Bikers in rule change protest

Motorcycle protest from Woodall services on M1
Motorcycle protest from Woodall services on M1
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HUNDREDS of motorcyclists from South Yorkshire held ‘go slow’ protests on the M1 to demonstrate against European Union proposals.

Planned regulations would force bikers and scooter riders to wear bright high-visibility jackets and make modifications which could result in old bikes being banned.

The changes could mean the end of the road for traditional clothing such as leather jackets and force owners to retire treasured vintage models.

The rules would also affect riders of custom-built bikes and trikes.

Protests against the possible changes have taken place at 30 locations around the country.

Bikers set off simultaneously from service areas and rode at 45mph in the inside two lanes.

Groups set off from Woodall, near Sheffield, heading northbound, southbound from Woolley Edge, Barnsley, and northbound from Tibshelf, near Chesterfield.

Scooter riders representing three Sheffield Clubs – Seven Hills, Nomads and Wideboys – took part in their own protest against the proposals, on Sheffield Parkway.

John O’Malley, aged 51, from Charnock, was among those in the Woodall protest,.

He said: “There were about 300 to 400 of us.

“We rode up the M1, the M18 and onto the M180 to the first services before turning back.

“We are appealing to the Government not to allow these new rules to be imposed in Britain.

“I have been riding since I was 17 and have never had an accident.

“These planned new rules will not make a difference to safety.

“I ride with my front lights on at all times yet drivers still pull out from junctions in front of me.

“How is a high-vis jacket going to make me any more visible?”

Mr O’Malley rides a 2001 Honda Pan European 1100cc bike.

He said: “There’ll be a knock-on effect for manufacturers of bikers’ clothing and we’ll all have to fork out for the new jackets.

“Older bikes might not be suitable for the planned modifications so could end up being banned from the roads.”

A spokesman for the British Oak Bikers, a motorcycle club which meets at the British Oak pub in Mosborough every Thursday, said club members were also among those who met at Woodall Services.

He added: “The EU proposals are bonkers.

“Rules that threaten the right of motorbike owners to modify their machines are simply not going to work.

“We will continue to protest against these rules until they are dropped.”

One scooter rider, know as The Reverend, said around 50 enthusiasts had driven their scooters down Sheffield Parkway at 10mph.

He added: “We want the people to be aware of these proposals which threaten our way of life.”