May 2024
Dates For Your Diary
Group Meeting
Monday club nights will be organised on the second Monday of the months of - March; June and September. This gives us lighter nights.
10 June - AGM and Perry Payne from Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership
1 June 2024 meeting at the Dandy Highwayman Cafe Cherhill.  9.30 am for 10 am start

Monthly Ride-Outs

Bike Ride-Outs on the 3rd Saturday of every even numbered month and the 3rd Sunday of every odd numbered Month. Email will be sent out to Bikers and added to the Forum.

Next ride out Saturday 15 June .  Details will be forthcoming via email to all bike members.

Do you have a topic you would like discussed, or know of an interesting speaker?  Please contact speaker at 

Congratulations to the following members who have passed their Advanced Tests recently:  
Ryan  Jones - Bike Silver
Emma  Hookham – Bike Silver
Greg Hallam  -Car Silver
Tony Chalkly – Car Retest Gold
Paul Warner – Car Gold
David Wicks - Bike retest Gold
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Stephen Brewster - Bike
Don’t forget that we have a range of clothing available to purchase. We also offer a range of books, such as Roadcraft, Motorcycle Roadcraft and the Highway Code, and these are available at discounted prices.

For more information visit the Merchandise page of our web site 
We are always looking for more articles, ideas and news for the newsletter. Have you been somewhere interesting recently that would make a good story? If you attend any group events then take a camera and send us your pictures!

Please forward all contributions to
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Chair's Ramblings
As I look out the window I see it is raining again – I seem to be doing all my driving and riding in wet weather at the moment, hopefully we will get some form of summer!
Thankfully our AGM on 10 June is held inside at the Liddington Village Hall at 7.30 pm.  This is an important part of our Governance and allows you to have your say on what we do in the Group.  Please come along and join in.  We also have Parry Payne coming to talk to us – he is the lead of the Swindon and Wiltshire Road Safety Partnership and he will be talking to us about his work and how we may help.
If you cannot make it please do give your proxy vote (or opinions/ideas) to either the Secretary of the Chair to ensure we can correctly manage the Group.
I like to think I am prepared for eventualities on trips and I have for years carried puncture repair, tool and first aid kits plus an electric pump on all my motorcycle journeys (I also carry a fire extinguisher in the car).  This takes up space an adds weight to my bike but I like the peace of mind it provides.  Little did I know I would need all 4 for one incident.
I had stopped for a coffee and noticed a stone lodged in my rear tyre tread – which I removed.  On returning from my coffee I noticed another object in my tyre which hissed when I tried to remove it – a puncture!  No worries I have a repair kit (the one which you insert a “string”) and an electric pump.  I could not remove the nail (as I now knew it was) so had to resort to my tool kit (so grateful I was carrying it).  All was going well until I used the knife in the puncture repair kit to cut off the end of the, now inserted, “string”.  I wondered if I had caught my thumb with the (very sharp) knife and on further investigation identified this was the case.  I had caught it quite well and was now bleeding profusely all over the floor and tool kit!
I used a tissue from my pocket to keep pressure on the wound whilst I reached for my first aid kit with one hand.  Eventually I had the wound dressed and the puncture fixed and started to tidy up.  It is amazing how much a thumb will bleed and it looked like there had been an axe murder at the rear of my bike.  Thanks to my (some may say over pessimistic) insistence on carrying items “just in case” I was able to fix the leak in my tyre and my thumb and carry on my journey with no more loss of air or blood respectively.  As an aside my nearly new tyre needed replacing when I had it checked – and expensive way to pick up a discarded nail but at least it proved I am self-sufficient on the road. As the boy scouts say. – be prepared!

Stay safe everyone.

Car Tutor Needed

Car drivers, are you ready for the next step? We have a vacancy for a tutor. If you have a current Gold or Silver certificate, would like to further your skills and spread the word about advanced driving, we’d love to hear from you.

You need to be a good communicator, and willing to spend the time to get your skills and knowledge over to others. Training and support will be provided.

If you are in interested please get in touch with Nick Carrington
New Bike Tutors
Congratulations to our new Group approved bike tutors: Winston Castle, Andre Hunt and Sean Caine.  They have been training since January with 3 classroom sessions and then a number of practice rides with advanced tutors.  Well done for staying the course and showing your commitment to road safety.
Thank you for volunteering and I trust you will enjoy your tutoring experience.
AGM 10 June 2024
The AGM will be held at Liddington Village Hall
Liddington, Swindon SN4 0HB

Please come and help the Committee provide this essential Governance requirement.  It is your chance to have a say in how the Group runs, what we do and especially to volunteer to help us improve. 

If you cannot make it please do pass on your proxy vote to any of the committee or email the  Chair or Secretary .  Please also let us know if you have anything you want to raise under Any Other Business.

The agenda is as Follows:

1.       Chairman’s Welcome and Introduction
2.      Apologies for absence
3.      Minutes of last AGM (October 2023)
4.      Chairman’s Report
5.      Membership Secretary’s Report
6.      Treasurer’s Report
Proposal to raise membership and joining fees
7.      Election of Committee
8.      Any Other Business
Monthly meetings – proposal to return to monthly meetings
Paperless MOT Certificates

As from 29th April 2024 MOT Test Certifcates will, by default, be issued for the most part digitally.  This will reduce the huge amount of paper used by the MoT Station. Provision will still exist for a paper copy if you really need one for example, if you have any difficulties accessing the internet.

Failure certificates will still be printed for the time being but consideration is being given as to whether to take the same approach with failures in the future.

A Blog on the issue on called Matters of Testing is here
Manifesto for Road Safety 2024

The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has coordinated a ground-breaking manifesto calling for immediate and strategic action to address the persistent issue of road fatalities and serious injuries in the UK. Manifesto for Road Safety’ was developed through exhaustive consultations and support from more than 33 leading organisations. It outlines four strategic priorities for the government aimed at revolutionizing road safety and significantly reducing fatalities and serious injuries on UK roads.  It is hoped it will inform the next Government – whoever it is!
The 4 strategic priorities are:
  1. Developing a National Road Safety Strategy
  2. Establishing a Road Safety Investigation Branch
  3. Introducing Graduated Driver Licensing
  4. Adopting Advanced Vehicle Safety Regulations
A presentation is here and more details are here
Self-Driving Vehicles on British Roads in 2026?

From the Government announcement;

Self-driving vehicles could be on British roads by 2026, after the government’s world-leading Automated Vehicles (AV) Act became law on 20 May 2024.  

The AV Act enables advanced technology to safely drive vehicles on British roads. The new law puts Great Britain firmly at the forefront of self-driving technology regulation.  
Road safety is at the heart of the legislation, with automated vehicles expected to improve road safety by reducing human error, which contributes to 88% of road collisions. 

The law will require self-driving vehicles to achieve a level of safety at least as high as careful and competent human drivers, as well as meeting rigorous safety checks before being allowed onto roads. Therefore, in the future deaths and injuries from drink driving, speeding, tiredness and inattention could be drastically reduced. 
More details can be found here – I am sure this will raise considerable debate not least over the definition of “careful and Competent” drivers and the ability of computers to apply the system of car control!
Members' Activities
South West Peninsular Rally

Back in Mid January Mark Sealey mentioned the SW Peninsula Spring Rally organised and run by the Somerset IAM.  The object is to complete various stages, collecting answers to clues on your travels. These answers and points decide on the award achieved.

Our home for 2 nights - no snoring please!
Entrants must sign in at Start Control between 08.00 and 10.00 hrs and return to sign out between 17.00 and 2300 hrs.

Gold Award – approx 400 miles
  • 15 unmanned daytime checkpoints
  • 3 manned checkpoints

Silver Award – approx 300 miles
  • 12 unmanned daytime checkpoints
  • 2 manned checkpoints

Bronze Award – approx 150 miles
  • 9 unmanned daytime checkpoints
  • 1 manned checkpoint
Land’s End Award
This award is supplementary to the other awards. To achieve the Land’s End Award you must do the following:
  • Complete the Gold Award
  • Visit Lands End. Have your Control Card stamped by the Land’s End Hotel as confirmation you visited Land’s End (does not count as a manned checkpoint).

The day before the rally, myself, Bob Fram & Mark Sealey rode down to Long Sutton near Langport to set up camp at Brook Farm.  Once the tents were up we rode to Langport to top up fuel and collect some water and snacks.  Later we walked to The Devonshire Arms for more route planning accompanied by some most agreeable beers and dinner.  

Saturday morning we were up early and after a few moments of terror when one us had mislaid his ignition key we found ourselves at Long Sutton Village Hall, Start/Finish control point and more importantly the breakfast bap !

Breakfast was served at about 0730 and shortly thereafter a long queue formed for signing on.  As this is the 12th edition signing on was an efficient process with six organisers giving out the list of checkpoints and clues along with the all important Control Card.

We all knew other rally entrants in the hall so it made for a busy time.

We pulled out of the car park at 0815, earlier than expected, Bob was the first leader, Mark second, I was third and in charge of gathering answers.   Our route took us over the Quantock Hills where we caught glimpses of the new Hinckley Point nuclear power station being constructed.  At the early unmanned checkpoints it was relatively easy to find the answers as there were a number of motorcyclists/scooterists parked up and studying something.  After climbing up the infamous Porlock Hill we encountered the wrath of Storm Kathleen and progress was at times hampered, especially on the exposed parts of Exmoor National Park.

Ilfracombe, our first manned checkpoint was inside a Wetherspoons pub, the organisers were busy but very friendly and encouraging, here we had our first coffee.  Next was a 44 mile ride to Whiddon Down for the second manned checkpoint and coffee, also inside a pub.  We all moved up one place so Mark was now the leader, I was second and Bob in charge of gathering answers.
The list of clues - we took photograpohs to check our answers later in the dry!

Rain started as we approached Perranporth, inconveniently we had to pay to park at the Green Parrot, well it is Cornwall. So by this time we were wet, tired, hungry and realised a Control Card had been left at Whiddon Down !  The organisers had spotted this and a replacement card was prepared.  At this point we abandoned plans for Lands End and would just go for Gold.  Now it was my turn to lead on the revised route, the weather was awful and by Lawhitton we all needed fuel and food, which we found at Liskeard.  At this point we abandoned the Gold and as we only needed one more unmanned checkpoint for Silver.  By the time we reached Buckland St Mary for the last checkpoint and answer, it was pitch black dark. Garmin stated we were left with 30 minutes riding but we were getting slower with fatigue and we finally arrived back at Long Sutton at 2150.

Once inside I didn’t know what to do first -use the loo, get food or sign in! Luckily after the loo we sat down and filled in the missing answers before handing in our cards for the well earned Silver award.  

A hearty meal of shepherds pie, broccoli and cauliflower was provided and gratefully received.

People were still arriving when we left the village hall at 1015, despite the wind and the rain sleep came quickly.

The important summary, safely completed with 392 miles ridden on the rally.

The Route we actually took
Sunday morning we were all up early and left site by 0800. We rode to Castle Cary where we managed to show how poor our navigational and observation skills are by riding by the cafe twice before finding it.  We all enjoyed a hearty breakfast & excellent coffee at the Burnt Honey Cafe which included seasoned Kale Chips (crisps really).

Many thanks to Mark and Bob for making it a memorable weekend and for all three of us our first Rally.

If this interests you, next year’s event will take place on Saturday 5th April.  Lots of people did it on their own, but teams of 3 or 4 probably work best.

Steven Hyde
Driven Ohm Racing - 2024
We had the second round of the championship on the 6th of May, fielding all three Driven Ohm Racing cars and Gary in the 119 team Cooper S.
Mixed weather conditions plagued the day again, with tyre choice and visibility being the greatest concern.
Daniel brought the Cooper #265 home for a pair of 4th place finishes in the class C rankings, and was pleased with his efforts in tricky conditions.  Max (905) and Ben (887) maintain a tie for 5th in class E after 2 strong races, alternating finishing positions once again.
Gary managed a 3rd and a 2nd on the day, but due to mishaps for other class E cars maintains a 3 point lead at the head of the class, and 3rd overall in the championship.
Next round is on June 16th
Race dates are:
16-Jun    Summer Spectacular      Hot Hatch Rd 5&6 03-Aug   Combe Challenge         Hot Hatch Rd 7&8 26-Aug   Combe Countdown      Hot Hatch Rd 9&10 05-Oct    Grand Finals                  Hot Hatch Rd 11&12

Gary Franks
Promotional activities

SkillShare - 2023 - The Dandy Highwayman Cherhill

1 June 2024!

Successfully supported by Wiltshire RoADAR motorcycle tutors and WABAM Observers. Final confirmed date for the year is:

23 Jun
4 Aug
8 Sep
6 Oct 

If you have any ideas for events, then please get in touch with the committee using the committee email address :

Look forward to hearing and discussing your ideas.

Presentation material

A generic set of slides has been created for use if you are asked about Wiltshire RoADAR and have the opportunity to present. This could be at a local club, workplace etc. Please send a mail to   and the slides will be sent over to you.

We also have flyers and business cards so ask for these via the same means.

Booking a Retest
Please be aware you need to book your 3 yearly retest directly with  RoSPA via their website.  Sadly we cannot book it for you as it is all done electronically.  You may also need to check when your re-test is due if you have not been paying your subscriptions to RoADAR as they will not remind you.  

Tutors will be happy to conduct a refresh should you wish one prior to a re test.
Have you been up to anything to do with Riding or Driving lately? If so, then please let us know as we would love to include it here; photos would be great too!
Highway Code App

The Stationery Office  has launched a new Highway Code app.  
The app is for all road users and makes it even easier - and more fun - to keep up to date with the rules of the road. 

What's new?

  • Instant access to the very latest version of the Official Highway Code while on the move, on tablets and mobile devices
  • Quizzes and timed challenge features, that help users check their knowledge of the Highway Code and track their progress.
  • A voice over option enabling users to listen as well as read.
The app costs £3.99 and is available to download on both Android and iOS platforms.
Membership and GDPR

Due to GDPR we are required to remove an individual's details from our Group database when they are no longer required by us.  We remove a lapsed member's details if they have not paid a subscription by the 31 Dec following the AGM (3 months after the subscriptions are due).  If a member has forgotten to pay their subs and pays after 31 Dec we will require a joining form to be completed so we can replace them on the database.

It all seems a bit strange, but we do not want to get on the wrong side of the Government's Information Commissioner.  We understand if members forget or are late with their subscriptions, but please help us to keep our database accurate and compliant.

This is, of course, separate to those of you who maintain a membership with RoADAR HQ.
Call for Bikers from Severn Freewheelers

Many of you will be aware of Severn Freewheelers, the blood bike charity that provides its free service to the NHS and specifically the Great Western Trust (GWH)  at Swindon. Partly as a result of the Trust’s response to COVID and the service being better understood by the Trust, the workload now means we have two bikes serving the area. Last year we undertook over 2000 jobs for the Swindon Trust. Overall Severn Freewheelers did over 7000 tasks.

This is a request primarily seeking riders to help support our operation going forward. Naturally over time people fall away as their circumstances change, they move away or indeed decide this is no longer for them.

The service runs 1900hrs to 0700hrs weekdays and 24 hrs at weekends and public holidays. A typical duty is Wednesday evening till Saturday evening or Saturday until the Wednesday. You would keep the bike at home until you handover to the next rider. The bikes are the latest BMW RTs.

A new rider needs to have undertaken his or her advanced test in the last three years and is required to be retested every three years. In addition, there would be a check ride undertaken on joining and further periodic check rides with a nominated assessor. Managing the risks within the operation is a core value of the charity. There are of course other roles as coordinators and fund raisers and riders are expected to contribute beyond simply riding which is vital to maintain the service. From a response basis, riders need to live within 25 miles of the Great Western Hospital. Training is provided for all new members.

If this is of interest, please feel free to get in touch.


Geoff Brown

Severn Freewheelers

Media coordinator - Help us to broaden our reach

To help promote the group we have a variety of online media platforms, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. To help make the most out of the opportunities that these outlets provide, we could use some help from someone who has experience of using such tools. Drop me a line at  if you would be interested in helping promote our group.
Committee minutes   

These are available from the Group Secretary if any member wishes to see them. If you are interested in reading the minutes, then please send a mail to the Group Secretary whom will promptly forward them onto you.

Test results 

Reminder to let the Membership Secretary and your tutor know when you have taken your Advanced Driving/Riding Test and result. This is so our database is kept up to date; there is no need or pressure at all to have the result published on the website or in this newsletter if you wish to keep your result confidential.  
If you have read this far, thanks! If you have any feedback or suggestions about content for your newsletter, then drop us a line at   If you can't leave constructive feedback though, then we don't want to hear from you!
Membership Secretary: Mr Paul Prictor
Hon Secretary: Mr Mark Sealey
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