March 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
6 April 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 20 April.  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:  
Ruth Mitchell - Bike retest - Silver
Keviin Rivers - Bike - Silver - tutor Mark Sealey
Please welcome the following to the Group:
Simon Doherty - Bike
Daniel Killeen - Bike
Gary Bruce - Car
Daniel Ahern - Car
Robin Shepherd - 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!

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Chair's Ramblings
You will know we lost Andy Peaple to aggressive myelofibrosis this month.  He had alerted me he had a terminal disease, but the speed of his death was a bit of a shock to us all.  Andy was a gentleman and was always looking out for others.  He was never one to complain (he lived with leukaemia for as long as I knew him) and if he did tell you he was feeling a bit under the weather you knew he was feeling really bad.  There is a short piece in the newsletter about him.  Rest in Peace Andy.
It is nice to have the evenings a bit lighter and we will really see the difference now the clocks have gone forward.  The (slightly) drier weather has exposed the real state of our roads - a friend of mine from North Yorkshire commented he thought the roads were bad there until he came to Wiltshire.  I hope you are all avoiding any damage and mishaps due to potholes.  I attended the Wiltshire Council Devizes Forum on highways in late February.  An interesting evening and I will put a few notes together later in this newsletter.  Much of the issues raised were about the condition of the roads, communities wanting to reduce the speed limit where they live and the famous (well in Devizes anyway) Black Dog Crossroads (which has more than its fair share of accidents).  I would not recommend going to all of them but once in a while may interesting.  I introduced myself to the new Chair of the Swindon and Wiltshire Road Safety Partnership, Perry Payne; he is really grateful for our contribution to road safety and is keen to include us.  Perry will come and talk to us at our AGM on 10 June.
I have been involved in some training of new bike tutors and busy with associates recently.  It reminds me how much I forget and we must all keep up to date with our knowledge and skills (I am taking your advanced driving attitude for granted here !).  Please ensure you are Dipping into your Roadcraft and your Highway Code to keep knowledge at a high level.  I have also noticed there is no substitute for practice.  Maintaining the standard is a essential at all times to contribute to our aim of improving Road Safety.  Please do not leave it until just before your retest to mug up and practice!
Andy Peaple

Andy joined the Group in 2015 having already lived a life full of serving others.  He was in the Royal Navy for 7 years and whilst working for Asda was a member of Wiltshire Search and Rescue for at least 15years. 

He passed his advanced riding test to be a Blood Biker and in typical fashion he threw himself at both.  He was always first to volunteer for fundraising events Blood Bikes and also managed his fair share of shifts as well.  He enjoyed his riding so much he also trained as a group tutor and was again one of the first to volunteer to help out.  An ever present friendly face for whichever group he was representing.

There was much more to him though.  He wanted others to be at their best and was a constant source of help and inspiration.  All those with whom I spoke about Andy had been helped by him in some small or significant fashion; he made an impact.  He was a member of a local Melksham based motorcycle group and spent a lot of his time passing on advice and promoting Wiltshire RoADAR.

Above all of this, Andy was a family man and loved to looked after his daughters and seemed to have an ever-growing collection of teenagers in his care.  Whilst they ruled his life he loved this,even when his plans had to change to account for any “activities”.  It is they who will feel the loss the hardest and our thoughts are with them.

Andy had been suffering with Leukaemia for many years which he managed to control with appropriate drugs and treatment.  If it did affect him though; this and  other issues curtailed his activity, but not his enthusiasm and willingness to chat!  I do not think any of us really knew how much pain he was feeling or how tired he became as he kept this very much to himself.  Talking to others it seems he was sort of downplaying how ill he was when he died; how very typical of Andy.

Andy made an impact on all who met him and as testament to him 108 bikes followed his hearse from his Mother’s house to the Crematorium.

Thank you for being you Andy and Rest in Peace.

Bob Fram
Forming up of the 108 bikes for the ride behind the hearse

Steve Tucker Talk – The Alien World of Time, Space and Distance
Steve gave us an interactive and entertaining talk at our first Group meeting on 11 March.  It was interesting to hear about his career in the Metropolitan Police; particular how to get round lawyers questions.  When asked how far he could see at night the response was "on a clear night I can see the moon" and when giving an opinion of the speed a vehicle was travelling he was asked how fast a pencil was moving when thrown across the room; he responded "I do not know I have never chased a pencil".

Steve moved on to describe his driver training business and the setting up of RoADAR Cyprus – now a thriving Group.  He provided us with ideas on how we can assist nervous drivers and riders and also how to deal with ever increasing technology (although many agreed with his wife the best development is heated seats!).  He also encouraged us to keep up to date with the Highway Code and Roadcraft.  Neither are a great book to sit and read but just picking a page a day will help.

We as humans are not deigned to travel at the speeds we do and this is where the alien word of time space and distance came in.  We all know how time moves on (particularly when we are a bit late for something) and it is difficult to relate to how long something takes. Steve used his experience as a Police officer and how it is really difficult to get 2 witnesses to give the same answer when asked “how long did it take?”.  Space and distance were relative and the faster we, or other objects around us, are travelling the harder it is to understand the scenario in front (or behind)  of us.  We need to train our minds to get used to it and this is where advanced driving and riding comes in.  OUR observation needs to take account of these dimensions and the big message was “Eyes Up” which Steve suggested we said out loud to remind ourselves.  Could lead to an awkward conversation when driving with friends and family but it might just help you remain safe.

Thanks Steve
Wiltshire Council Devizes Forum -Highways

Wiltshire Council holds forums all over the County – I am sure many of you knew this!  I attended the Highways forum ion Devizes at the end of February and it was an interesting experience.  The following was covered:
·      The Highways (2800 miles of them in Wiltshire and most are B and C roads) and the associated issues.
·      The budget for the Highways
·      Maintenance
·      Local highway and footpath improvement group
·      Parish Steward Scheme (including litter picking)
·      Swindon and Wiltshire Road Safety partnership – covering Partnership, intervention, enforcement and education.
One surprising statement was the Councillors did not seem to have a problem with their budget and felt the council was well run – No comment from me but I will leave you to draw your own conclusions,.
I will not put detail in this section but here is a link to the presentation and much more detail.
There was also a question and Answer session where individual were able to ask the Councillors questions.  There was some emotion in the room as many parish representatives had pressing issues which needed addressing.  The Councillors did well but there were some political answers as you can imagine.  The issues raised were, in the main, quite parochial but it is a good opportunity to have your voice heard should you wish to hold the Council to task.  You can find your local area board meetings here
Bob Fram

Government consultation. - Motorcycles in Bus Lanes

Copyright Brent County Council

The Government has issued a consultation on motorcycles using bus lanes.  At present the decision for allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes sits with the local authorities and the main thrust of the question is should motorcycles be allowed to use bus lanes by default.  

The consultation is open until 9 June.  Please do make your views known; it is always worth having your say.  The consultation is here and you can respond on line (other methods are published on the website at the link).

Copyright Visor Down
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.
Members' Activities
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!
Driven Ohm Racing - 2024 preview 

Even though we are no longer sponsoring Gary and his Driven Ohm team, we continue to receive and publish updates to their successes!

After the amazing finish to the 2023 season, where we scored 3rd overall in class C with Ben Pemberton in the normally aspirated Mini Cooper and team leader Gary scored 8 podiums out of 9 races to scoop Class Champion in class E for the Supercharged Minis, securing 3rd overall in the Hot Hatch series along the way, we have not been idle in the off-season.
Gary got down to some serious CPD (continuous professional development) with several of his clients hosting refresher training. An interesting addition to this was spending 4 days in Finland with Porsche getting qualified as an ice driving instructor.


The race team has now signed 3 full time drivers for the cars in 2024. Ben is stepping up to the Cooper S #887, with Dan Sadjadian filling the empty seat in the class C Cooper #265. Max Gray is joining the team for 2024 after a one-off outing in 2023. Max's arrival meant that the team had effectively run out of cars. Max will move into the class winning Cooper S #905 that Gary campaigned to 4 wins and the class title last year. 
This left Gary without a seat when the music stopped - or so it seemed. After the successful pairing of Gary's Driven Ohm Racing team with Darren Duffields 119 Edition team in 2023, with Darren looking after firstly Gary in 905, then the other two cars as guest drivers signed to race them, the two teams have formed a more formal partnership for 2024 and beyond.
Now operating as 119 Racing, with the Driven Ohm Racing cars forming a satellite sub-team within the main team's garage, Gary will now move sideways into 119 Racing and be the lead 119 Racing team driver in a new for 2024 Mini Cooper S #119. More details on that car later. The three Driven Ohm cars have updated liveries which will be identical to the two 119 Racing team cars, and the team has a few Owner-Drivers in their own Minis which will be similarly decorated.

We have a test day on March 15th with a public media day on March 16th where 119 will be shaken down and Ben and Max can bed themselves into their new steeds for the year ahead. The cars will be battling in the debut season of the Castle Combe Hot Hatch Championship as we have been promoted from a series to a full Championship from 2024.
Race dates are:
15-Mar    Combe Track Day        Test Day for race cars16-Mar    Media Day                    Test and Media Day01-Apr    Howards Day                Hot Hatch Rds 1&206-May   May Madness               Hot Hatch Rd 3&406-May   May Madness               Dave Allen Trophy27-May   Combe Carnival            No Hot Hatch Races27-May   Combe Carnival           Mark Sutton Memorial Race16-Jun    Summer Spectacular    Hot Hatch Rd 5&603-Aug    Combe Challenge        Hot Hatch Rd 7&826-Aug    Combe Countdown      Hot Hatch Rd 9&1005-Oct    Grand Finals                Hot Hatch Rd 11&12
Gary Franks
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.
Promotional activities

SkillShare - 2023 - The Dandy Highwayman Cherhill

6 April 2024!

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

21 April
19 May
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.

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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