THE new leader of the Conservatives on Bradford Council has questioned a lack of reference to motorcycles in a new £1 billion transport plan for the region covering the next 20 years.

Councillor Simon Cooke, who took over a fortnight ago, said the West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Single Transport Plan gave "little thought to motorcycle riders, despite their contribution to reducing congestion".

He added that a lack of announcements about safety measures and investment could also put people off from using the mode of transport.

But the WYCA has said that motorcyclist organisations were involved in the first stage of engagement of the new transport plan, and the outline plan does not go into detail on individual modes of transport.


Cllr Cooke said: “When formulating transport plans for the future, highway engineers seem to be giving little thought to motorcycle riders, despite their contribution to reducing congestion, exhaust fumes and pressure on car parks, whilst providing a cost effective means of transport for people on lower incomes.

"Safety measures and investment targeted at improving journeys on foot or by bicycle are announced on a very frequent basis, but I cannot even remember when I last heard a similar announcement aimed at motorcyclists and this could well deter people from considering them as an attractive mode of transportation."

He added that it had been brought to his attention that the latest Single Transport Plan again fails to make any real reference to catering for motorcyclists' needs and he urged the WYCA to see what can be done to improve safety for these riders.

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesman said: “The new Plan will be a 20-year vision for developing an effective, efficient and integrated transport network that supports sustainable and low-carbon economic growth. At this stage of development, the outline Plan is quite high level and doesn’t go into detail on individual modes of transport.

“We are now talking to them about further discussions on the way forward for motorcycle provision in the new Plan as part of the wider, more formal consultation process that will be taking place over the summer and autumn."

Bradford Council deputy leader, Councillor Val Slater, who is the Labour executive member with responsibility for transport, said she did not agreed with Cllr Cooke's assumptions about motorcycles reducing exhaust fumes, but added: "If a part of the motoring family has been missed off the Transport Plan, then that does need looking at."

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, Liberal Democrat group leader, sasid: "I have lots of concerns about the combined transport authority and its passion, or lack of it, for motorcyclists is not one of them. However, they are road users and their needs should be taken into account."