In This Issue:


Congratulations to members who have passed their Advanced Test recently:


  Mark Coleman (C)
  Paul Kelly-Fursdon (C)
  Ben Mitchell (C)


  Rob Newman (M)
  Stacey Newton (C)
  Marion Tunwell (C)


A warm welcome to new group members:

  Mark McArthur-Christie (C)
  Laurence Humphries (M) 

Articles needed

If you have interesting snippets or would like to write a short article for this newsletter then please let us know. 

All contributions welcome.

Wanted: Group Ride Leaders 

Group rides are back and we need volunteer Ride Leaders - No experience required, full training given.


Call Stephen Wilkinson-Carr on 07976 644485 for more details.



January 2022
Chair's Introduction
Welcome to 2022 everyone.

I wish all of you a Happy New Year and hope it's one that's much more active and enjoyable than 2021.

Thank you to everyone for helping the group to thrive and prosper in these difficult times. A special thank you to all Committee members, as well as all those who work behind the scenes on behalf of the group, for giving your time and expertise over the past year. We couldn't do what we do without your invaluable contribution.
We've had some amazing support from Wiltshire RoADAR recently who are helping us with Approved Tutor and Advanced Tutor training for the car section and, in exchange, we have offered places on the motorycle Approved Tutor and Advanced Tutor training. This sort of mutual cooperation is hugely beneficial and all help, advice and support has been gratefully received.

We're still not able to do as much as we'd like as Covid-19 continues to thwart our plans for large-scale, face-to-face events and activities. Rest assured that we're still planning such activities and as soon as things improve we'll be fully up and running. Realistically that's not likely to be before 1 April 2022 but all our fingers are crossed.

In the meantime I hope you all have a really good 2022.


Tutor Training

Tutor training for existing and new car and motorcycle Approved Tutors will take place in Spring 2022 beginning with the theory day on Sunday 20 February 2022.

The practical session for Motorcycle Tutors will be all day on Saturday 19 March 2022.

The practical sessions for Car Tutors will be arranged between the individual and one of the four Advanced Tutor Trainers from Wilts RoADAR who are helping us to accredit existing and new Car Tutors.

The training will be headed up by Chief Instructor: Motorycle – Tony Dix with assistance from Geoff Brown, Paul Smith and Dave Venman (Wilts RoADAR's Car Training Officer).

We have an acute need for new Car Tutors and have just four volunteers' names at present. We need more and if you would like to train as an Approved Tutor then please contact Tony at 
Group Motorcycle Rides
Motorcycle Group Rides are back!

A new Group Rides Guide has been developed and approved by the Committee and is available for all to read on both our website (under 'Activities') and here.

The first four rides in 2022 will take place on the third Sunday monthly and will be led by either Paul Smith or Stephen Wilkinson-Carr.

Who can join a group ride?

There is no longer any requirement for training before you join a group ride and the following may take part:
1.     Tutor
2.     Full member
3.     Associate
4.     Prospective Associate - needs to be endorsed by an active tutor 
5.     Guest - Anyone, other than a Tutor, Full Member or Associate may be invited as a guest, by an attendee, but ONLY with the prior agreement of the ride leader i.e. ride leader not put on the spot on the day.


Want to be a Ride Leader?

We need more people to lead group rides and are willing to provide as much training and coaching as required. If you'd like to be considered then please let Paul Smith know at

First ride of 2022

Our first outing will be on Sunday 16 January, weather permitting, to the Elan Valley Visitor Center. The route looks like this (subject to change):

All motorcycle members will be sent full ride details soon.
New Chief Road Safety Adviser

Professor Nick Reed has been appointed the first ever Chief Road Safety Adviser at National Highways and will provide independent advice to the organisation and will play an important role in building relationships with its partners and stakeholders.

This new role will see Professor Reed be responsible for independent advice that will enable National Highways goal of zero harm on motorways and major A-roads by 2040.

With a career that has been focused on improving road safety, he has spent 13 years at Transport Research Laboratories and led road safety research with landmark studies of driver behaviour and trials of automated vehicles.

Specialities: driver behaviour, autonomous driving, vehicle automation, ethics, connectivity, advanced driver assistance systems, driving impairment, trial design and analysis, report writing, research, innovation  , consortia formation.

Congratulations Professor Nick.

Motorcycle Track Days

I’ve been a motorcycle tutor for many years now and having knowledge of the Highway Code is something that is essential for helping to use the road safely. As a tutor, I tend to ask about overall stopping distances to get a feel for an associate’s Highway Code knowledge.

So what is the overall stopping distance from 70 mph? Answers vary from no answer, to 96m (or some other number) to 96m in good dry conditions as articulated in the Highway Code. There is of course no correct answer because it all depends on the road and ambient conditions influencing available grip, the condition of the tyres and brakes and probably most importantly how hard the brakes are applied and when they are applied (thinking distance).

In conversation with associates I like to put 96m into context talking about the exit markers from the motorway at 300, 200 and 100m. Add in you have been on the motorway for a couple of hours and stopping at the 200m marker when you are required to hit the brakes at the 300m marker becomes something of a challenging exercise.

It is probably right to say that the majority of road users don’t actually execute stops of this type and certainly not on a regular basis! Modern vehicles are fitted with ABS and do we ever trigger these systems? On motorcycles fitted with conventional forks, the forks compress when hard braking and weight is transferred to the front which affects the motorcycle geometry and makes steering more difficult. I would argue that when faced with a need to stop quickly most riders and drivers do not brake to the maximum and so are less likely to avoid the hazard they are facing.

There is a key phrase in motorcycling ‘look where you want to go’. If there is a need to turn harder the bike needs to be leant over further. I have seen where riders get to a bend carrying, in their opinion, too much speed and so look at the hedge or when on track the gravel and guess where they go?

So what do track days have to do with this? I believe they provide an opportunity to expand the envelope – of the driver's and rider's understanding of their machine performance and their own capability. Having the opportunity for cornering at higher speeds and hard braking provides an experience base that can, if necessary be applied to the road. Your ability to stop at the 200m marker will be much enhanced. Doing the same combination of bends and straights in a relatively benign environment gives plenty of opportunity to expand the envelope in terms of cornering and braking.

There are track days and there are track days! There are track days filled with exotic machinery on racing slick tyres, drivers with NOMEX fire retardant race suits and mechanics, riders with ex BSB race bikes and all keen to set a best time. Or there are more relaxed ‘road legal’ only days where people drive / ride their vehicles to the track with the aim of driving / riding the vehicle home at the end of the day having expanded their envelope!

I am lucky enough to help out at the BMW Club motorcycle tracks days where there are lots of first-timers and lots of instructors with time to spare. It is great to see how people progress through the day. Their speed, cornering and stopping gets better with each session and their smiles get wider. I would put my money on these people versus a normal road user to stop by the 200m board.

If this appeals to any of our members then please get in touch and I can give you details of BMW Club days for next year.

Geoff Brown

How To Avoid Traffic Jams

When travelling around the UK it's really useful to know when and where there are problems caused by roadworks, accidents, breakdowns, major events and associated road closures.

Journey planning is made easy, especially if sticking to major routes, by these four sites:



Those sites show live traffic conditions and even allow you to zoom into the matrix signs so you know what they’re telling drivers.

Particularly useful is the map overlay that shows future roadworks and major events.

It's definitely worth a look before your next major journey.
Be Seen Screen


If you've ever broken down on a Smart Motorway (where the hard shoulder is used as a live lane) then you'll understand just how vulnerable you can be. You have to rely on following traffic seeing you and / or the lane closure signs and acting in good time to avoid a collision. Too many times on Smart Motorways a collision occurs, often serious or fatal.

So, what can be done to avoid such collisions? Government is being lobbied hard by various motoring organisations who want the Smart Motorways to be scrapped completely. In the meantime, one man - Richard Edwards - decided to do something about it.

There’s now a new safety device available offering better visibility and  protection for motorists that could help prevent an accident, especially on Smart Motorways, or if you breakdown on the  highway.

It’s the Be Seen Screen:


Here's Richard Edward, the inventor, demonstrating how easy it is to use.

If you know of other life-saving road safety devices that also deserve a mention then please let me know. Stephen ( 

Did You Know?
Did you know that you can check various vehicle documents online for free?


(if over 3 years old)


 (needs licence number, NI number and Postcode)

A Quiz - The Answer

Magic Square Quiz

Here's the answer to December’s brain teaser:


Well done if you solved it without using the internet.
Recommended Books (Clickable)


Highway Code update

The Highway Code was updated on 14 September 2021 and published online on 1 October 2021. It is expected to be ratified by Parliament on 29 January 2022 but is unlikely to be available in print until at least 1 April 2022.

The updated online version is available here

The differences between the current and new Highway Code are highlighted here.

One interesting addition, the hierarchy of road users, has recently been shown on various social media sites:

Unfortunately there are some rogue sellers online who will try to fool you into thinking they're selling you the latest printed version of the Highway Code when in fact you'll end up with the 2015 version (don't ask me how I know ).

The Committee
Chair - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Secretary - Rebekah Yarranton

Treasurer - Geoff Brown

Membership Secretary - Mike Ibbitson

Acting Car Coordinator - Stephen Wilkinson-Carr

Motorcycle Coordinator - Paul Smith

WebMaster - Phil Wesley

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Membership Secretary: Mike Ibbitson
Secretary: Rebekah Yarranton