The Unity Ride: POSTPONED.
We are unable to go ahead with this year’s Unity Ride.
Changes in legislation controlling how public events are policed has meant that we cannot simply rely on our special relationship with the Metropolitan Police BikeSafe team, as we normally do, to make sure that our ride is adequately policed. The decision to police events is now made locally and the recommendation is that private marshalling should be preferentially used and Police officer s should only be used under specific circumstances or when paid for.
We have made an application to Newham Borough events planning teams and they have accepted that our ride can go proceed but without the assistance of the Metropolitan Police motorcycle teams.
Newham Borough Police are forced to work within strict guidelines, as are the Scotland Yard Public Order Unit (CO11). It would seem that our type of event was not incorporated into the original consultation and therefore not including in the Home office guidelines. I have written to Mr. Kit Malthouse (Deputy Mayor for Policing) who has passed on our request to the Police Commissioners office and also the Metropolitan Police Authority. In addition I have approached Chief Superintendent Ian Thomas (CO11) and asked for a reappraisal, to which he has yet to reply. These types of issues are invariably difficult to resolve and time consuming but we feel that must be patient if there is to be a long-term future for the Unity Ride
We could undertake the ride this year but to work in isolation clearly defeats the object of the Unity Ride as we would have to rigorously conform to all traffic signals, which would segment the ride, create extensive road congestion and conflict, which none of us want.
Hopefully, we can regroup and get our colleagues within the motorcycle pressure groups to make sure that this legislation doesn’t destroy part of our motorcycle culture. The ramifications are that the Toy and Easter egg runs undertaken in London and SE will also be disbanded.
With just 4 weeks to the ride we believe that we have reached a point were we must make a decision on whether to proceed with Unity IV and feel that if we went ahead at this stage, we would do the Unity Ride supporters and the motorcycle community an injustice.
All registration fees will be reimbursed within the next few days
The Unity Team