Here in the Philippines riders are up in arms against the government’s decision to totally ban pillion riding in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But in the United Kingdom, things are starting to brighten up—even just a little—for motorcyclists in the coming days.
Recently, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a go signal for passengers to ride in the back of motorbikes starting tomorrow, May 13, 2020. However, this privilege is not absolute. It comes with the following conditions:
- Pillion riding is allowed only if the rider and passenger live in the same house. Group rides among friends are also allowed provided they do not have a passenger.
- The use of motorcycles is confined only in England. The riders are not permitted to cross the neighboring countries of Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
-Visiting a friend or a relative from another household using a motorbike is still prohibited.
-Starting tomorrow, motorcycle rides to open public places are now permitted but the riders must strictly adhere to social distancing (by at least two meters from the next person). The government also wants the Britons to regularly exercise in open spaces. Before, they are allowed to ride to their workplace or only for a quick run to a grocery or drug store.
The UK authorities also reminded non-residents to stay home while huge parts of the European continent are still plagued with the coronavirus. The use of motorcycles is highly encouraged by the UK government during these critical times when public transportation in this country is still not a safe option.
Reports say there are about 5.5 million motorcyclists in the UK, and a majority of them are big bike owners. This is the exact opposite in the Philippine where 95% of the total motorcycle population is composed of small bikes (with engine displacement below 400cc).
It is also interesting to note that big bikes in Europe are mostly for leisure rides. They’re seldom used for the daily grind. Also, motorcycle taxis do not exist in that part of the globe.
Do you think this newly-approved policy on pillion riding from the UK is applicable here as well?