PARLIAMENT is not sitting at the moment but my work as MP for Wycombe and politics of course still goes on.
I continue to receive many letters and emails particularly on the situation in Gaza where I hope a lasting ceasefire can be brokered and will hold.
The summer recess is also an opportunity for me, like all MPs, to empty my inbox, meet constituents and catch-up on reading some of the material I am sent by local and national organisations on a wide variety of topics, looking for the support of MPs for their cause.
During the next few weeks I will be attending the British Heart Foundation shop in White Hart Street to see at first-hand how the charity runs its operations and to meet staff and volunteers to thank them for their contribution to the local community.
I will also be visiting the RAF Benevolent Fund in Easton Street, playing football at the Wycombe Wanderers’ Football & Education Academy and speaking at a meeting organised by the National Farmers’ Union at the Bucks County Show. One other thing I’m looking forward to is experiencing an electric motorcycle with Motorcycle Action Group.
I am a member of both the Motorcycle Action Group and the British Motorcyclists Federation and I chair the All Party Parliamentary Group for Motorcycling. Normally when I travel to Westminster, I mix my commute between riding my BMW R1200GS and using the train plus tube. While we have an excellent rail service, the cash outlay for a motorcycle commute is far less each day and I enjoy it all year round.
The peak motorcycle riding season is of course the spring and summer, when historically the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on the roads sees a tragic increase.
The Government’s Stay in Control campaign was developed with the motorcycle industry to encourage motorcyclists to refine their riding by taking advanced training with qualified instructors and to ride defensively for safety.
Motorcyclists represent 1 per cent of traffic but 21 per cent of fatalities. Too often, riders get into trouble cornering on an empty road but the analysis of collision data suggests that some of the most common motorcycle collisions involve errors by other road users.
For example, car drivers may fail to give way to an approaching bike at a T-junction. I’d encourage motorcyclists to join me in riding always with low-beam headlights or daytime running lights and maybe even consider that bikers’ hated fashion-killer, the high-visibility jacket, to give drivers every opportunity to see us.
As the summer progresses, I hope motorcyclists will enjoy their bikes responsibly and I hope drivers will take a longer look for motorcycles, especially at junctions.