Northamptonshire residents wanting to have a go at riding a motorbike or scooter were invited to go along to free taster sessions earlier this month as part of the national ‘Get On’ scheme.
Northamptonshire County Council in association with Northamptonshire Highways and working with the Motorcycle Industry Association, organized the sessions for people ranging in ability from complete beginners to people who may have ridden before and want to refresh their skills.
Each 30-minute session was conducted by professional trainers and all the necessary equipment supplied. The lessons took place in a safe, traffic-free car park, so a motorcycle licence was not required.
With the number of single occupancy cars on the road, motorcycles are seen as a relatively more sustainable form of transport as on average they pollute six times less than cars.
Motorbikes, mopeds and scooters also cause less congestion than cars, improve journey times and reduce the need for parking space. However, at present motorcycles only account for about one per cent of total road traffic.
Councillor Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “Motorcycles tick a lot of boxes when it comes to sustainable forms of transport as they produce lower emissions than cars and don’t cause as much congestion.
“In 2015 we carried out a motorcycle survey to reaffirm why people were using motorbikes, but also examining reasons why they were not.
“We’re aware that there may be reasons why people are reluctant to make journeys by motorcycle and we believe that by providing an easy, safe way for people to get a taste of what it’s like to ride a motorcycle, it will be an incentive to get them riding.
Andy Leighton, Northampton resident said: ‘It was a good opportunity for us to regain the feeling of riding. The venue at the Northampton Town Football Club car park was easily accessible and a safe environment to conduct both beginner, novice and refresher training. There was qualified instructors to brief us about the session and we were given the protective equipment (motorcycle safety jacket and helmet).
We were firstly introduced to an automatic scooter and were then given a 125cc motorbike to ride within the enclosed area. This gave ample time to get used to the controls and do manoeuvres.
After the session we were given further information about learning to ride a motorbike or scooter, how to get on the road (and if a learner how to pass the motorcycle test). Also we were able to talk about what bike to buy and what kind might suit us, and anything else we wanted to know.
Anyone thinking of trading in their car or bus journey for the freedom, fun and flexibility that life on powered two wheels brings, would benefit from attending a ‘Get On’ session. It was worthwhile and the experience cost us nothing!’
To check out more sessions near you go to www.geton.co.uk