A bill has been put to Parliament that could force all off-road motorbikes and quads to be registered and to bear numberplates.
Prompted by the growing number of cheap “mini-motos” causing disturbances in urban and rural areas, the Private Member’s Bill is being fought by a group of organisations that includes the Motor Cycle Industry Association, the Agricultural Engineers Association and the NFU.
These groups argue that legislation already exists to curb the use of unregistered mini-motorbikes and that adding to this would only load genuine users – such as farmers – with extra cost and paperwork.
In addition, the number of imports of very cheap Chinese bikes actually fell by around 59% in 2006 against a backdrop of effective police and community action against illegal motorcycling.
Where enforcement campaigns have taken place, public complaints have fallen by as much as 80%.
With the bill having received its second reading, the coalition is pushing for it to be thrown out or amended to suit legitimate off-road motorcycle users before its third and final airing in the Commons.