Meeting minutes - Road Safety Framework Motorcycle Focus Group - 23 September 2021


  • Hugh Gillies (Chair), Director of Roads, Transport Scotland
  • Graeme Dey MSP, Minister for Transport
  • Jonny Moran, Head of Roads Operations, Transport Scotland
  • George Henry, National Operations Manager for Road Safety Policy & Education, Transport Scotland
  • Stuart Wilson, National Operations Manager Safety and Development, Transport Scotland
  • David McKenzie, Project Manager, Transport Scotland
  • Andrew Paterson, Statistician, Transport Scotland
  • Louise Blakelock, Police Scotland
  • Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart
  • Scott Tulip, IAM RoadSmart
  • Craig Carey-Clinch, National Motorcycle Council
  • Colin Brown, Motorcycle Action Group
  • Tom Duncan, British Motorcycle Foundation
  • Gordon Brown, SCOTS
  • Shelagh Considine, Scottish Government
  • Kieren Green, Road Safety Policy and Framework Officer, Transport Scotland


  • Derek Crichton, SOLACE
  • Robert Nicol, CoSLA
  • Michael McDonnell, Director, Road Safety Scotland, Transport Scotland

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair welcomed the group, noting the importance of the meeting today. No one should set out on our roads and not return home. The Chair then proceeded with round table introductions.

Opening Remarks

Mr Dey thanked members for coming along to provide their expertise stating that it is clear from casualty stats in Scotland we need to do more to reduce motorcycle fatalities.

There needs to be an understanding on the type of casualties and why they are occurring and identify if these are different to elsewhere in UK which will help inform our approach and how we communicate.

Campaign work for motorcycle safety is currently only online based due to resource issue. Activity and engagement has been effected by Covid-19, with lots of engagement unable to take place due to restrictions.

Speed Awareness Courses are not yet available in Scotland and perhaps having a motorcycle specific course would be of benefit as alternative to prosecution.

Police Scotland have done huge amount to support motorcycle engagement. These casualties are not solely ‘born again bikers’, with many of those being killed being quite active motorcyclists who are very experienced with well-maintained bikes and equipment.

The majority of fatal collisions are due to rider behaviour, often with no other vehicles involved or at fault.

Publicity is key, many bikers on the roads in Scotland may not be resident here, should therefore consider widening the communication to pick up these bikers who are on holiday here.

Action Point: TS to consider motorway signage if any specific messaging for bikers is appropriate.

‘Vision Zero’ can make motorcyclists feel left out as has been something more associated with active travel. ‘Welcoming Roads’ has been suggested as an as an overall reshaping of Vision Zero messaging.

Casualty Stats

Over the past five years, motorcyclists have made up less than 1% of traffic, however accounted for 17% of all fatalities.

From a Police Scotland analysis findings showed that back in 2000 the 30-39 year old group were most at risk of being involved in a collision. This is the same cohort, now 50-59 year old, that is most likely to be involved in a collision in 2021.

Round 16% of motorcycle KSIs were resident outside Scotland.

Action Point: TS to circulate presentation to members.

What’s Been Done

Road Safety Framework to 2030

The framework has been developed with the road safety community and the key delivery partners.

The first delivery plan for RSF2030 has been published today, this will take us up to 2022.

Action Point: TS to circulate RSF2030 first Delivery Plan.


All new network maintenance contracts for operating companies now require state that a Safe System approach should be taken when carrying out maintenance.

Route Risk Mapping for Trunk Road network is fairly well developed with work continuing. This will allow for a switch from reactive to collisions to taking proactive action before a collision occurs.

By having deep dives into fatalities will allow for the exact causation factors to be known, action can then be taken to try address these for example PRIME road markings.

Education and Publicity

Working with organisations and individuals bikers are familiar with is a key way to reach the target audience.

Breathtaking Roads launched in 2018 and runs over the key biking months. The results to date for the campaign has been very positive. Around 93% of those seeing campaign states that they have changed their behaviour whilst on the road.

These messages are focused online and social media, the use of TV and radio hasn’t been used for this audience as this isn’t a targeted approach.

Future Direction

The demographic can view the messaging as a threat, therefore there is a need to review the psychology to ensure that motorcyclists are receptive of the messaging.

It’s appropriate to enforce through education but also educate through enforcement. There is a need to ensure that we strike the balance and not alienating anyone.

We also need to ensure not excluding anyone from our messaging by using the phrase ‘born again bikers’.

Next Steps

Group Membership

It was noted that the group would benefit from representation from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Ambulance Service at the next meeting.

The group should also aim to have representation from other motorcycle groups, possible marketing and communication forums bikers use, and insurance groups.

Not all the casualties on Scotland’s roads will be resident here, some may be from other parts of the UK or further afield. We should also therefore target messages to platforms where bikers research routes and plan journey’s.

Action Point: TS to invite additional members to join the focus group.

Terms of Reference and Remit

Action Point: TS to set groups ToR and Remit and circulate to members to be discussed at next meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed to keep the momentum of the group and avoid any clash with COP26 to hold next meeting early December 2021. Group also noted the benefit of having an additional meeting early Spring 2022.

Published Date 26 May 2022 Type Topic