NW Report April-May07


14th April -  MAG AGC Horncastle, Lincs.

            Attended, enough said. Details of the event can be found in the AGC minutes.


15th April -  RideSafe BackSafe Rendevous at Fairhaven Lake

            Rushed back from the AGC to help out at the MAG Stall at this event,  alongside members of Blackpool & Red Rose MAG. Picked up a few memberships and our support of this event was greatly appreciated by the Lancashire Partnership for Road Safety. Estimated 6000 bikers attended, and plans are in place to repeat the event next year,


25th April – Local Reps Meeting, The Fringe, Manchester

            Carrying on the theme of rotating the meeting venues around the region, it was the turn of Manchester MAG to host the Local Reps meeting. We have decided to spend some of the regions funds on banners and feather flags for the recently purchased NW MAG Stall.


10th-12th May NABD Rally Astle Park

            We took the new stall down to this rally, which went really well with loads of new and returning members signing up. Each year we keep getting punters coming into the stall wanting to buy rally patches and T-shirts, such is the close connection between NABD and MAG. Will have to get some of Rick next year? Early finish on the Saturday night as we were up at 6.00am Sunday to get across to…………..


13th May – Thundersprint, Northwich, Cheshire.

                        This was really hard work. Plenty of people signed up, stacks of magazines and supplements given away. We helped out with the marshalling of the event again, which was claimed to have attracted 130,000 people this year, and according to the organisers, is the biggest motorcycle event in Europe of this type. The organisers also want to get MAG more involved with the event, and need to start talking now, as they are already planning for Thundersprint 2008. Will discuss at NC if time allows?


15th May - RSBS Meeting, Lancashire Police HQ, Hutton

            I couldn’t make this meeting due to Scrappy Challenge commitments, but  Bill Green from Red Rose MAG attended in my absence. The KSI figures for PTW users are very encouraging for this year, with a 60% reduction in fatalities across the region, and a reduction in the serious injuries figures on last year. Plenty of good ideas seem to be coming through now, including interactive signs placed on black spots renown for PTW fatalities, warning both riders and drivers of the hazards ahead, i.e. double apex  bends, unsighted junctions etc. The team are also discussing a young rider’s initiative, and holding a young riders day being promoted through the regions schools and colleges.


15th-18th May – Quarter Finals of Scrapheap Challenge

            I was away for most of the week with two other members of Blackpool MAG, aka “The Dark Riders”, filming this round. Sworn to secrecy about the outcome, but I have had to book some more time off work, and will miss the Farmyard Party due to filming the semi-finals.


28th May - Attended Extra MAG NC Meeting, Rugby.

            I attended this extra meeting to discuss the Foundation, and the proposals being put forward by Creo for the re-vamp of MAG.


30th May - Funeral of Hilda Birchal

            Hilda was a longstanding MAG member who was killed on her way home from the motorcycle meet at Knott End, having lost control of her bike on a bend. I was asked by Jim, her husband, to try and get as many bikers as possible to attend her funeral procession from Knott End to Scotforth, Lancaster. I put out the word, and got a very good response with plenty of bikers turning out to escort Hilda on her final journey.


27th – 6th June – Isle Of Man TT Races

            This went really well. Spent practise week distributing hundreds upon hundreds of copies of the road around the island. I and NW Mag member Roger ran the stall at Ramsey on the Sunday and Tuesday of race week, with help from Archie and Jim Coxon. We also had a flying visit from our Campaigns Officer, David Short. Memberships were a bit disappointing, but a high percentage of the visitors to the TT’s are not from the UK, and many of the Brits we spoke to were low on finances, but lots of literature was taken from the stall, and we sold £100 of old Manx MAG stock, which will be going straight into the fighting fund. I am hoping next year we can get an article in “The Road” as a bit of a TT preview in the May/June issue, and details of the events being held at Ramsey, Straightliners adverts etc. Hope to discuss with Mr M at some stage?



Other news from around the region

NW Web-Site

Chis from Red Rose MAG, who has been doing a fantastic job with the NW web-site has decided that she has not got the spare time needed to keep the site up to scratch, so I am now looking for someone within the region to take it on. I will be trying to administer it for a while, but I have no experience of running a web-site, and will be using it basically, as a links page to the local group’s web-sites.

Manchester Congestion Charge

            I am still trying to get some accurate information on this. It has been reported that if the congestion charge comes into force within the boundaries of the M60 around Manchester, PTWs will not be exempt. This has been reported in a number of newspapers, but I have yet to receive conformation of this from The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, which has created the proposals. The GMA will take the plan to the Government in July in a bid to obtain £1bn from the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) to kick-start the scheme. What it will mean is that all vehicles entering the boundaries of the M60, will need an electronic tag fitting to their vehicle, with ANPR cameras catching those that have not.  Manchester is bidding against nine other local authorities for this money, so it is far from being a done deal yet.


All for now,

See you at the weekend?