I've noted before that West Yorkshire police's press office dedicates a huge proportion of its press office resource to sending out press releases attacking motorcyclists. It's not just that the popular portrayal of motorcycling and motor cyclists is almost entirely negative but that this form of transport is almost entirely ignored - except as a line in the accident statistics - by transport planners.
The Leeds branch of the Motorcycle Action Group (I so want to call it the Leeds Chapter) staged a protest that called for a greater recognition of motorcycling and, specifically, for bikes to be allow to use bus lanes.
The response from Leeds City Council (interestingly this isn't the body responsible for transport planning but we can't expect the BBC to actually know this - it's one of the reasons we need a metro mayor) is typical council-speak about 'harnessing' the views of motorcyclists. Probably because the planners have absolutely no intention of doing what Leeds MAG suggest - recognising that motorcycling has a real role to play in urban transport and especially the relief of congestion. These planners are wedded to trains and buses (including in Leeds having a bus on a string), plus pedal cycles their new favourite means of transport, and see motorised private transport as a bad thing, the main problem from which we all must be modally shifted.
Scores of bikers have taken part in a "demo ride" calling for rights to ride in Leeds's bus lanes.
Organised by Leeds Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the ride started from Squires Cafe, near Sherburn in Elmet, and finished at a pub outside Leeds.
The group is campaigning for all motorcycles, scooters and mopeds to be allowed to use the city's bus lanes.
The consultation - being conducted as we speak (I bet you didn't know, did you) by the Combined Authority - completely fails to mention motor cycles and only mentions cars as a problem. I attended a meeting of the Authority's Scrutiny Committee where a presentation about the new strategic transport plan - a good 40 minute long presentation - didn't mention the word 'car' once, let alone refer to motorcycles. Why is it these planners have such tunnel vision? And why do they hate motorcycles so much?