph zone. The revelation he is still performing the same role suggests this was nothing more than a smoke-and-mirrors face-saving exercise.  

We revealed last week how ACPO had made an official policy recommendation to MPs in the influential Commons Transport Committee stating: ‘Production machines are readily available for use on our roads with top speeds in excess of 200mph. Motorcycles are seen in the UK to be, in the majority of instances, vehicles of choice rather than necessity and one might consider if our congested roads are any longer fit for purpose for these motorised toys.’

ACPO has since tried to play down its proposal. The association issued a statement claiming it was not seeking to ban motorcycles but adding: ‘Alongside a range of other road safety bodies in the UK and Europe, ACPO believes it may be appropriate in future to consider restriction on high-powered machines with extraordinarily high top speed capabilities.’

It claimed the proposal had ‘referred to consideration of restrictions on the use of off-road motorcycles’ – even though the memo had specifically asked whether high-powered bikes belonged on roads.

Hughes' speeding ban led him to be branded a “complete buffoon” guilty of “mind-numbing hypocrisy” by late anti-speed camera campaigner Paul Smith of Safe Speed. In his ACPO road policing role, the diminutive police chief had taken a hard line on speeding.

Despite coming into the job in 2005 with six points on his licence from two speeding offences, he’d called for more cameras.

In 2006 he created a special legal team to scare people out of contesting speeding charges, saying: “Come and get us if you think you’re hard enough.” MCN later revealed the team was a private company – and Hughes was director.

  • MCN has submitted a petition proposal to Number 10’s website asking the Prime Minister to place all possible pressure on ACPO to finally relieve Hughes of all road policing duties. We’re still waiting to hear whether the petition has been approved, in which case it will be uploaded onto Number 10’s website, where you can add your name. Keep checking this story for an update. 
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