UK Bike Meets under Threat from proposed Legislation

Legislation that is currently going through Parliament could be used to stop bikers meeting up at the regular bike meets through complaints about noise. Up to now the noise created by meetings hasn't been a public order matter but the new legislation could change all that with meetings stopped by just a few complaints.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill has been promoted as a way to protect the Police better and crack down on protests, but the actual wording does not distinguish between protests and any other meeting. That being the wording of amendment 55.

The specific amendment that is worrying is one that imposes new conditions on public assemblies. A public assembly is just a meeting in a public place and most bikers meet up in public places. This amendment will allow the Police to stop a meeting if the noise generated by the persons taking part may have a relevant impact on persons in the vicinity.

You may say that the noise is generated by the bikes, not the people, but it is the people who run the bikes that cause the noise and to the Police that will be one and the same thing. So all it needs are a few busybodies or biker-haters to phone the Police and complain that a bunch of bikers are making too much noise and having a relevant impact on their otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon in front of the cricket and that's the end of the bike meet.

At present the legislation has passed the second reading. The next stage is for it to go to Committee for a detailed examination and when interest groups can have a say. This is your chance to write to your MP and to contact MAG and the BMF through the new National Motorcyclists Council to ask for noise to be removed as grounds to stop public assemblies.