HC Deb 07 December 1988 vol 143 cc160-1W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motor cycle accidents there have been in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Too many. The trend is downwards.

The table attached shows the number of motor cycles involved in accidents in Great Britain between 1977 and 1987. The total number of motor cycle accidents is lower, since some accidents involve more than one motor cycle.

Motor cylce involved in accidents: Great Britain: 1977–1987
Year All Severities
1977 73,676
1978 71,382
1979 69,173
1980 73,054
1981 70,949
Year All Severities
1982 73,033
1983 65,962
1984 65,340
1985 57,822
1986 53,562
1987 47,024
Motor cycles include all two-wheeled motor vehicles.

Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he is considering restricting the power of motor cycles bought for road use in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

There are existing and proposed limitations on the size of motor cycles that some riders may use. Motor cycle importers follow a voluntary maximum limit of 125 bhp for motor cycles brought into this country for use on the road.

The 1981 Transport Act restricted learner riders to machines of 125cc. Research indicates that this has reduced learner rider casualties by one quarter. The move up from a 125cc motor cycle to a large high performance machine can be too big a step for newly qualified riders. I therefore announced in February that we propose to introduce a new licence category for motor cycles in excess of 400cc. Progress to these larger machines will be linked to two years riding experience on a full licence. This will bring us into line with the relevant European proposals for harmonisation of driving licences. We have no plans to restrict the power of motor cycles sold in this country.

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