Oxfordshire Council withdraw anti-bike statements from consultation document

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Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) have been forced to change their approach to motorcycles after outraging the biking community with scathing and unsubstantiated claims.

A document published as part of the council’s pre-consultation ‘engagement activity’ called motorcyclists a ‘danger to themselves’ who made a ‘substantial contribution to noise pollution’ attracting anger from groups like MAG and the BMF.

After being challenged by these groups and MCN, OCC published an updated version of the document with most of the offending content removed.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, Cabinet Member for Environment said of the document: “I am sorry that [MAG] feel that it is biased in its outlook as this was not the intention but accept that it was construed this way.”

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The original document also stated that, “Motorbikes are mostly still using fossil fuels to run, meaning they are environmentally unsound, not sustainable, and contribute to air pollution.” This has been softened in the updated version to, “As with cars, motorbikes are mostly still using fossil fuels to run, meaning they have environmental impacts, including contributing to air pollution.”

This was the council’s second attempt at including bikes in their engagement activity after they weren’t mentioned at all the first time around. The updated version is a vast improvement, but still cites 19-year-old statistics in support of some of its claims.

MCN have asked the council to explain the reasons that some parts of the original document have been removed but have not yet had a response.