Motorcycle commuting: the success story no one reports.

Motorcycle commuting success story

Motorcycle commuting is a success story that never gets reported.  Why should that be?

Re-evaluating transport choices.

Environmental concerns and the Covid era have seen many people re-evaluating their transport choices.  It is hardly surprising that when people stop to think through the pros and cons many conclude that motorcycling is the way to go.  There is evidence of modal shift from cars to motorcycles in the last few years, but you do have to go searching for it.  Mainstream media focuses on active travel and the recent impacts on public transport, but never seems to                quite notice the quiet revolution happening in front of them.


It is hardly surprising really when the Government seems so reluctant to report data for motorcycling.  Throughout the pandemic the DfT has published daily statistics for transport use by all transport modes except motorcycling.   The most recent publication of Provisional road traffic estimates, Great Britain: October 2020 to September 2021 reports on cars, vans and lorries but remains entirely silent on motorcycles.  It is not surprising therefore that the motorcycling revolution is happening beneath the Government’s radar.


The real story.

The Motorcycle Industry Association has been valiantly publishing data showing strong growth in motorcycle sales, Outside of the motorcycling press no one seems to care.  If you know where to look you can see that sales are not simply replacement of existing motorcycles. It is a genuine growth in the number of motorcycles on the road. 

The population of the UK has increased by about 3.2% in the last five years.  The number of cars on the road has increased slightly slower.  In the last five years the number of licensed cars has increased by 2.3%. 

However, the story for motorcycles is significantly different.  The number of licensed motorcycles on the road has increased by 6.8% in the same period. 


So, numbers of motorcycles on the road have increased at almost three times the rate of cars and double the rate of population increase.  This is a significant news story, so why isn’t it reported?

Percentage increase in UK licensed cars and Motorcycles 2017 – 2021

It comes as no surprise that cycling has increased.  It benefs from huge financial and policy support from the Government.  Motorcycling has seen no investment and no policy support from Government.  The increases are entirely organic.  What could we achieve with similar levels of investment and policy support from Government?


This is why we promote Ride To Work Day.   This is why we ask you to participate.


Please, help us to bring the good news story to a wider audience, and let’s not be shy in asking that our Government invests some money and provides policy support for the forgotten transport solution.

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