There are moves to regulate the granting of Motorcycle Friendly Town status with a long list of essential and desired requirements for councils, pubs, cafes, restaurants, accommodation and service stations.
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This is in response to several towns, shires and even one whole region in Western Australia declaring themselves Motorcycle Friendly over the past few years.
Unlike RV Friendly status, there is no official sanctioning body to determine a town, shire or region is Motorcycle Friendly.
However, there are now plans to regulate the process.
We understand there may be a national approach, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the June meeting of the Motorcycle Council of NSW decided to set up a committee to “create a set of criteria for judging the motorcyclist friendly status of establishments, accommodation, towns and regions”.
The committee is chaired by Colin Whelan who has long been judging various establishments on their motorcycle friendly status and awarding a ratings system of one to five “helmets”.
Concern has been expressed to us by those wanting to become motorcycle friendly that criteria could be too demanding and dissuade towns from seeking formal status.
There may also be the problem of what happens to current self-declared Motorcycle Friendly towns, shires and regions if status becomes regulated. Will they lose their status?
Colin has also told us that any Queensland town that did not oppose the VLAD laws should not be granted motorcycle friendly status.
Since no council commented on the state issue as far as we can find, that may mean no Queensland town can become motorcycle friendly.
However, the towns of Texas and Crows Nest and the shire of South Burnett have already declared themselves motorcycle friendly. Would they lose their status?
Some readers have told us they don’t want any regulation and are simply glad to see a “Motorcyclists Welcome” sign in a cafe window.
They say motorcyclist are not so precious or demanding as to require special treatment.
Other says it is about time we were rewarded for our tourist dollar and it is only right that those who take our money provide specialised service to riders.
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Essential Motorcycle Friendly status criteria
The MCCNSW committee chairman’s proposed essential criteria includes:
- Free overnight camping not limited to self-contained travellers;
- The town should have a “documented track record of campaigning for improved rider safety infrastructure such as road furniture including underskirts on safety barriers and realistic speed limits”;
- Designated motorcycle parking “on the main street of the town, within eyeline of any motorcycle friendly refreshment establishment”;
- A visitor Information Centre offering printed and online maps and advice on road and off-road motorcycle travel, including downloadable GPS files;
- At least one accommodation establishment with a five-helmet rating;
- At least three levels of accommodation;
- Accommodation must charge per person, not per room;
- Accommodation must have a flexible cancellation policy;
- At least one cafe/restaurant offering rider discounts or deals;
- A servo with 91 and 95 or 98 RON fuel and clean water for visor cleaning;
- public toilets; and
- Meals available seven days and nights.
RV Friendly status criteria
RV Friendly status is granted by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia based on a list of three essential criteria and a series of desired criteria.
Essential criteria is appropriate town parking for their massive RVs, access to drinkable water and a free dump point for toilet waste.
CMCA spokesperson Emily Smith says there is no charge to apply for official status and they issue each successful town with two complimentary RV Friendly Town signs.
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We will publish the results next week and make them available to rider representative groups.